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Mr Love Pants

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Album Review

The most remarkable thing about Ian Dury's 1998 reunion with his legendary Blockheads is that it sounds like the 15 years separating Mr. Love Pants from their last album haven't happened at all. Sure, the production might be a little cleaner and modern, but, musically, they still kick out disco-ized funk grooves, mild new wave pop, and relaxed pub rock that provides the perfect setting for Dury's clever tales and character sketches. No, they don't rock nearly as hard as they did during the New Boots & Panties era, but it's not missed, because there's a genuine warmth to the performances that gives real resonance to this familiar sound. Better still, the songs are considerably better than those that made up the last proper Blockheads record, and they're better than those on Dury's solo records. There aren't any classics along the lines of "Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll," "I'm Partial to Your Abracadabra," "Common as Muck," or "Hit Me with Your Rhythm Stick," but they're all charming examples of Dury's strengths as narrator and the band's supple musicianship. Sadly, Mr. Love Pants turned out to be Dury's last recording, but his body of work is much stronger with this as his final album.


Born: May 12, 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 in his thick...
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Mr Love Pants, Ian Dury
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