13 June 2008

Second Hand Record Dip Part 9 - Four Bucketeers - Bucket of Water Song

Who: Four Bucketeers
What: Bucket of Water Song
Where: Music and Video Exchange, Camden High Street
Label: CBS
Year of Release: 1980
Cost: 50p

Right, let's not waste too much time analysing this Tiswas tie-in single... and perhaps let's not be too harsh about it, either, since in fairness this does sound exactly like you'd expect a song featuring Chris Tarrant and Bob Carolgees (minus Spit the Dog) to sound, which is essentially a lot of over-enthusiastic and not very tuneful hollering. Why, if they'd stuck this out as unknowns on a bedroom record label not even Sounds would have given it an encouraging review back then, which as anyone who has heard Felt's "Index" will know is a feat in itself.

This is the kind of cheap and cheerful novelty spin-off single the British charts used to have space for, and by God is it cheap too - listen to those keyboards which smack of Casio pre-sets. Hear Sally James' sexpot voice gasp its enthusiasm in its marvellous one-take glory. And don't go thinking that they buried the experimental track on the B-side either, since "Smello (The Incredible Stinking Man)" doesn't see Carolgees attempt to persuade the others to allow a world music influence to creep in, unfortunately.

If I am to review this single fairly, I think I need to reflect on my own childhood and try to remember what I thought of it at the time, and sadly I think I hated it because it didn't feature a Spit the Dog gobbing solo at any point, which even now strikes me as a completely missed opportunity. This record got to number 26 in the British Charts at the time. If they'd included Spit hockling and frothing, I reckon it would have been an easy top ten hit. Didn't one of the CBS A&R reps stop to think?

The download (should you need it) can be found here:

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