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Ian Dury – New Boots and Panties!! (1977)

April 5, 2018


[Album 603/1001]

The calendar may say April 5th.

But for students at my school, today, the calendar may as well say December 25th.

As when this morning’s announcement, with the key details ‘Power Outage – No Heat – School Closed to all students and staff,’ started to circulate on Twitter, I imagine there was a modest bit of rejoicing among the students!

And as a staff member, I grudgingly accepted that I was not permitted to go into work today.

In an effort to console myself, I flipped through the LP collection to find something to buoy my spirits.

Something with some enthusiasm.

Ahh yes, Ian Dury’s debut (New Boots and Panties!!), there’s a double exclamation mark on the front cover, this bodes well.

Let’s flip it over to see the back…




Although I was expecting something a bit more punk-y, the opening track, Wake Up and Make Love with Me, was decidedly (and delightfully) more funk-y.

And with the driving bass line, based on the strength of his performance in this track alone, bassist Norman Watt-Roy is more than deserving of the double exclamation mark after his name on the album credits!!

Elsewhere, the record is all over the map, in a good way.

At times, I got a Arthurera Kinks vibe; at others, more in step with the carnival-esque tracks from Blur’s Parklife.

And then side two opens with Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, which wouldn’t be too far removed from Bowie’s Fame on a family tree diagram.220px-New_boots_&_panties

Finally, the album shifts back in a punk direction with Plaistow Patricia, a track whose opening line doesn’t exactly blend into the background.

There’s a chance that New Boots and Panties!! may have benefited somewhat from its favourable listening context today.

But on any other day, I reckon I’d still dig this debut.

In fact, I’d agree with Ian’s assessment from the back cover (shown above): There’s nothing wrong with it!!!


Verbalize the Positive

I like these records that end up having an unexpectedly eclectic mix of sounds!


From → 1970s

  1. 25 exclamation marks. Nice.

    I have this but really need to invest more time into listening to it.

    • I’ve had this LP for a few years (picked it up at a record store on Yonge right by the Eaton Centre in Taranna, can’t recall the name) – finally gave it a couple of spins to day, glad I finally did!

  2. The man was a stone-cold genius – Sweet Gene Vincent … wow. I was brought up on this (and all his other) albums, it sounds like childhood to me.

    • I must admit, Plaistow Patricia sounds nothing like my childhood!
      But I’m pleased to hear this isn’t just a case of good timing for me, sounds like he’s the real deal

  3. I’m from Essex. In case you couldn’t tell… this album is a sacred text in the pubs and clubs of my home town. This is the Thames Estuary Sargent Pepper for a certain Generation.

    My take on Billericay Dickie here

    • I’m lucky with sacred hometown text too – Canada’s most beloved band (the tragically hip) is from Kingston.
      And after only a couple spins, I can see why this is so revered!

  4. jprobichaud permalink

    I’ve oft wondered about Mr Dury but have not yet given him a go. I gotta say. The exclamation marks do tempt me.

    • If I wasn’t tempted by the 2 on the front cover, the 23 additional bits of enthusiastic back cover punctuation sealed the deal!

      • jprobichaud permalink


  5. That’s some impressive exclamationism(!?!?) on display there. Would it shock you if I said other than the last track, I don’t know any of this?

    I’ll sort that out, though… You’ve inspired me to set this one up for tomorrow morning’s commute.

    • If there’s a term for it, I reckon exclamationism is the one!
      And J, if all goes well, hopefully you’ll have the same luck I did today with a power outage at work, so you can enjoy the album during a work-at-home day!

      • Soundtracking my commute this morning, but I have my fingers crossed for a power outage!!

  6. Musically diverse and lyrically brilliant. Pure Essex poetry.

    • And I think I’m nowhere near full lyric appreciation yet after a couple of spins – but it didn’t take long at all to admire the musical diversity!

  7. ha ha, Ian Dury really wanted to emphasize his passion with those exclamation marks!!!!! From what I can tell his most beloved LP. Your enthusiastic review has me interested in check it out

  8. Man, that guy almost used more exclamation points than Shania Twain. Almost.

  9. Been ages since I heard this one, but I agree with you on it. Lots of cool sounds on that platter for sure. Hooray for days off!

    • The surprise day off is a wonderful thing – and it appears most agree that this record is too!

      • Right on! If today was a school day it would be buses cancelled around here. Lovely ice storm happening, at the moment… welcome to April 14, eh? 🙂

      • I think that’s causing disappointment for students ’round here too – it’s bad enough that there’s freezing rain, but on a weekend?! Not even useful for bus cancellations!

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