7 August 2010

One Hit Wonders #11 - Steve Wright - I'm Alright

Young Steve and the Afternoon Boys - I'm Alright


Label: RCA
Year of Release: 1982

Steve Wright has already been covered once on this blog.  It's fair to say he issued a rather ambitious array of singles, all designed for mass appeal, all falling way short of the mark.  In reality, only this one - his debut - entered the "Top of the Pops" regions of the charts, and even then at a rather anaemic number 40.  One rung lower and we wouldn't even be bothering to call him a one hit wonder.

How "I'm Alright" succeeded where "Mr Angry" and "Get Some Therapy" failed is fairly easy to see - there's a jaunty tune going on here which more or less apes Chas and Dave's "Sideboard Song".  Cocker-nee knees up styled ditties were modest sales news for a brief period of the early eighties, and for once Wrighty found himself on the right side of present trends - although the less we talk about his non-fashionable style on the sleeve of this record the better.  Is it me, or is sporting something dangerously close to an Alan Partridge tie and badge blazer combination set?

Any readers of a certain age or nationality who don't understand the whole "I'm Alright, You Alright" reference probably didn't hear the catchphrase blaring out of their radios.  Put simply, a jingle featuring various geezerish sounding men asking "I'm alright, you alright?"/ "Yeah, I'm alright, you alright?" used to be be played with alarming frequency, looping on and on for seemingly as long as Steve got bored with it - and Wrighty had a very high boredom threshold indeed.  The catchphrase apparently originated when he overheard two punks saying it to each other whilst sat on a public bench somewhere in London, so essentially the entire thing is the creation of two mohawked men pissed up on Special Brew, and not his own sober work.  If they'd known the mass appeal their blurtings had, chances are they'd have topped themselves.  

The B-side focusses on the topic of a social worker called Damien, and for all I know it may have been cutting-edge satire in 1982 (somehow I doubt it, however).  The observations about a politically correct, new age gimp who talks about 'solar powered Christmas tree lights' are way beneath the abilities of even Richard Littlejohn these days, and one has to wonder why Steve didn't surround himself with fewer sycophants, and some more people willing to shove a sock in his gob on occasion.  But at the risk of sounding too much like Mr Angry, I will close this blog entry on that thought...


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