“Wreckless Eric” by Wreckless Eric - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1978Album Chart of the Decade: 1970s

TJR says

The debut album from the Ian-Dury-inspired 23-year-old singer-songwriter-guitarist, known by day as Eric Goulden. His (then) 3-year-old song “Whole Wide World” was his first statement on record, appearing on the Stiff label sampler “A Bunch of Stiff Records” in April, 1977. Immediately, he was at home, surrounded by musically like-minded types, open to his unconventional song style. The single version followed a few months later, and he soon appeared in session for John Peel in the fall of '77. Surprisingly, the sweet punk dreamer failed to chart, despite appearing in many best of lists at the end of the year. A travesty really, for it's universal appeal has been widely recognised over the years via cover versions, evergreen radio plays, and appearances on compiles and film soundtracks. Hopefully he's earned a few bob along the way, he surely deserves to have done so. Naturally, it dominates his LP, but it's not the only track to justify the admission price.

Reconnez Cherie” is typical of the strangely endearing appeal of the ensemble. They play like seasoned Rock n Rollers without the showboating, keeping it hook-laden, simple and enjoyable, the bass (Barry Payne), drum (David Lutton), organ (Charlie Hart) and sax (Davey Payne) combo very much relates to the second wave of Ska bubbling underground in the UK, without being explicitly Jamaican about it. That said, I'm horrified when “Rags And Tatters” bursts in all Benny-Hill-like, but the recovery is immediate on “Waxworks”, a song about showroom dummies which sounds positively evil in comparison. There's not a bad song on side two, with the highly amusing “Personal Hygiene” and the Buzzcocks-like “There Isn't Anything Else” emerging as my two faves, these showing two very different sides to the under-rated artist. It seems to me that his clowning around did him a dis-service, for this was a fine debut which deserved more attention.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [03:15] 7.0.png Wreckless Eric - Reconnez Cherie (Eric Goulden) Pop
A2 [01:28] 3.4.png Wreckless Eric - Rags And Tatters (Eric Goulden) Rock n Roll / Rockabilly
A3 [02:46] 6.7.png Wreckless Eric - Waxworks (Eric Goulden) Blues Rock / Soul Rock
A4 [03:59] 5.6.png Wreckless Eric - Telephoning Home (Eric Goulden) Rock
A5 [02:54] 5.2.png Wreckless Eric - Grown Ups (Eric Goulden) Proto-Punk
B1 [02:52] 9.7.png Wreckless Eric - Whole Wide World (Eric Goulden) New Wave
B2 [02:02] 6.0.png Wreckless Eric - Rough Kids (Ian Dury, Russell Hardy) Blues Rock / Soul Rock
B3 [02:42] 6.5.png Wreckless Eric - Personal Hygiene (Eric Goulden) Rock n Roll Ballad
B4 [03:48] 6.4.png Wreckless Eric - Brain Thieves (Eric Goulden) New Wave
B5 [02:35] 6.8.png Wreckless Eric - There Isn’t Anything Else (Eric Goulden) New Wave

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