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Do It Yourself (Deluxe Edition)

Ian Dury

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Album Review

Ian Dury's music always bordered on the functional, since it was used as a backdrop for his wry vignettes and stories, but on his second album, Do It Yourself, that aspect came to the fore. Largely abandoning the punk inflections that were scattered throughout New Boots and Panties!!, Do It Yourself is a record of mid-tempo pub rock disco — competently played, but rarely engaging. Dury's stories are all wonderful, filled with humor and penetrating detail, but only a handful of tracks, such as the terrific "Inbetweenies," are married to actual hooks, and by the end of the record, the steady disco throb has become a little numbing. Even with these faults, Do It Yourself remains one of Dury's very best records, since his lyrical facility throughout the album is simply amazing. [Repertoire's 1996 CD reissue of Do It Yourself improves the album considerably by adding several singles — "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick," "There Ain't Half Been Some Clever Bastards," "Reasons to Be Cheerful, Pt. 3," "Common as Muck," "I Want to Be Straight" — that are far more successful disco/pub rock fusions than anything on the album.]

Biography

Born: 12 May 1942 in Harrow, Middlesex, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Rock & roll has always been populated by fringe figures, cult artists who managed to develop a fanatical following because of their outsized quirks, but few cult rockers have ever been quite as weird, or beloved, as Ian Dury. As the leader of the underappreciated and ill-fated pub rockers Kilburn & the High Roads, Dury cut a striking figure — he remained handicapped from a childhood bout with polio, yet stalked the stage with dynamic charisma, spitting out music hall numbers and rockers...
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Do It Yourself (Deluxe Edition), Ian Dury
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