11 December 2013

She took off 'er 'at and she 'ad lovely 'air

I'm always a sucker for obscure one-hit wonders and a bit of 80s pop synth, so when they're combined in the form of ex-Rolling Stone Bill Wyman's 1981 hit Je Suis Un Rock Star, it's a sure-fire win. You might quibble about whether Wyman qualifies as a one-hit wonder, with several top 40 solo singles to his name. But the wonderfully literal video, in which Wyman slouches around with the minimum possible effort, points at things currently being sung about in the lyrics, and fails to look particularly interested in proceedings, is enjoyable if only as a glimpse into the pampered lifestyle of a middle-aged former rock star. Plus, and this is the most important thing, the song may be trivial, but it's also effortlessly catchy, from its South London dropped aitches to its bouncy refrain and almost-can't-be-bothered singalong chorus.  The single reached number 14 in the UK pop charts in July 1981, but naturally did even better in New Zealand, reaching a highest chart position of number 6 in November of the same year, spending 12 weeks in the charts.

At the risk of being even more trivial, about the only thing many people know about Wyman is that in 1989 when he was aged 47 he notoriously married 18-year-old Mandy Smith. (In the wake of the Yewtree investigations in Britain, this is particularly tricky territory. Wyman put his side of the story to the Telegraph in March). I mainly mention this so I can quote his Wikipedia page, which has the immortal line: 'In 1993, while Wyman was still married to Smith, Stephen, his son from his first marriage, became engaged to Smith's mother'. Christmas must've been a bit awkward that year.

See also:
Music: Nik Kershaw - Wouldn't It Be Good, 26 October 2013
Music: Elvis Costello - Tramp the Dirt Down, 14 April 2013
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