Sunday, 22 February 2015

REWIND: Supergrass - 'Mansize Rooster'

Time once again to have a look at the songs making the singles charts 20 years ago this week. This chart can be found HERE and is from February 18 1995. Every week a Twitter account called @ThisIsMyJam95 invites followers to pick their favourite new entry of the week, and I have decided to take it a step further by listening to ALL of the new entries before picking the best of the bunch.

There were no less than fifteen new entries in the Top 40 in this particular week. No wonder there was so much variety at the time. As usual, we'll get the bad eggs out of the basket first... Despite some tasty house piano, Lovehappy's number 37 'Message Of Love' comes across as insignificance, while Garth Brookes enters at 36 with a re-release of two tracks from 1990. At 28 we have Melanie Williams and Joe Roberts with a pointless cover of 'You Are Everything'... That's the same Melanie Williams who sang on SubSub's classic 'Ain't No Love (Ain't No Use)'. I expected better from her. The American dance/hip hop flavoured pop act C+C Music Factory went in at 26 with 'Take A Toke', easily the blandest song about puffin' da herb that I've ever heard. And even though the intentions of BMU (Black Men United) and their number 23 charity single 'U Will Know' were decent enough, the song itself is a stinker. The fact that Gloria Estefan's dreadful 'Everlasting Love' cover entered the chart at #19 above Supergrass well and truly defies decency, and Annie Lennox's 'No More 'I Love You's' was another new entry that reached an undeservedly high position, number 2 in fact. 

Aswad's number 35 'You're No Good' is a pretty neat bit of dancefloor-flavoured reggae that I hadn't heard for years, and at number 29 were reformed five piece The Go-Go's with the brilliant 'The Whole World Lost Its Head', a single I bought on cassette from the Woolworths bargain bin a few weeks later. It was the band's only Top 40 hit in the UK. The group are notable for being the first, and to date only, all-female band that both wrote their own songs and played their own instruments to top the Billboard album charts.

At number 27 is Jon Of The Pleased Wimmin with the enjoyable housey club hit 'Passion', which was remixed by Tin Tin Out and released on the legendary Perfecto label. Taken from their album 'Twisted', the lovely 'Here And Now' provided the fondly remembered Del Amitri with a number 25 hit. I can recall my mum being very keen on them. The blonde punk-pop duo Shampoo were best known for 'Trouble', but the classic rock orientated 'Delicious' was equally fantastic, and went in at 21. Alex Party's floorfiller 'Don't Give Me Your Life' was an incredibly infectious tune that I used to play to death during my DJ sets at my Dad's old club. Landing at number 10, it was their biggest hit and the week's second highest new entry.

But this week's winner can only be the mighty SupergrassLike a lot of people who got into indie music via Britpop, 'Alright' was the first Supergrass track I ever heard, but it's the awesome 'Mansize Rooster' that I will be featuring today. When I talk about the era I often refer to the excitement and positivity of the times... Well, this storming track has it all: a combination of jaunty Blur/Madness music hall bounce and a blast of British punk fury during the chorus. Thrilling indeed. 

'Mansize Rooster' was released as the second single from 'I Should Coco'. It went in at #20 in the UK Singles Chart, remaining on the chart for three weeks. According to Wikipedia: "The song, although this not necessarily obvious from the lyrics, is said to be about someone who has a large penis despite their young age." Well I never. It was played as Supergrass' first ever live television performance on The Word in 1995 (which can be seen below).

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