4 September 2008

Harry Corbett - Like The Big Guys Do

Harry Corbett - Like the Big Guys Do

Label: Pye
Year of Release: 1963

I am utterly bewildered by the sheer volume of flop comedy series spin-off singles out there - they are a testament to how often the sixties and seventies music industry thought it was being marketing lead, when in actual fact it was just being downright foolish and issuing unlistenable crap. I could (and perhaps should) compile an entire compilation of them for your pleasure, but trust me, most are awful. The prospect of a waxing by Leonard Rossiter might seem tempting, but in reality most of Leonard Cohen's output is more amusing. There's normally one wry joke per Cohen disc, which is at least one more than Rossiter managed during the woeful "Rising Damp" single.

Once every so often one crops up which is so absurd I feel I have to upload it, however, and this is up there with Bernard Manning's "Everybody's Fool" for lyrical content. "Like The Big Guys Do" is a pained, agonised romp through the dark backwaters of Harold Steptoe's soul, and he goes much further than you'd really like.

"Down on the corner, under the light," he sings, "that's where you'll find me every night/ watching the pretty girls pass my way..." Well, we can be thankful he didn't hide in the shadows waiting for them, I suppose.

"Why do they always pass me by?/ Why won't they stop when I give them the eye?" he continues, at which point you're tempted to interject and ask if he's ever noticed they might be walking that little bit faster.

"I wanna LOVE someone like the big guys do!" he seethes, "I wanna tell them lies, I wanna treat them baaaad!" he squawks. Never has adolescent male bitterness and insecurity ever been expressed so eloquently on vinyl. Now, I wonder why he never had any luck with the ladies...


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