22 March 2012

Reupload - Lenny Henry - Mole In The Hole/ The (Algernon Wants You To Say) Okay Song


Label: Jet
Year of Release: 1981


It's a sad and sorry tale of "citation needed", I'm afraid, since I can't trace the original interview, but I would happily swear on my dead dog's grave that Lenny Henry has said before now that he would quite like to distance himself from this record. The only thing which gives me any pangs of doubt is the fact that if you want to distance yourself from what you consider to be an embarrassing novelty single, it's a little daft to draw attention to it in the first place, since nobody bought the damn thing. Hell, does The Fast Show's Mark Williams ever talk about his "I Wanna Be Together" flop novelty rave record? Of course he doesn't.

The A Side "Mole in the Hole" is neither here nor there, being a confusion of David Bellamy impersonations, rasta-mimicking "OK-AYYY"s, and fairground melodies - the connection between them all seems none too clear to me. It sounds like somebody decided to throw loads of different musical and comedy elements to the wall to see if any would stick. It's not anything to be particularly ashamed of, but if I were Lenny Henry I probably wouldn't bother to highlight it on my CV either.

The B Side "The (Algernon Wants You To Say) Okay Song" is more interesting, however, in that it's actually a reasonably good reggae-tinged pop song. There's nothing particularly comedic about it unless you count his Tiswas-inspired references to condensed milk sandwiches (and Lee "Scratch" Perry has certainly been more absurd than that without having any of his output labelled as "comedic"). In terms of career peaks and troughs, it beats a lot of Lenworth's supposedly alternative rivals and their attempts to break into the music scene, as a listen to this followed by Alexei Sayle's "Ullo John Gotta New Motor" will prove.

Lenny Henry released a single as Theophilus P Wildebeest as well, although I have precious little memory of it apart from the fact that his voice was surprisingly powerful on the recording. It's bound to turn up in a junkbucket somewhere near me soon, and if it does, I may very well upload that as well.

(Update: This blog entry was originally uploaded in February 2009. I still haven't found a Theophilus P Wildebeest single, and nor have I found reference to the above interview in question. A reader did pop by to comment on the fact that John Peel played the B-side to this record and commented positively on it, however, so I clearly wasn't alone in my assessment of the disc.)

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Unless I'm very much mistaken, the Theophilus P Wildebeest single in question is actually 'Big Love', which was the b-side of Lenny's 1984 Delbert Wilkins single 'Crucial Times'. Hope this helps.

Oh, and thanks for a great upload!

Anonymous said...

Lenny Henry appeared as Theophilus P Wildebeeste alongside Dee Dee Wilde on the single 'Don't Even Think About It':

http://www.flickr.com/photos/93794413@N00/6210520618/

23 Daves said...

Them's the records! Thanks for the pointers, chaps.

Of course, the real holy grail for me right now is the aforementioned Mark Williams "Wanna Be Together" record which I'm beginning to think I dreamt. I saw it about ten years ago in a second hand record store whilst I was on holiday in Bath (I think?) and had every intention of returning to buy it at a more convenient moment, but of course that convenient moment never came. Have I seen another copy since? Have I hell. I've since begun to doubt its very existence.