Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Big Audio Dynamite - No. 10 Upping Street (1986)

One is talking numbers, the other's talking length....

  

Released October 1986

Recorded at Trident Studios, London

Running time 59.18

After a successful debut album, ex-Clash guitarist Mick Jones returned with an even better album with his new band. Once again, it is an interesting mix of musical influences and is full of what were vast becoming their trademark - plenty of movie and musical sampling. It is one of my favourite eighties albums, a positive oasis in a comparatively arid time for music.

TRACK LISTING

1. C'mon Every Beatbox
2. Beyond The Pale
3. Limbo The Law
4. Sambadrome
5. V. Thirteen
6. Ticket
7. Hollywood Boulevard
8. Dial A Hitman
9. Sightsee MC                              

On this album, Mick Jones re-united with his old Clash mate Joe Strummer. From the upbeat, hip-hop influenced opener C'mon Every Beatbox, through the nostalgic, sensitive Beyond The Pale (about Jones' grandparents and their emigration to the UK from Russia) to the fast paced, dance-style Limbo The Law and the Brazilian strains of Sambadrome, complete with authentic football commentary, the old "side one" is impressive. 

The next batch of songs are just as good - the melodic V Thirteen, the slightly clumsy but humorous Ticket and the laid back grooves of Hollywood Boulevard, with its references to Errol Flynn and Oliver Reed, and Dial A Hitman both of which are highly amusing in places, lyrically, and the closer, the urgent, punchy Sightsee M.C. . Good stuff all round. It sounds a tiny bit dated now, but not enough to seriously detract from its merits.

B