06 August 2013

"You can actually hear the woman wuthering"

I first noticed Alan Partridge's music taste when I realised, with quite a start, that at least some of it coincided with my own. You didn't hear much about what music he liked during Knowing Me, Knowing You, but I assumed it was dreadful: we were clearly both Abba fans, but he'd named his son Fernando, thus suggesting his taste in their songs was lousy. And then, at the end of the first episode of I'm Alan Partridge, he chose to lift his spirits following a disastrous meeting with the BBC by playing Jet by Wings in his Linton Travel Tavern hotel room, which didn't seem to me to be symbolic of terrible taste at all: you didn't have to agree with Alan Partridge's assessment that Wings were "the band the Beatles could have been" to think that Jet is a fantastic record, certainly not the most shaming thing in Paul McCartney's post-Beatles oeuvre.

In the next episode, he took it upon himself to blast out Steeleye Span's Gaudete in his car. If I probably wouldn't sing the lyrics in the face of a lady I was keen to sleep with, as Partridge did, it was still a record I'd had a sneaking regard for ever since I heard it sampled, a little improbably, on the Ashbrooke All Stars' appealingly ridiculous Balearic track Dubbin' Up the Pieces. Things like that kept happening throughout I'm Alan Partridge: for every moment of mortification – his attempt to sing along to Blue Mink's Melting Pot – he'd play something genuinely great ("Kommen sie bitte, und listen to Kraftwerk"). I found myself less horrified by his music taste than intrigued, not least by the suggestion in one episode that he might have once been a Numanoid: he certainly seemed to know the bass part from Music for Chameleons by heart.

- Alex Petridis, Guardian, 5 August 2013

Some highlights:

Hot Chocolate - It Started With a Kiss
Alan Partridge: "It’s a song that reminds me of a date when you’re over 50. It starts with a kiss but usually ends with a hot chocolate."

Kate Bush – Wuthering Heights
Alan Partridge: "Kate feels every word she sings, never more than in this song. There are times towards the end when you can actually hear the woman wuthering."

Kraftwerk - The Model
Alan Partridge: "A classic piece of ‘techno’, in the days before techno featured rappers shouting about how much their watch cost. Once danced to this until my knees gave way."
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