Friday, 9 May 2014

Arthur's Mother - On The Dole (1971)

I'm not sure whether I should call "On The Dole" by Arthur's Mother a novelty record or not. It's not as downright cheesy as "Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep" by Middle Of The Road but it is very playful a'la "Pushbike Song" by the Mixtures. I'm also probably in the minority, even in obscure pop circles standards, who think that this is a great song. There's a bouncy, upbeat charm about this throwaway tune, released in March 1971, that I just can't resist and any song with the lyrics "kiss me on the helmet" gets a thumbs up from me! These sort of records, for now at least, seem to be ignored by the reissue market. Not psychedelic enough for Mixed Up Minds and too late for Piccadilly Sunshine comps. And so they wind up in an even more embarrassing place than a charity shop/car boot. A poorly written blog. Here!

The man behind Arthur's Mother, as it states on the song writing credit, is John Bryant and was released a year before his self titled solo album (of much more sophisticated songs), also on Polydor records, hit the shelves. Production is handled by Wayne Bickerton (World Of Oz, Giles, Giles & Fripp). A European picture sleeve for the single shows Bryant (top left) joined by a band who except from Mike Wedgewood (bottom right) are unknown to me. Anyone out there recognize them?

The single was a minor hit thanks to some substantial radio play and should be reasonably easy to track down for a cheap price. I should also point out that the b-side, a contrasting acoustic ballad entitled "Butterfly" is comparable to late sixties Bee Gees. One for the Fading Yellow heads. 

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