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Loudmouth

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Brilliant video. There must be a story behind this one. Where was it filmed?  Bob looks good in a hard hat.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=7BZ-UDz_L-0

-- Edited by Scottie at 23:43, 2007-11-01

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Loudmouth

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The answer is in salt mines a couple of miles outside London. I did not know there were any.

-- Edited by Scottie at 09:11, 2007-11-03

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Tonight

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Spot THE MICK Owen, and Big Ron (who was in Eastenders for many years) - RIP to both.


-- Edited by BTR at 05:46, 2007-11-03

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Loudmouth

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It is a good video, Bob says in Smash Hits in '84, it cost £10k to make and derides bands who at the time were spending much more than that. I have the Radio 1 breakfast show taped one weekday late May and Mike Read plays it straight after the 8am pips. He then says (mock Irish accent) Aye aye capt'n the boomtyne rats and drag me dyne, but still just at 50 so it is. They just can't seem to claw their way back, i dunno.....

It deserved higher than that and had plenty of outings such as on Cheggers/Razzmacrap etc with a topical video (miners-strike time) but i know at my school the Rats had become deeply uncool by '84 and i was laughed at for buying the single one lunchtime, whereas in '78 i had been seen as cool for buying Rat Trap.



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Loudmouth

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I always see Drag Me Down as a a sort of skewered love song with more than  a hint of insecurity and desperation. I fail to get the connection with coalmining. It kinda smacks of political opportunism, albeit I don't doubt the bands 'support' for the Miners. Personally it's my least favourite Rats video, but it is a great song.

So many interesting visual ideas might suggest themselves, but I doubt playing at being miners is the one that would strike me first.



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Loudmouth

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I know what you mean Noel re mining connection. However, of the 4 from ITLG, I think this is the best.



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Loudmouth

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After much hunting, I recently found the US version of this and it is really growing on me. I am unable to get the first line which is part of an additional couple of verses, the first of which goes something like:

Line 2: But you can bring up the beat when you turn up the heat, go go

Then someone would say it ' Hey man Drop dead' and he should know...you know?

But there's a part of my head that stays here in bed when I go

and so I was talking all night, I was thinking like this:

Your heart's in my mouth and my soul's in your wrist (reverts to UK wording)

The song is much 'rockier' than the UK counterpart and has an elongated guitar mid-piece which is brilliant and the De de de de's are oversung in mnay more areas with the words 'you're/it's dragging me down'. The second additional verse is not as well delivered as the first and seems a bit made up on the hoof to start with, but gets better and ends with the clever lines:

Where's that beat-up DJ, he's got the juice, I think I'll go home now my feet are no use

The song ends without the UK brassline which sounded out of place in my view, but with a much better drum-driven ending.

Rain and Lucky US versions are both poorer that the UK versions but I think on balance I prefer the US version of Drag me Down. Does anyone have the full lyrics to this and am alone in preferring this version?

 



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In the Long Grass

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US album inner sleeve doesn't have lyrics so might struggle to find them in print anywhere. Might have to be another 'It's All the Rage' combined effort. Then get Jules to contact Pete and Bob again smile.

Will have to listen more carefully now you've re-ignited the interest in those variations.



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Loudmouth

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Thanks for looking Suss. The first line is really hard, I can only make out '...................want to be kissed by.......'

It's so annoying when the lyrics aren't provided with the recording



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Loudmouth

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I have not heard the US version of Drag Me Down. I always presumed it was just the music that was mixed in a different way. Nobody told me there were significant different lyrics, not just a changed line or two. The lyrics that Mark has quoted sound quite interesting and the arrangement seems a bit more vital, not that the song was bad to begin with.

Re video's from In The Long Grass I used too be not to keen on the Tonight video, but having looked at it again it's pretty good. Maybe Bob should have got Barry Mcguigan, the genial Irish boxer who was  quite big in the mid eighties to appear as a boxer in the aforementioned video.



-- Edited by noelindublin on Monday 8th of October 2012 01:28:12 PM

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Loudmouth

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Sorry Noel, I don't know what's happened here but I followed this link about 3 or 4 months ago and it was working:

http://lostinthe80s.blogspot.co.uk/2007_06_01_archive.html

I think somewhere on this site there is another 'megaupload' link or something to all 3 songs. I don't have time right now, but I'll look later and update.

