Claps, Clicks and Whistles #22

Apologies for the lack of posts recently. There’s a couple of reasons, which you can read if you want, or skip onto the next paragraph if you don’t.

No, not this paragraph, the next one.

Ok, the one after next then, pedant.

Firstly, I always seem to get a case of the January blues, when I either can’t think of anything to write about, or just can’t be arsed to write something even when I can. It’s at this point that I’m always in awe of my blogging peers who manage to post something every day; I imagine you know who they are, but if not have a quick rummage around my sidebar (oo-er, Missus!) and you’ll spot them pretty quickly, and also, doubtless, be introduced to some tunes you never heard before but will, in all probability, adore. Secondly, (he says, being very careful not to start a new paragraph), winter TV has some incredible treats, and much of my time of a weekend (when I normally write) has been spent trying to catch up on some recorded stuff, some other stuff on Netflix, and generally wishing there was enough time in the day for me to watch everything my heart desires. I imagine you’ve watched most of them – Dracula; The Trial of Christine Keeler (both of which I’m in the middle of catching up on, so no spoilers please!) – plus I’ve inexplicably got rather engrossed in The Crown, which is something I never thought would happen. A nod though, to Deadwater Fell which started on Channel 4 last night and which I think I’m going to be moderately obsessed with for a while, so brilliant was it.

And – sod it, skip to the next paragraph – thirdly, I’ve been working on The Chain. Or more specifically, I had decided that on it’s return I would make the points I awarded actually mean something, so I have been going through all of the old posts and totting up who scored what, when and for what. It’s a slow process, hindered by the fact that I have to read every post to see where points were awarded and to whom, and I must say it has refreshed my memory and raised more than a few smiles, you funny clever bastards, you. I mention this just so you know it is coming soon, I haven’t given up on it yet, and if you want to make a suggestion for a song that links to Pulp’s Sorted For E’s & Whizz, you still can, by emailing me at with the name of the song you want to suggest and a brief description of the link between the two songs.

Which brings me to this morning’s tunes.

As I’ve been scouring through all the old Chain posts, I couldn’t help but notice the tagline on this here blog. There it is, up in the left hand corner:

“A confessional trawl through my record buying history…where there’s no such thing as a Guilty Pleasure”

When I first started writing this blog back in – *checks notes* Jesus wept! – 2013, the plan was that I would write about every record I had ever bought, irrespective of how the Gods and Goddesses of Cool viewed those records, in the order that I bought them.

That last part has definitely fallen by the way side in the intervening years (although it does crop up every now and again, usually prompted by watching an old episode of Top of the Pops on BBC4), but it occured to me that I hadn’t posted anything for a while which most people consider to be a terrible record, but which I absolutely love.

For that is the definition of a Guilty Pleasure – a record which people look down on but which you (by which I mean me) has a lot of affection for. It’s not a philosophy I subscribe to, of course; there is no right or wrong when it comes to music because it’s subjective. I mean, even Coldplay have a couple of good songs in their back catalogue (there I’ve said it!).

Just because everyone else thinks a record stinks to high heaven is no reason for you to think the same, nor should you like a record or a group just because everyone else does.

On this last point, I am always reminded of my old mate Colin. I’ve written about him before in this context, but Colin hates The Beatles; not because he thinks they’re awful or that they didn’t make some of the most important pop records of the 20th century, but because he resents everyone else telling him that he should like them. He’s such a renegade, living as he does on the boundaries of society that is St Albans that he doesn’t like being told what he should or should not like. It’s a position I absolutely admire.

And so it seems only right that I should return with a record that most people think is,well, naff at best and just plain shit at worst. But a record which I love nonetheless, not least because it’s catchy as hell, but also because it’s a history lesson tied up in a four and half minute pop song. It’s both entertaining and educating, as The Lord Reith would have insisted.

Also, it supports my theory that any record which contains hand claps, finger clicks or…erm…mouth whistles is a happy record, sometimes irrespective of the lyrical content, as is the case with today’s tune, which is about (spoiler alert!) a mad shag-a-holic Russian monk, his rise to a position of influence and power, and his rather unpleasant, and unusual, murder:

Boney M – Rasputin

And if that isn’t great enough to convince you, then check out Boney M super-dude Bobby’s dancing in this:

It’s hardly surprising he has to have a good sit down half way through, is it?

And just in case that’s not Guilty Pleasure enough for you, here’s a song which samples (a different song by) Boney M, which everyone I know treated like it was something unpleasant that they’d trodden in, but which I think is just brilliant:

Duck Sauce – Barbra Streisand

No, you’re right. I really don’t care what you think. That’s the point.

More soon.