The wonderfully diverse and dirty wordsmith Ian Dury gets rightly celebrated on ‘Hit Me! The Best Of Ian Dury’. Three jam-packed discs of timeless, peacock pouting, pub rock kissed by funk basslines and lyrics so glorious you will either cry, smile or shake your head and hips in amazement. Yep, Ian Dury was that f*cking dandy. If you’re a fan this collection will be a welcome addition and for those who’ve never aurally delved any deeper than say ‘Rythm Stick’ or ‘Sex Drugs And Rock ‘N’ Roll’ then this compilation is the perfect starting point. Kicking off with the stupendous trio of ‘Sex Drugs And Rock ‘n’ Roll’, ‘Wake Up And Make Love To Me’ and the jaw-dropping wallop of ‘Sweet Gene Vincent’ should remove any lingering Dury cobwebs that may have gathered in the distant musical memory. A cantering ‘Clever Trevor’ is followed by the fairground filth on the Rum ‘n’ Ribena splashed ‘Billericay Dickie’ before tears flow as ‘My Old Man’ cradles the bruised emotions of both paternal loss and love. The foul-mouthed intro to the vein injecting ‘Plaistow Patrica’ is not one for the school run or maybe ‘PP’ should be…” oh oh”. The bruising cygnet ring punch ‘Blockheads’ remains a bullseye skewering cut of spat out pavement poetry as is the Kilburn And The High Roads ‘Pam’s Moods’. The airy ‘Upminster Kid’, ‘Rough Kids’ and the bizarrely titled ‘The Mumble Rumble And The Cocktail Rock’ keep us on the straight ‘n’ narrow. A wistful ‘Crippled With Nerves’ is drowned in the Camden canal by the cockney lingo lesson on ‘Blackmail Man’.
In these mixed-up f*cked times we need Mr Ian Dury’s vision, insight and humour more than ever before. This best-of collection is a must-have, lockdown listening essential.
By: Guy Shankland