You know what the world needs? Another substantial post on Neoliberalism, that's what. And this evening, you find me scribbling away without an end in sight. A good job I had this in reserve.
I've taken it upon myself to listen to all the Now compilations in chronological order. I've just polished off number 17, and yes, they're pretty awful: a few decent tunes and a lot of filler. But none of that filler is as bad as this.
Paul Hardcastle's Nineteen is one of the greatest dance tunes ever, not least because it showed once and for all that tuneage set to repetitive beats can do politics, and do politics well. It's a three-and-a-half minute polemic against the waste of the Vietnam War and also doubles up as a memorial. An important song, a canonical song.
Then the summer of 1985 happened. The England cricket team got a whipping at the hands of the West Indies and brought home the anti-glory of national shame. To commemorate the shambles, a young Rory Bremner thought it'd be a hoot to take the piss with a novelty record (what was it about the 80s and novelty records?). However, unconscionably - for someone with lefty/liberal creds - Bremner decided to use Nineteen as its base, having not long spent five weeks at the top of the charts. That's when things got even worse.
Getting wind of the concept, Paul Hardcastle himself offered his services and produced the monstrosity below. That's right, he crapped all over his finest work for a cheap laugh about a shit cricket team. Even his record company told him not to do it precisely because it rubbished his previous achievement, but he carried on regardless. And for what? Perhaps the worst comedy song ever released.
It's a wonder such shockingly poor judgement didn't wreck either of their careers.