“Loonee Tunes!” by Bad Manners - album review

TJR says

Just six months on from the debut, the second Bad Manners long-player was out in late October, 1980. The nine remain: Doug Trendle (vocals), Alan Sayagg (harmonica), Louis Cook (guitar), Andrew Marson (saxophone), Gus Herman (trumpet), Chris Kane (saxophone), David Farren (bass), Brian Tuitt (drums) and Martin Stewart (keyboards). The debut had been more than decent, but this one raises the bar again, with a set which is consistently strong and cuts down on the cover-versions from six to three. Not to be denied, however, their penchant for a snazzy and brassy raiding of the lost archives results in “Echo Four-Two” (The Laurie Johnson Orchestra, 1961) being selected to open the set. Turns out, “Echo Four Two” was a short-lived ITV crime drama series that ran in late 1961. And dramatic is the word; from hereon the group would use the song to gee up the audience and open their live sets. Woman troubles are to the fore on the classic “Just A Feeling” which would see single release in the new year and give them a #13 hit in the UK. Side one houses the album's other two covers, namely “El Pussycat” (Mongo Santamaria, 1964) and “Tequila” (The Champs, 1958).

Opening side two is the album's lead single, “Lorraine”, a #21 Christmas hit, where relationship strife is the play once again: “For the first time in my life, I was wrong, Lorraine she was a flipping con, Lorraine she took everything, Even my brand new engagement ring, She took the car and went to town, But now she can no longer be found.” She's a proper wrong 'un and no mistake. I sometimes think I'm in a minority of one who likes to hear Bad Manners get serious and my wish is granted on the excellent “Suicide”, a major highlight of side two: “No one saw inside her head, All they wanted was a body in bed, She worked with people all of the time, She was so lonely, she lost her mind, Don't you know that she's a suicide? Don't you know that she's a suicide? Die. Suicide. Why? Suicide.” Unsurprisingly, normal service is resumed determinedly on “The Undersea Adventures Of Ivor The Engine”, a mad tale about a special train which makes a bold dash to the bottom of the ocean and returns with a cool quarter million in gold bullion! To be honest, it's only the last two tracks which let the album down a little for me; the rock n roller “Back In ‘60” and the novelty “Just Pretendin’” being just a little too cabaret for their own good. Mustn't grumble though, their song writing and performance has been largely brilliant throughout.

The Jukebox Rebel
21-Nov-2005

A1 [02:43] 8.0.png Bad Manners - Echo Four-Two (Laurie Johnson) Ska / Rocksteady
A2 [03:13] 9.6.png Bad Manners - Just A Feeling (Doug Trendle, Alan Sayagg, Louis Cook, Andrew Marson, Gus Herman, Chris Kane, David Farren, Brian Tuitt, Martin Stewart) Ska / Rocksteady
A3 [02:30] 8.0.png Bad Manners - El Pussycat (Robert Capers) Ska / Rocksteady
A4 [02:48] 7.7.png Bad Manners - Doris (Doug Trendle, Alan Sayagg, Louis Cook, Andrew Marson, Gus Herman, Chris Kane, David Farren, Brian Tuitt, Martin Stewart) Ska / Rocksteady
A5 [04:05] 7.0.png Bad Manners - Spy I (Doug Trendle, Alan Sayagg, Louis Cook, Andrew Marson, Gus Herman, Chris Kane, David Farren, Brian Tuitt, Martin Stewart) Ska / Rocksteady
A6 [02:12] 7.1.png Bad Manners - Tequila (Danny Flores) Ska / Rocksteady
B1 [03:15] 9.8.png Bad Manners - Lorraine (Doug Trendle, Alan Sayagg, Louis Cook, Andrew Marson, Gus Herman, Chris Kane, David Farren, Brian Tuitt, Martin Stewart) Ska / Rocksteady
B2 [04:21] 6.6.png Bad Manners - Echo Gone Wrong (Doug Trendle, Alan Sayagg, Louis Cook, Andrew Marson, Gus Herman, Chris Kane, David Farren, Brian Tuitt, Martin Stewart) Reggae
B3 [03:04] 8.6.png Bad Manners - Suicide (Doug Trendle, Alan Sayagg, Louis Cook, Andrew Marson, Gus Herman, Chris Kane, David Farren, Brian Tuitt, Martin Stewart) Ska / Rocksteady
B4 [02:25] 6.8.png Bad Manners - The Undersea Adventures Of Ivor The Engine (Doug Trendle, Alan Sayagg, Louis Cook, Andrew Marson, Gus Herman, Chris Kane, David Farren, Brian Tuitt, Martin Stewart) Ska / Rocksteady
B5 [02:34] 5.7.png Bad Manners - Back In ‘60 (Doug Trendle, Alan Sayagg, Louis Cook, Andrew Marson, Gus Herman, Chris Kane, David Farren, Brian Tuitt, Martin Stewart) Big Band / Jive / Swing
B6 [03:05] 5.7.png Bad Manners - Just Pretendin’ (Doug Trendle, Alan Sayagg, Louis Cook, Andrew Marson, Gus Herman, Chris Kane, David Farren, Brian Tuitt, Martin Stewart) Novelty




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