At least, there's an interesting article by following the above link and I do agree with the reviewer, the song is much better in US format. As ever, this will be a matter of opinion.



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In the Long Grass

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Sorry, completely stumped by that first verse first line..

Sounds like 'Your mother's ????, and you wanna be kissed by stone' - utterly nonsensical of course but really struggling to make any sense of it or what it might 'translate' to.

Will persevere.

All in all think I still prefer UK version, but do like the guitar break variation on this one.

Might need to give this, Rain and Lucky some more airtime. Initially heard nothing to make me playback time after time, and also wanted to keep the vinyl in good nick as my stylus is getting on a bit now (only really used about 10 hours a year now...time was when it was often 10 hours a day), but I've copied all 3 to CD so I can play that elusive DMD line repeatedly. To no avail so far!



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Loudmouth

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Best I can get is 'In matters like this, never wanna be kissed by a stone' but as you say it's nonsense. Unless, as Noel feels, the song is a rather skewered love song and that line relates to receiving affection from someone who's as cold as ice, 'the passion's been spent' etc etc but it's probably a misheard lyric and we'll have to hope the man himself reveals all one day. I have to admit I misheard 'I tell all the lies but do I have to pretend it's true' as 'I turn off the lights' for quite some time.

The extra second verse I'm interpreting as:

'Hey! Come here! I wanna talk tonight, what ya talking 'bout? Talk anything, but talk loud

I've been thinking again, my mind's (indistinguishable)

The brain is king when the body is beat

Where's that beat-up DJ, he's got the juice, I think I'll go home now my feet are no use'

You have to hear this Noel, if only to hear the campest 'ooh!' from Bob you'll ever have heard after one of the later 'De de de de's' that is straight from The Sweet from around 1974 I'd say and sounds very much like a reaction to the lead singer having a certain part of his anatomy pinched - Suss will know exactly what I'm referring to!

I think you'll love the guitar break which is way up there with some Surfacing guitar breaks.

 

 



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Loudmouth

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Maybe the 'kissed by a stone' relates to being kissed by a Rolling Stone?? Your mothers little helper?? Just continuing the 'stones' theme, but as I haven't heard the song I'm not really helping, just amusing myself.

I wonder if any other Rats songs have had lyrical reworkings apart form Dave/Rain and Drag Me Down. There's a clip of a guy on YouTube singing 'Tell me why/I don't Coldplay to the tune of Mondays. Saw that a few days back.



-- Edited by noelindublin on Tuesday 9th of October 2012 01:26:34 PM

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noelindublin wrote:


I wonder if any other Rats songs have had lyrical reworkings apart form Dave/Rain and Drag Me Down.


 

She's So Modern got a big reworking on the B-Side of the Drag Me Down special edition.   Also the Dudgeon version of Mondays has a small variation in the lyrics as does the original performance in San Diego.  Also there is a version of Talking in Code with another verse.

But going back to Drag Me Down, I really don't like the US mix.  When I heard it I thought it was unduly influenced by Huey Lewis and The News, and when I dug deeper, it was similarly mixed by Bob Clearmountain who did the mixing for Huey.  For a full appreciation of Huey, read American Psycho, but there is a snippet from teh screen play below.  Patrick Bateman also waxes lyrical on Genesis.  I fcuking hate both.

 

Patrick Bateman: Do you like Huey Lewis and The News?
Paul Allen: They're OK.
Patrick Bateman: Their early work was a little too new wave for my tastes, but when Sports came out in '83, I think they really came into their own, commercially and artistically. The whole album has a clear, crisp sound, and a new sheen of consummate professionalism that really gives the songs a big boost. He's been compared to Elvis Costello, but I think Huey has a far much more bitter, cynical sense of humor.
Paul Allen: Hey Halberstram.
Patrick Bateman: Yes, Allen?
Paul Allen: Why are their copies of the style section all over the place, d-do you have a dog? A little chow or something?
Patrick Bateman: No, Allen.
Paul Allen: Is that a rain coat?
Patrick Bateman: Yes it is! In '87, Huey released this, Fore, their most accomplished album. I think their undisputed masterpiece is "Hip to be Square", a song so catchy, most people probably don't listen to the lyrics. But they should, because it's not just about the pleasures of conformity, and the importance of trends, it's also a personal statement about the band itself.
[raises axe above head]
Patrick Bateman: Hey Paul!
[he bashes Allen in the head with the axe, and blood splatters over him]
Patrick Bateman: TRY GETTING A RESERVATION AT DORSIA NOW YOU FCUKING STUPID BA$TARD! YOU, FCUKING BA$TARD!



