Sunday, January 26, 2014

Roxy Music: Jealous Guy

On 7 March 1981 Vienna by Ultravox peaked at number 2 in the UK singles chart, kept from the top sport by Joe Dolce's Shaddup You Face.

It is customary to mourn this as the greatest injustice in the history of British pop, but I am not so sure. Vienna verged on the pretentious and I belong to a generation who could never take Midge Ure seriously because be began in Slik - the poor girl's Bay City Rollers.

This is the record that was at number 3 that week: Roxy Music's Jealous Guy was the best tribute to John Lennon, who had been shot in December 1980. Maybe better than Lennon's own songs that did well as a result.

I was in Derwent College bar at the University of York with some fellow Liberal students the night we heard of his death. Everyone who came into the bar thought it was a really good idea to put on Imagine as the first of the three records you got for 10p - or whatever a jukebox cost in those days.

The result was that, all evening, every third record that came on was Imagine. Before very long we were booing it every time it came on.

Justice was done and Jealous Guy made number 1 on 14 March - the version above is a slightly inflated live performance.

I would like to hear what Joe Dolce could do with Vienna though.

1 comment:

Simon Titley said...

The greatest injustice in the history of British pop? That occured in 1967, when 'Please Release Me' by Englebert Humperdink prevented the Beatles' 'Penny Lane'/'Strawberry Fields' from reaching no.1.

A double injustice, since not only was this the best ever Beatles single but also, had it reached no.1, the Beatles would have enjoyed an uninterrupted run of no.1s from 1963 to 1970.