If, like me, you still enjoy wallowing in the nostalgia that is the reruns of old episodes of Top of the Pops on BBC4 of a Friday night, doubtless your heart will have sunk when it got to 1990 a month or so ago.
1990 was, in my opinion, a rather fine year for great records. But what did the Great British record-buying public clutch to their bosom? A cover version of an old Brian Hyland record, performed by children’s TV presenter and all-round irritant Timmy Mallett, released under the name of Bombalurina, a character from the musical Cats, written by Andrew Lloyd-Webber, who also just happened to be the *checks notes* mastermind behind the single’s release.
The result, Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, inexplicably spent 3 weeks at #1 in the UK charts, despite it being so indescribably awful it was enough to make you want to slice your own ears off rather than ever hear it again. Rumour has it that it was the inspiration behind a particularly notorious scene from Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece Reservoir Dogs. (Are you sure about this? – Ed)
But don’t worry, I’m not going to make you listen to that – I mean, there’s only so far that I can stretch out the No Such Thing as a Guilty Pleasure theme of the blog.
Instead, a different version of the same song, which I picked up on 7″ single in the second-hand section in the basement of the now sadly defunct and much missed branch (since I moved back) of Andy’s Records in Peterborough back in the late 1980s.
Released under the not-terribly-different-from-their-real-name Die Roten Rosen (as opposed to Die Toten Hosen), it has the same track on both sides, one (the B-side) sung in English, the other (you guessed it: the A-side) in German.
You can guess which one I’m going to post, right?
Die Roten Rosen – Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Honolulu Strand Bikini
Put that in yer pipe and smoke it, Mallett.