There’s a couple of reasons why I still adore this single more than 30 years after it was released (I know, I was staggered and left speechless by that fact too!!), For one, crashing into the Top 10 took Kirsty McColl away from ever having the stigma of ‘one-hit wonder’ given her lack of chart success since the 1981 success of There’s A Guy Works Down The Chip Shop Swears He’s Elvis. Secondly, it helped raise the profile of Billy Bragg and showed the world there was an awful lot more to his song-writing talents than rabble-rousing anthems for left-wingers.
I remember paying a few shillings extra to buy the 12″ version of this single at the time – a move I have never regretted. Yes, the song is more than double the length of the version played on the radio, but there’s not a single second wasted on what is a superb production by Kirsty’s then husband, Steve Lillywhite uber-producer of the 80s who was rich and famous from his collaborations with U2.
And the b-sides, both penned by Kirsty, aren’t bad efforts either:-
mp3 : Kirsty MacColl – A New England (12″ version)
mp3 : Kirsty MacColl – Patrick
mp3 : Kirsty MacColl – I’m Going Out With An Eighty Year Old Millionaire