Year of Release: 1971
The Outer Limits are no strangers to this blog, having been covered around this time last year on a segment about popsike Christmas records. Having Jeff Christie (of "Yellow River" fame) on lead vocals and having issued one killer 45 on Deram in 1967 ("Just One More Chance") they never really seemed to realise their full potential commercially.
By 1971 Christie had already gone off to sing about peculiar coloured rivers on hits of his own, so it's not clear if this single contains the remaining line-up of The Outer Limits carrying on regardless, is a studio out-take from before Christie's departure, or another band entirely - but whatever the facts, it's the B-side we're most interested in. The A-side is a piece of early seventies pop so shiny and plasticky you can almost see your face in it, and while it has a lot of bounce, it also has all the drive, emotion and conviction of a breakfast cereal advert. It's safe to say that it did not inform the direction of Pink Floyd's seminal album of the same name.
On the other hand, The B-side "Black Boots" is one of those moody instro-groovers you more commonly tend to find on sixties flipsides, but more interestingly still the bass-line hook is nearly note-for-note identical to The Stranglers "Nice 'n' Sleazy". I doubt Guildford's most terrifying band deliberately stole it, but it is another example (alongside Leatherhead's "Gimme Your Money Please") of how many traces of the men in black could be found in pre-punk recordings. Maybe Bob Stanley was right when he wrote in his excellent book "Yeah Yeah Yeah - The Story of Modern Pop" that the main thing linking the band to the punk movement is that they seemed like a nasty bunch of bastards.