One of the most distinctive artists of the late 70’s and 80’s was the gruff cockney voiced Ian Dury who convened his formidable bands the Blockheads plus Kilburn and the High Roads. With their brash punk anthems that mixed the sound of 60’s r& b , bouncing bass lines and band vibe that struck a chord with fellow nutters Madness, the body of the great man’s work is set to be revaluated via a new collection released via BMG simply titled Hit Me, The Best Of Ian Dury released on 16th October.
The front cover of the collection features a fabulous soul searching pic of Dury looking directly down the camera whilst a further picture depicts him with a comb in hand, Brylcreemed hair, dressed in a black waist coat and white shirt, looking like Joe Strummers twin brother. The 3 disc set wouldn’t be worth purchasing if it didn’t featuring the blockbusting classics Sex and Drugs and Rock ‘n’ roll, Hit Me With Your Rhythmn Stick and Reasons To Be Cheerful (Part 3). 3 three tracks alone show the showmanship and lyrical expertise of Dury, even being diagnosed as having cancer didn’t stop the front man from dishing out the goods for his adoring fans.
Further highlights including the driving clinking R ‘n’ B piano of Wake Up and Make Love With Me, the straight out reggae of I Want To Be Straight, with its exclamations of wanting something better than always being down in the dumps, which resonates with anyone day dreaming of better days whilst working their fingers to the bone. The live version of the once banned BBC track Spasticus Autisticus shows abit more contempt from Dury for him having suffered with Polio from birth, the lyrics ‘thank the Creator you’re not in the state I’m in’ seem to be spat out.
As Dury still gains some of the attention being the frontman, and so he always should for his dynamic, sometimes straight forward and often comedic lyrics, the most shocking thing about this compilation and previous compilations is how powerful and tight each of the backing bands were but they haven’t really been given the plaudits their tireless work deserves. Here’s hoping those that will fork out their hard earnt cash to purchase this fabulous set will come to realise that Dury and the bands that he worked with had absolute belief in what they were doing and probably achieved their life’s work with just as much, if not more, painstaking work, which you can appreciate fully through listening to this complete set. Hit Me!
Hit Me! The best of Ian Dury can be purchased via the following link