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Loudmouth

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Bob Clearmountain has worked with and mixed loads of major artists including The Cure and Bowie and Bruce Springsteen. I'm glad to say I haven't ever listened closely enough to any Huey Lewis record to be able to comment on the production or mixing, but I suppose most producers and mixers must have a trademark identity or sound.

I'm probably more intrigued by the change in lyrics than the different sound mix. Clearmountain did mix all of In The Long Grass and Geldof in an Irish radio interview with BP Fallon back in  1985 thanked him (Clearmoutain) for 'making a silk purse out of a sows ear'. To be fair to Geldof, in the same interview he was full of praise for Mutt Lange for the embellishments and ideas he contributed to A Tonic For The Troops. A band just doesn't turn up in the studio and then make a great album- a lot of the final product is the work of the producer or mixer- it's certain a co operative effort- look at George Martin and The Beatles or Todd Rundgen on XTC's Skylarking.

Andy Pardridge famously walked out on Blur during the making of Modern Life is Rubbish.



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noelindublin wrote:
To be fair to Geldof, in the same interview he was full of praise for Mutt Lange for the embellishments and ideas he contributed to A Tonic For The Troops.

Andy Pardridge famously walked out on Blur during the making of Modern Life is Rubbish.


In retrospect, Mutt Lange was the perfect producer for the Rats.  Kept them on the straight and narrow.  They'd never have made Mondo Bongo with him producing.  AC/DC and Def Leppard also have him to thank for their rise to promience.  Still he is far from perfect.  He did co-write Everything I Do with Bryan Adams...

I'd still love to hear the Wainman and Godley & Creme versions of songs off Surfacing and V Deep. 

It's a shame they didn't approach Chris Thomas to produce them after A Tonic for the Troops.  His sound would probably have suited the Rats more than Visconti.



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Loudmouth

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I suspect that when a band is starting out in the recording studio they know very little about the recording process. Even Bob Geldof would just have to shut up and listen to Mutt Lange. With a couple of number one hits behind them Geldof most likely thought he could call the shots and was less inclined to listen to others ideas. I'm just speculating rather than having insider knowledge.

It would be interesting to have more background on the bands work with Godley and Creme. Maybe this forum covered it before, most likely. I always wondered why Godley and Creme were credited on V Deep. Were there songs recorded with said gentlemen than remain in the archives, having never seen the light of day. Why and how did the sessions end in failure to proceed, choosing Visconti instead?

Maybe we should be glad that the Rats never descended to having a formula for hits. It would be easy enough to just churn out substandard sub Mondays stuff but for me most of V Deep and Mondo Bongo are well acceptable-their unpredictability is an asset, though many may dispute the quality compared to the first three offerings. Music is so often full of what if's- like football teams if only we had the right player ( producer) than things would have worked out so different. 

Geldof said that Mutt Lange was a terrible disciplinarian and that Geldof never enjoyed the recording. What might sound spontaneous is in fact the result of many overdubs and takes (first two albums) but they say you gotta work to be successful. I would like to have been a fly on the wall on some of the Rats recordings. Imagine asking Geldof to sing in tune.



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Loudmouth

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'But going back to Drag Me Down, I really don't like the US mix' - ArrGee

Funny how we all feel sometimes differently about things. I keep playing the US mix in the car at the moment, and feel it is far superior to the UK mix, which I now regard in comparison as rather twee and with an awkward brassline finale. The US mix has Fingers' keyboard work more to the fore and a much better drum-driven finale which would have sounded much better on the radio. When it was played (which wasn't much) on Radio 1 in '84, you always sensed the DJ did not know when to start speaking at the end. 

'Lucky' US mix is definitely not as good.



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noelindublin wrote:

I suspect that when a band is starting out in the recording studio they know very little about the recording process. Even Bob Geldof would just have to shut up and listen to Mutt Lange. With a couple of number one hits behind them Geldof most likely thought he could call the shots and was less inclined to listen to others ideas. I'm just speculating rather than having insider knowledge.

