Goodness me but I'm enjoying The Big Stiff Box Set. And, with almost a hundred tracks spread across four CDs, featuring the cream of the Stiff Records crop (Madness, The Pogues, Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, Kirsty MacColl, Ian Dury, The Belle Stars, Jona Lewie, Tracey Ullman, The Go-Go's etc etc), what's not to love? Just have a butcher's at the track listing here for confirmation of its sheer magnificence.
It's full of great surprises too. Like the song I'm going to put up today: England's Glory by famous former music hall comedian (and inspiration for Monty Python's Ministry of Silly Walks sketch) Max Wall.
There can't be many artists who release their first single when they're nudging seventy, but then I suppose Max was never going to be your typical pop star - although, such an eventuality unfortunately failed to pan out: the box set's accompanying booklet informs us that, written by Ian Dury, England's Glory was Stiff's first real, umm, stiff. A great shame, really, as it's a cracking 'list' song that really would have lit up the charts. It would've been great to see the old boy performing it on Top of the Pops, too!
I can't get enough of this song at the moment anyway; it's fast becoming one of my favourite Stiff songs. Have a listen, and see what you think.
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