“White Collar Boy” (as shown on the album or “The White Collar Boy” as labeled on the single) is a song by Belle & Sebastian from their album The Life Pursuit. It was the third single from the album. The track was released on 26 June 2006 on Rough Trade Records, and was produced by Tony Hoffer. Upon release it failed to make the top 40, only charting at #45. It is the band’s first single not to make the Top 40 since “Lazy Line Painter Jane”. The model on the cover is Catherine Ireton, who later became the lead vocalist for Stuart Murdoch’s God Help the Girl project.
It’s not that great an effort and I suppose most fans were a bit hacked off that the band now seemed to be like so many others, content with lifting a number of singles from an album rather than making each release seem precious or of value.
As with The Blues Are Still Blue, I didn’t buy this single at the time which came out, like the other two lifted from The Life Pursuit, on CD, 7″ vinyl and DVD.
mp3 : Belle and Sebastian – The White Collar Boy
However, many years later I found a copy of the 7″ in a charity shop and picked it up. I remember being gobsmacked at the choice of b-side, hoping somehow it wasn’t the Rod Stewart cover I dreaded it being. But it was….
mp3 : Belle and Sebastian – Baby Jane
The original was awful and this was a million times worse. I recall saying as much on the old blog and giving it a real kicking. It provoked one of the most vitriolic comments I’ve ever been on the receiving end of, with the contributor accusing me of all sorts in terms of my taste in music and that I had no right nor was I qualified to pass judgement on the band. Maybe it was a coincidence but that particular past was very soon afterwards the subject of a dmca notice – as indeed were a number of other more glowing posts that I’d given the band and within a few weeks the accumulation of such notices in such a short period of time led to google taking the decision to abruptly close down The Vinyl Villain without giving me the chance to salvage anything.
If I didn’t have any time at all for the cover version back then on, you can imagine my feelings now after all that!
I’ve tracked down the two tracks that were on the CD single. Please excuse me if I simply post them without giving them a listen.
mp3 : Belle and Sebastian – Long Black Scarf
mp3 : Belle and Sebastian – Heaven In The Afternoon
See those posters who despaired of me persisting with the series of James and Cinerama singles??? They may have had a point. But I’ll keep going as we’re almost at the end.