It would be interesting to have more background on the bands work with Godley and Creme. Maybe this forum covered it before, most likely. I always wondered why Godley and Creme were credited on V Deep. Were there songs recorded with said gentlemen than remain in the archives, having never seen the light of day. Why and how did the sessions end in failure to proceed, choosing Visconti instead?

...

Geldof said that Mutt Lange was a terrible disciplinarian and that Geldof never enjoyed the recording. What might sound spontaneous is in fact the result of many overdubs and takes (first two albums) but they say you gotta work to be successful. I would like to have been a fly on the wall on some of the Rats recordings. Imagine asking Geldof to sing in tune.


Much of this is briefly covered in Visconti's book.  

Your speculation regarding Mutt Lange is pretty correct.  Mutt Lange tended to control everything, from getting Pete Briquette to hit the strings harder on the bass to having an input on the guitar solos.    The Rats were poised to use a different producer for Surfacing with Wainman and Dudgeon definitely trying out, but returned to Mutt Lange as they needed to get an album out pretty quickly to capitalise on the interest generated by Mondays for teh Christmas 1979 market.

When they had Visconti produce Mondo Bongo, Visconti was quite damning of certain things.  The main thing was the lack of ideas!  With Mutt Lange, they were told what to do, so meeting a producer who expected the band to drive things was a shock to the system.   Whereas Mutt Lange worked with the guitarists, Visconti more or less dismissed them.  He didn't care for Geldof's tuneless singing, didn't like Finger's laziness and was frustrated by Pete Briquette's over dubbing.  Only one he had any respect for as a musician was Simon Crowe!

With Godley & Creme, the problem was their approach.  Previously, the band tended to dip in and out of songs, so if they got bored with one song or weren't quite sure what to do next, they just work on something else.  With Godley & Creme, the producers wanted to do one song at a time. Geldof got frustrated with this approach, so when he met Visconti and discussed how the album was going, he asked him if he would produce it for them.  V Deep was a mix of left overs from Mondo Bongo, some of the Godley & Creme sessions and then the Visconti production. 

Maybe Geldof didn't enjoy recording with Mutt Lange, but given that their best/most successful albums were produced by him, and as you wrote, they sound spontaneous unlike some of the laboured efforts with Visconti, where you sense the band were way outside their comfort zone.  It takes a lot of hard work to make things look easy!



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In the Long Grass

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ArrGee wrote:
Whereas Mutt Lange worked with the guitarists

 Did hear that my Rats epiphany piece, namely the guitar break in middle of She's So Modern, was actually of Mutt Lange's composing. Wonder how much more stemmed from him on first 3 albums? 



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Loudmouth

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Just replaced my worn out 1984 single vinyl of Drag Me Down. Threw it away a couple of years ago and this chap from Hertfordshire had a near mint UK version on Discogs for £1 so ordered it I did. Thing is, it's arrived but it plays as though the UK album version, with the first De De De De line etc repeated twice and 'I love you' and 'I need you' midway through.

The official video is a trimmed down version with one De De De De start line and just 'I need you' midway through. Pretty sure this is how my old vinyl single played, lasting about 3:44 and what I heard on the radio back in 1984 and what appeared on Cheggers etc. The longer version lasts around 4:10.

Was there a shorter version on vinyl or is my mind playing tricks on me?

This is one of a hell of a song and so good to hear the rich sound of it on vinyl. Watching TOTP 1984 at the moment and it is way better than most of what's on. 



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V Deep

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Mark there were 2 12inch versions as far as I know. One was black with woodlouse the other same pink sleeve as7inch but I don't know about diff 7inch. Regards mike

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Loudmouth

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noelindublin wrote:

Maybe the 'kissed by a stone' relates to being kissed by a Rolling Stone?? Your mothers little helper?? Just continuing the 'stones' theme, but as I haven't heard the song I'm not really helping, just amusing myself.

I wonder if any other Rats songs have had lyrical reworkings apart form Dave/Rain and Drag Me Down. There's a clip of a guy on YouTube singing 'Tell me why/I don't Coldplay to the tune of Mondays. Saw that a few days back.



