9 1/2 Psychedelic Meditations On British Wrestling of the 1970's and Early 1980's
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||Inside the Restless Mind of Rollerball Rocco||Luke Haines||4:14||£0.79||View In iTunes|
||What the Plumber Saw||Luke Haines||0:54||£0.79||View In iTunes|
||Gorgeous George||Luke Haines||3:38||£0.79||View In iTunes|
||Rock Opera (In the Key of Existential Misery)||Luke Haines||3:52||£0.79||View In iTunes|
||Linda's Head||Luke Haines||2:37||£0.79||View In iTunes|
||Saturday Afternoon||Luke Haines||2:34||£0.79||View In iTunes|
||Big Daddy Got a Casio Vl–Tone||Luke Haines||2:29||£0.79||View In iTunes|
||I Am Catweazle||Luke Haines||3:19||£0.79||View In iTunes|
||We Are Unusual Men||Luke Haines||3:42||£0.79||View In iTunes|
||Haystack's In Heaven, Pt. 1-3||Luke Haines||2:46||£0.79||View In iTunes|
||Me and the Birds (Bonus Track)||Luke Haines||2:50||£0.79||View In iTunes|
9 1/2 tracks of genius
Haines joins an elite club of one of musicians who have done concept albums on ex-German terror groups (Baader Meinhof) and 60/70's wrestling. Since the heady days of his success during the Brit-pop era with his former band The Auteurs things have changed for Haines. No major label record deal or gruelling tour schedules now, just the occasional Home Counties appearance here and there, and no band either as Haines has cut a distinctive niche as a solo artist. While records sales have declined, the same cannot be said of the quality of his recorded output. His second solo LP proper ("Off my rocker at the Art school Bop") was the equal of anything released under The Auteurs moniker and last year's "21st Century Man" LP re-affirmed his reputation as an established solo artist.
The gloriously titled "9 1/2 Psychedelic Meditations On British Wrestling Of The 1970's And Early 1980's" picks up sonically from where his last solo outing left off. And don't be put off if you're not a grapple fan. All the lyrical witticisms are here and require no previous wrestling knowledge. Haines's song writing craft is at the top of his game and his kitchen-sink treatment of this once popular Saturday-afternoon "sport" has a very human edge to it, as the ex-Britpop curmudgeon almost verges on the sentimental. The glamour of these "unusual men" is peeled away as tales of greasy spoons in Bradford and less-than-luxury hotels in Wolverhampton unfolds. Haines's imagination runs wild with the laughably entitled "Big Daddy Got A Casio VL-Tone" which does exactly what it says on the tin. Standout track has to be the wonderful "Gorgeous George", a new Haines classic that tells the story of the George Gillett, the colourful former manager of wrestling phenomenon, Kendo Nagasaki ("I told you secrets over sausage and mash").
So a musical feast for Luke Haines and wrestling fans and, maybe, even a few new fans for one of the UK's most underrated singer-songwriters.
No thanks Luke!!
I cant see what hes tried to do here and this album should never have been given the paper to print on, unless its andrex SINGLE SHEET after its been used!! Dont wanna hate on the man for trying but I am. Sounds like the kinda crak jake would listen to to look cool but even this is too bad to get into his huge head!!!!x
England's Greatest Songwriter
Ignore the silly one star review - this is classic Luke Haines and if you have liked his early solo work (or indeed work with The Auteurs, Black Box Recorder and the masterful Baader Meinhof) then you will love this… it is a short record and rather than that being a negative I think it a real positive - there isn't a weak track here and there is no temptation to cherry pick the odd track - instead this is an album like they used to be where you play it through from the first track to the last (and in the right order not randomised). You don't need to have enjoyed wrestling to 'get' the record - this is just as much about growing up in England in the 70s and 80s and if you did then like it or not Kendo Nagasaki, Big Daddy, Giant Haystacks will be part of your cultural memory (along with liver sausage for tea or chips and beans at a transport cafe).
In many ways the short length and the concentrated nature of the work reminds me of the Baader Meinhof album (for me Luke Haines best work and easily the best album made in Britain in the 1990s)
Born: 07 October 1967 in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, England
Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s