To the average rock fan, Tenpole Tudor isn't remembered at all. To punk fans, they may be remembered as the group fronted by Eddie Tudorpole who stole the show singing "Who Killed Bambi?" in The Great Rock N Roll Swindle. For a select few -- primarily Stiff Records collectors and punk/New Wave fetishists -- the group was a strange, wonderful, supremely silly treasure. This was a band, after all, that came across as a gang of rockabilly toughs decked out in medieval garb, led by a gangly, goofy drama student that could sing but not carry a tune. This was a band that reveled in silly antics and sillier songs, stealing from old-time rock & roll, punk, novelty pop, and country, turning it into a joyous, catchy cacophony. They were misfits, classic British eccentrics making music that was a jumbled mess of American pop music, filtered through wry British humor and punk. If they were a footnote, at best, to rock history, some may wonder why the hell anyone would want Swords of a Thousand Men, a double-disc collection containing pretty much everything the band released. Well, once you fall in love with Tenpole Tudor you fall pretty hard and you never get out. You need everything they cut. Thankfully, it's all of pretty high quality, particularly their debut Eddie Old Bob Dick and Gary, a gleeful collection of raucous pop, sing-along choruses and utter nonsense. Admittedly, this is not music that everybody will like or maybe even tolerate. It's way too dumb and silly for hipsters, it rocks too hard for fans of geeky novelties, and Tudorpole's warbling can grate. But it also can be delirious, giddy fun, and, for those listeners, Swords of a Thousand Men is a pure delight.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2