-- Edited by noelindublin on Tuesday 9th of October 2012 01:26:34 PM


 Not sure if you ever caught the US version over the last 5 years Noel, but here it is finally surfacing on You Tube

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zIo4oaV6Y8U



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V Deep

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Just listened to this clip absolutely brill why it never charted is beyond me still better than a lot of 80s stuff by other groups

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Loudmouth

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Agree Mike. It went 81 > 56 > 50  and then down. Travesty. 



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V Deep

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Yeh mark good jump from81to 56 I should think quite a few sales (I know oasis shop in brim had a huge display of12inch o dmd at the time incidentally geldof love like a rocket went from85 to 63 in1987/8 so just shows vagaries of the market

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Dave

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Mark L wrote:
noelindublin wrote:

Maybe the 'kissed by a stone' relates to being kissed by a Rolling Stone?? Your mothers little helper?? Just continuing the 'stones' theme, but as I haven't heard the song I'm not really helping, just amusing myself.

I wonder if any other Rats songs have had lyrical reworkings apart form Dave/Rain and Drag Me Down. There's a clip of a guy on YouTube singing 'Tell me why/I don't Coldplay to the tune of Mondays. Saw that a few days back.



-- Edited by noelindublin on Tuesday 9th of October 2012 01:26:34 PM


 Not sure if you ever caught the US version over the last 5 years Noel, but here it is finally surfacing on You Tube

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zIo4oaV6Y8U


 Thanks to David for uploading the video. Yes I'm just catching up with this version of the song now. I'd say basically it sounds rawer, and overall more like a demo. The UK version for me is superior, more polished and 'definite', whereas the US (I say demo version ) feels like it's just being made up on the spot, and almost like a live take.

Having said that I'd say it's quite interesting and much more to my liking than the demo/early version of Mondays. Wonder can anyone make out the lyrics fully? Rats lyrics normally make sense but in this case the lyrics seem a bit random and badly though out. I just get the  feeling that this is a very  early take on the song and James Guthrie or Bob Clearmountain decided it could do with some tidying up. The US/demo version would never have made a single imho.



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Loudmouth

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The horns from the UK version have been eliminated and this mix is rockier, with more guitar intervention. I really like it. This You Tube version may not do it justice. I have the US album on vinyl and the track does not speed up and slow down like this and does not sound as tinny. But the US lyrics continue to evade me here and there!



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Dave

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I need to listen to the US version a bit more to come to a more definite opinion. Also I'll have a go at transcribing the lyrics. I still get the feeling that  this comes across as a live take/semi live take of what was to become Drag Me Down and the lyric content gives this  version  a pretty different feel and 'outlook'. But I will have a go at  analysing the lyrics and see how the two versions match up and differ . We should really start a thread on the US version of this song.

Maybe the reason I prefer the UK version is that it's the one I've always known, and I can remember (just about) hearing it on the Oxford Road Show back in the day and been mightily impressed. Still am to this day.smile



-- Edited by Noel on Monday 9th of April 2018 07:44:50 AM

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Loudmouth

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I recall this song and Tonight being performed on the ORS, presented by Peter Powell who liked the Rats a lot, but never really got Bobs humour. I have the clip on VHS somewhere and quite a few quips went right over Powells head. 



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Mark L wrote:

I recall this song and Tonight being performed on the ORS, presented by Peter Powell who liked the Rats a lot, but never really got Bobs humour. I have the clip on VHS somewhere and quite a few quips went right over Powells head. 


Talking of catching up I haven't heard the full Gung Ho album. I know it has been uploaded onto YouTube recently (by David S, a big Rats fan in the US). I did of course hear and buy the Play to Win single back in the  day and that is pretty good. Maybe  with Bob on vocals and released as a Rats song it might have been a hit- it's certainly  good enough. It's a pity that Johnnie and Simon sort of wanted to do a side project and that their best song could not have been a  Rats song and shared with the band. But I get the  feeling that no matter what the Rats did their number was up. The unfortunate thing is that the records continued to be pretty good (yes that included Mondo Bondo and V Deep) and the band was always true to themselves and never really sold out or  dumbed themselves down in order to have hits or to appeal to a wider audience. If anything they were a little too clever for mass appeal and never really became a stadium act.



-- Edited by Noel on Monday 9th of April 2018 02:37:45 PM

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Loudmouth

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https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=plLaUFXiQdE

Drag me Down from the Oxford Roadshow 1984. Note the live singing (inflection changed on some lines) to a pre-recorded backing track. 



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