White Town: Your Woman (1997)

 |   |  1 min read

White Town: Your Woman (1997)

Long before there were overnight internet stars, there were -- and still are -- those who simply sat at home and made their songs on rudimentary equipment -- and then tried to sell them into the world. That is difficult, especially if you were Jyoti Mishra who is White Town.

"I'm not exactly the easiest package to sell: some fat Asian bloke who does his own recordings? It's not going to challenge Kylie, is it?" he told Chris Welch and Duncan Soar for their book One Hit Wonders.

But in fact he did. This song, on which he played everything and sang, went to number one in Britain.

After he'd recorded it in '96 -- the sample is from a 1932 song by Al Bowly -- he could only afford to send off five copies, three of them to radio DJs. One of them played it on his Radio 1 show, the requests poured in, Woolworths wanted 10,000 copies ("But my American label only wanted to do 500") then he got signed to EMI and the single was finally released early in '97.

One newspaper headline read "bloke in bedroom makes record" -- but that was the fact.

Number one in Britain and eight other countrries, and "I couldn't leave my house because people would start whistling my song at me which became a bit wearing. If I had a chance to have a hit single again I'd probably say 'no' . . . unless they offered me 20 million quid".

But there was an up-side, as so many have discovered.

"People were very strange towards me when I had a hit. Musicians who consistently said my music was rubbish suddenly changed their tune. And I became a lot more attractive to women. Amazing!" 

For more one-offs, oddities or songs with an interesting backstory see From the Vaults

Share It

Your Comments

jluc - Sep 19, 2010

amazing sound

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Frank Zappa: The Talking Asshole (1978)

Frank Zappa: The Talking Asshole (1978)

Here's a rare and odd one, taken from the vinyl album You're A Hook: The 15th Anniversary of Dial-A-Poem (1968-1983), a record which came through the label Giorno Poetry Systems. The idea... > Read more

Koko Taylor: Wang Dang Doodle (1960)

Koko Taylor: Wang Dang Doodle (1960)

Although you never need an excuse to play this strutting Willie Dixon-penned classic from Chess Records' studio with the great Koko Taylor growling her way through it, it does seem timely on this... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Paul Kean of the Bats

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Paul Kean of the Bats

Standing next to Flying Nun founder one night at the Gluepot in about 1990 and the Bats are playing. The place is packed and jumping to the band's melodic guitar jangle where one song merges into... > Read more

Various: Nigeria 70; The Definitive Story of 1970's Funky Lagos (Southbound)

Various: Nigeria 70; The Definitive Story of 1970's Funky Lagos (Southbound)

Elsewhere has already drawn attention to excellent West African compilations such as Heavy Heavy Heavy which scooped up the pre-Afrobeat of Geraldo Pino from Sierra Leone, and the double-disc... > Read more