Ian Dury

New Boots and Panties!!

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    9
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Ian Dury's primary appeal lies in his lyrics, which are remarkably clever sketches of British life delivered with a wry wit. Since Dury's accent is thick and his language dense with local slang, much of these pleasures aren't discernible to casual listeners, leaving the music to stand on its own merits. On his debut album, New Boots and Panties!!, Dury's music is at its best, and even that is a bizarrely uneven fusion of pub rock, punk rock, and disco. Still, Dury's off-kilter charm and irrepressible energy make the album gel, with the disco pulse of "Wake Up and Make Love With Me" making perfect sense next to the gentle tribute "Sweet Gene Vincent," the roaring punk of "Blockheads," and the revamped music hall of "Billericay Dickie" and "My Old Man." [Repertoire's 1996 CD reissue adds five essential singles -- "Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll," "Razzle in My Pocket," "You're More Than Fair," "England's Glory," "What a Waste" -- that nearly make the disc a Dury best-of.]

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