Rant Of The Day THIS RANT 29/05/97

Rant Of The Day is where I get to mouth off about whatever I feel like for however long I like. Theoretically, I'll update my whinge/opinion piece every weekday; in practice, maybe not so often.

Tuning in to Human Radio

One of Gusworld's founding theories is that for a truly first-class song, you need decent lyrics. I have no trouble reconciling this point of view with owning records by Mel And Kim, Collette and the Mary Jane Girls. There is a place in the world for mindless, insanely catchy pop; my record collection is a prominent example of such a place. But a song can't hit you in the stomach (and other places) if the lyrics don't essay wit, intelligence, or feeling. Ideally, they might encompass all three. Just ask Kirsty MacColl.

Lyrical obsessiveness can lead you to some pretty odd places. For years, I've been seeking out a CD version of the self-titled first album from a band known as Human Radio, released in 1990. I know next-to-nothing about the group; they hail from Memphis, they sound a lot like Nik Kershaw, and they had a minor kind of hit with the single 'Me And Elvis' from that album. It's a pretty cool number, but what I really wanted the LP for was the track 'These Are The Days', a sarcastic observation of a life so bad that the writer, Ross Rice, would rather "be an eskimo instead". On my recent trip to Melbourne, I finally got a CD copy for the bargain price of $2, and have been able to reacquaint myself with this song, and in particular its killer second verse:

Well I was watching my TV
with a quart of old Milwaukee
catching up on all the murderers
when the telephone starts to ring
It turns out that it's the President
telling me if he gets my vote
I will soon be wearing a mink coat
coz he'll make all of us Americans rich as kings

Well he had me hook line and sinker
even though it was just a recording
till the news showed guys on Wall Street
trying to fly without their jets
So I fed my german shepherd
checked the canned goods in the basement
and hoped the president's replacement
hadn't tried to get my telephone number yet.

Trying to explain the appeal of these words is a redundant exercise. They're just ace.

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