Graham Reid | | <1 min read
How about these for song titles? It's Not Just the Size of a Walnut; Wading Through a Ventilator; Have a Heart Betty, I'm Not Fireproof; I Want to Be an Anglepoise Lamp; Sandra's Having Her Brain Out; The Yodelling Hoover . . .
They all sound very Frank Zappa, but in fact came from the slightly strange mind of Robyn Hitchcock, the singer-songwriter for Britain's Soft Boys, a band which arrived in the midst of UK punk and sounded like no one else at the time.
They had a line in sharp power-pop mixed with old time rock'n'roll and a sense of humour closer to Monty Python (eccentric) than Zappa (freak out). They took perfectly good rock and pop style and cleverly subverted them, and often with aloof English humour.
Back in '93 a double dic came out, The Soft Boys 1976-81, which gathered up most of their slightly surreal and always interesting pop . . . and it had some previously unreleasd material, among them this song-cum-rant recorded in Cambridge in late '68.
Elvis Presley's famous tear-jerker here gets a makeover -- after a fitful start -- as Hitchcock embarks on an increasingly agitated spoken passage while the band plays on.
For more oddities, lost classic or songs with an interesting backstory check the regular updates From the Vaults.