Sunday, May 26, 2024

The Wonder Stuff: The Size of a Cow

Let's start with the trivia. Miles Hunt, the guitarist and songwriter in The Wonder Stuff is the nephew of Bill Hunt, a horn player who followed Roy Wood through The Move, ELO and Wizzard.

And The Wonder Stuff shared those bands's West Midland heritage, coming out of Stourport at the same time as Pop Will Eat Itself. Members of both bands had already played together in once called From Eden.

The Wonder Stuff album everyone bought was Construction for the Modern Idiot, the last the band released before splitting in 1993 - they were to reform a few years later. But their best-loved single was this, and it comes from the earlier Never Loved Elvis.

Wikipedia quotes praise for The Size of a Cow:

Record Mirror made "The Size of a Cow" its single of the week upon release, with Peter Stanton's review describing the song as "a rampant jingly-jangly-organ affair that trips at a happier than happy pace".

Reviewing Never Loved Elvis in Vox, Keith Cameron described the song and "Caught In My Shadow" as "paragons of pop virtue", noting "huge melodic sweeps, artfully clever lyrics and nagging hummability".

Music & Media linked the song to contemporaneous singles by the Milltown Brothers, R.E.M. and Susanna Hoffs in what they heralded "the return of the classic pop tune".

Writing in 2017, Jon Bryan of Backseat Mafia described "The Size of a Cow" as "the equal, if not better, than almost any other guitar-pop song of the 90s".

Talk of "the return on the classic pop tune" puts you in mind of Britpop, and The Size of a Cow feels like an earthier, beerier essay in that genre. Most important of all, it still sounds good.

1 comment:

nigel hunter said...

Cheerful ,friendly ,up beat. Let's have a pop concert in a cow field (mind the cow clap!).