Talent in a Previous Life

Because It's Never Just About the Music

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The 92nd Actual Worst Record, Ever 

If we had 3 wishes, we'd wish for this song to have never been released. 3 times. Just in case.
In music some trends last forever, while others crash and burn like a badly designed space rocket. The tendency for guitar bands to believe that the only band worth ripping off being influenced by are The Beatles, for example, is one that clings to the collective musical consciousness tighter than a limpet armed with a tube of superglue, while the "Featuring Sean Paul" craze burned out after an exhausting, but highly profitable, summer for the toaster in question. Equally brief but equally omniscient was the public's appetite for bootlegs, a hunger which reached its peak in '03. Indeed, for that entire year it seemed impossible to go into a nightclub without hearing the DJ playing two records at the same time, though for those of us who tended towards nightclubs on the skuzzier side of fence this wasn't exactly a new occurrence, even if normally it was less down to the DJ being at the cutting edge and more to do with him not being entirely au fait with how to work his faders.

Of course, the thing about bootlegs was that they were largely crap. Generally there'd be one good moment in the track where the two separate songs came together like a key in a lock, an orange and a juicer, or a piano lid onto Jamie Cullum's fingers, a moment where it all made perfect sense and made you want to frug upon the dance floor like you've never frugged before. At least not in public, anyway. Despite the genius of that moment, however, the rest of the song would genuinely sound pretty much like what you'd expect two songs being played at the same time to sound like: an ungodly mess and painful to listen to. Or The Pussycat Dolls as it's otherwise known. There were a few genuinely brilliant ones out there though; one was tieing Nelly's Country grammar to The Grange Hill Theme, while another was A Stroke of Genius.

A Stroke of Genius teamed up Christina Aguilera's Genie in a Bottle with The Strokes' Hard to Explain. It was ace for a number of reasons, mainly because it involved Christina Aguilera and most things involving Christina Aguilera - rubbish theme songs for movies about sharks excepted - are ace, but also because it used the music from The Strokes' only song which actually lived up to the hype that surrounds them like the stench of vanilla surrounds Shayne Ward. The two songs complimented each other perfectly, it was unexpected, it worked, it made you smile, and you could dance to it, so all in all it was a really great, unique thing. Indeed, part of it's charm was it's uniqueness, so it would take a remarkably uninspired and imagination free band to decide to cover it in a desperate bid to have a hit and make some sort of impact on the music scene.

Step forward then Speedway, a Scottish band who were last seen attempting to convince the world that Bryan Adams wanted them to support him before Jill Jackson made a half hearted attempt at a solo career before realising that even her own mother would be unlikely to make the trip to a record shop and buy one of her records. Jill also managed to make a slight name for herself - the sort of name you might sew into the back of your gym shorts - when she slagged off people from Fame Academy, Pop Idol and the like, presumably for not being as original and creative as a band who cover a bootleg and pass it off as their own work, before promptly going out with Fame Academy graduate Alex Parks, a girl who, despite being entirely unknown before taking part in the show, currently has an even lower profile than that. The lack of imagination in Jill's target for her vague bile was matched in their decision to release their version of the Stroke of Genius cover, which went out under the Genie in a Bottle name as an attempt to convince the public that this was all their own idea and they weren't just acting like a parasitic tapeworm, sucking out the talent of others. The public, fortunately, remained relatively unconvinced, with this just managing to sneak into the top ten, but this was already more, far more, success than they deserved.