Tuesday, November 14, 2006



I picked this up the other day while looking through the cheap bin in one of the town centre's second hand shops, and I am rather ashamed to admit that I was unaware of it's existence. It is Ian Dury's lost sixth album 'Apples' that saw a 1989 release and was the only fruit from his WEA contract. Apples was in fact a musical that had been co-written with ex Blockhead and official fifth member of the Clash, Mickey Gallagher and was staged at London's Royal Court Theatre. Both the play and the album feature the talents of Frances Ruffelle that can be heard to excellent effect on 'Love Is All'. This song has definite shades of the majestic 'Fairy Tale In New York' that had been released the previous year, with the way that the male female vocals work together in such a natural dialogue/argument way. As usual for Ian Dury the lyrics are a pure delight for example (Ian) "When ecstasy ennobled our first kiss/I fell into an agony of bliss" (Frances) "I never never heard a person talk like this/I hope you don't think you can take the piss". I won't try and kid you that this is up there with Ian's better work, it is obviously not a shade on those first two albums that he recorded for Stiff with the Blockheads nor does it stand up well next to his magnificent come back 'Mr Love Pants' released in 1998 before his untimely death in 2000, though it was a definite step in the right direction after the disappointing Polydor years ('Lord Upminster', 1981 and '4000 Weeks Holiday' 1984). Of particular interest on the album is Ians version of 'England's Glory' a song that he had written for Max Wall many years before and released on 7" vinyl by Stiff, and 'Bus Driver's Prayer' that would turn up three years later as the title track for his next studio album. Also present on the album is the saxophone skills of Davey Payne who was of course a member of the Blockheads and had also played on Wrecless Eric's first Peel session as heard yesterday.

I do like this photo from the back cover that features Ian and Mickey, I had to look twice to check it was really him with the moustache! I was though rather dissapointed that there was no immage of Frances Ruffelle, after all she was the co-star, sexism or ego problems?

Cheers for getting more Ian out there!
Exactly. Ian Dury, John Cooper-Clarke, Mark E. Smith. Gawd, ya can't help but love these guys.
If you've got the time & inclination to do it, there's a brilliant compilation to be made from the best bits of Apples & 4000 Weeks holiday plus the brilliant B-side Eugenius. If I sound like an Ian Dury geek that's probably because I am !!!!!!!
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