B&S ON SUNDAYS (5)

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From wiki:-

“Legal Man” is a single released by Belle & Sebastian on Jeepster Records in 2000. The title track also features Jonny Quinn (on congas), Rozanne Suarez (on vocals) and The Maisonettes (on vocals). The cover features band members Stevie Jackson and Isobel Campbell along with Adrienne Payne and Rozanne Suarez. All three tracks from the single were later collected on the Push Barman to Open Old Wounds compilation. The track became their highest charting single up to that point, reaching #15 in the UK singles chart. They also made their debut on Top of the Pops to perform this song.

The two B-side tracks are notable for their historical significance; “Judy Is a Dick Slap” is the first instrumental released by the band, while “Winter Wooskie” is the third and final lead vocal from former bass player Stuart David, who left the band in 2000. Initially a demo, the track was completed by the other members after David’s departure as a farewell gesture.

The review from all music:-

I must admit that I have no idea what a “Legal Man” is-a pimp, a policeman, a meter maid? I’m clueless. This knowledge, however, is not necessary to enjoying this single. “Legal Man” find Belle and Sebastian picking up on the 60’s pop sound of “Lazy Line Painter Jane” complete with backing female vocalists The Maisonettes and, strangely, a sitar. An odd combination, but it works. The second track “Judy is a Dick Slap,” is perhaps the funniest B&S song ever. Mainly because of it’s rather, er, attention getting title, but subsequent lack of vocals. This, the first instrumental song by the band, is also an excellent joke. The final song, “Winter Wooskie” is a slower more tear-jerking ballad, but humorous as well-the object of the singers’ affection nearly sleeping though his ode. This record shows the band going forward, albeit in many different directions at once. Clearly there is some “growing” going on here, but it all seems a welcome step for the band.

mp3 : Belle and Sebastian – Legal Man
mp3 : Belle and Sebastian – Judy Is A Dick Slap
mp3 : Belle and Sebastian – Winter Wooskie

Legal Man was released in May 2000, some 18 months after This Is Just A Modern Rock Song. In the interim, Belle and Sebastian had picked up best new act at the 1999 Brit Awards, a result that had left many establishment figures in the music industry speechless.  What had happened was the vote for this award was open fully to the public with the winners fully anticipated to be Steps who had enjoyed a run of hit singles and massive media exposure; however, it was the first real used of internet voting and the B&S fanbase, many of them using their personal and student e-mail addresses, voted en masse and got the award.  The reaction of the tabloid press in the UK was hilarious – how dare a band who nobody had ever heard of it take such a prestigious award?

The new single was a dramatic shift in sound for the band.  It was aimed full-on at radio stations and it did get daytime play.  For many people, it was the first time they had bought a B&S record/CD.  I’m sure many of them would the following month go out and buy the new LP Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like A Peasant and been bamboozled by the fact that none of the songs sounded anything like Legal Man!

 

3 thoughts on “B&S ON SUNDAYS (5)

  1. This was the time songwriting seemed to get more democratic in the band. Fold your hands ….. is my least fav lp. The SM songs are by far the best. I think they after this lp they got back on the upward trajectory

  2. I have to wonder with “Legal Man” just who the The Maisonettes that were supplying vocals actually were. The band that had a hit with “Heartache Avenue” consisted of Lol Mason out front with the female vocals done by session singers…the lasses who appeared in the clips and on Top Of The Pops were a couple of models miming. So who supplied the vocals for Belle and Sebastian…?

  3. As far as I can make out, none of the backing vocalists on ‘Legal Man’ had anything whatsoever to do with one-hit wonder Maisonettes; worth recalling too that ‘Heartache Avenue’ had been a hit some 17 years before this single and the band had long broken up.

    It could be an elaborate in-joke on the part of B&S given that, as you say, the faces of the Maisonettes backing singles did not belong to those who actually supplied the vocals. Were the Maisonettes, B&S style, simply Isobel and Sarah?

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