Slight change to STN Covermount protocol from now on, as we've extended the runtime of each from 74 to 80 minutes, given the shorter CDR seems to be being phased out by some manufacturers. Plus it means fewer 'last one to be dropped' dilemmas for us.
This is a Covermount we've been meaning to do on the last couple of April 1sts, and we're not sure how you'd class these other than "songs and, mostly, artists with a GSOH". Inspired partly by Left And To The Back's novelty compilation, these 26 range from straight up low comedy to satirical subtleties, from wry to direct. You probably won't like all of them, but they all work without the pictures. And just in case they don't, for some (except in one case) we've put up an embedded video of an entirely different track by the same people for ballast. Lighten up, everyone!
Barnes & Barnes - Fish Heads
Art Barnes and Artie Barnes - not actual names, in fact one of them was Lost In Space's Will Robinson of famed danger - colonised Annie Nightingale's request show for years with their meditation on the likelihood of said piscine part to be seen "drinking cappuccino in Italian restaurants with Oriental women". Their words, not ours. Not even their own song, apparently. There's an Essential... out!
Spinal Tap - Stonehenge
"Nigel gave me a drawing that said eighteen inches. Alright?"
Mojo Nixon - Debbie Gibson Is Pregnant With My Two-Headed Love Child
Psychobilly! Mojo Nixon, one bloke, was from North Carolina and later recorded Don Henley Must Die, a title that earned itself unending irony when Henley crashed the stage to co-perform it one night in Texas.
Chris Morris - Motherbanger
The contents of the Select Magazine flexidisc this comes from are in the recent On The Hour Series 2 box, but we're still using an old rip from years ago for that authentic distortion. This is his Pixies parody, so damn spot on that it occasionally turns up in lists of lost Pixies songs.
Gindrinker - Hey! Greengrocer
Cardiff's two-man aural assault of belligerent shouting, guitar and drum machine, long time STN favourites. Contains greatest personal insult in recorded history, perhaps.
I, Ludicrous - Preposterous Tales
Long serving, loved by the few but committed, south London duo put together Fall fuzz and pub bore.
The Shirehorses - A Girl Like You (Hiya)
Ah. Radcliffe and Riley, plus BBC radio's go-to poetry guy Ian McMillan on guest word, surprisingly successful with what they openly admitted was pretty much just the Barron Knights with swearing, their albums charting at 22 The Worst...Album In The World...Ever...EVER!) and 20.
Peter Cook & Dudley Moore - Bedazzled
The number of times we've seen the film Bedazzled referred to and then realised it was part of Hurley bashing... Pete'n'Dud made the original in 1967, where one of Stanley Moon (Dud)'s wishes was to become a rock star, only to become usurped by Drimble Wedge and the Vegetations (George Spiggott (Pete)) and a performance that Johnny Rotten would later cite as an influence on his own style.
A Tribe Of Toffs - John Kettley Is A Weatherman
Sunderland students made big by CBBC with celeb namechecking jangle. Apparently then tried to go serious before realising nobody was interested in them at all doing that.
Bill Bailey - Unisex Chipshop
A Billy Bragg tribute/pisstake which Billy seems to have been quite sporting about:
Jake Thackray - On Again! On Again!
Georges Brassens infected by Noel Coward in West Yorkshire, Thackray was a regular in the early days of That's Life! but has never quite gained the wider cult following he deserves. Get the Very Best Of. Danny Baker maintains this has the best opening line in pop.
Randy Newman - Political Science
From the same album, Sail Away, as the original version of You Can Leave Your Hat On - and they should have used that version in The Full Monty, we say - Newman finds a satirical stance about thirty years too early.
Otis Lee Crenshaw - He Almost Looks Like You
Rich Hall's jailbird Tennessee country singer reflects on the fine line of prison love.
Ivor Cutler - Lemonade
Scottish harmonium-touting poetic genius from his last album A Flat Man, released on Creation.
Vic Reeves - Vienna
His 1991 album I Will Cure You is reportedly worth a small bit already; this just slightly reworded Ultravox reworking came from the NME's fortieth anniversary compilation Ruby Trax.
The Bonzo Dog Band - My Pink Half of the Drainpipe
More surreal genius for the ages at work, Vivian Stanshall this time with Neil Innes desperately trying to keep up. And yeah, we've always referred to them as the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, but they'd dropped the middle epithet for a while around The Doughnut In Granny's Greenhouse.
MJ Hibbett & The Validators - Do The Indie Kid
The indiepop resident bard of Peterborough/Leicester/actually he lives in London now but that's not as helpful has a new album out in May and a new show at the Edinburgh Fringe this August.
Midfield General - Midfielding
There's still an ongoing threat of a Mighty Boosh band, but back in 2000 when they were highly rated but still very much under the radar Noel Fielding guested on a track by big beat ubergrupenfuehrer Damien Harris on his album Generalisation.
The Lonely Island - I'm On A Boat
No, we're not including Flight Of The Conchords, because it's our Covermount, we'll do what we want with it. We'll give you this nod to modishness, but no more. Incredibad, that's the album. At least it's not Dick In A sodding Box.
Del Tha Funkee Homosapien - The Wacky World Of Rapid Transit
Gorillaz first album sideman, cousin of Ice Cube (who's on this), admirer of bus etiquette. Album: I Wish My Brother George Was Here. Done.
John Cooper Clarke - Twat
Back on tour at the moment, and not in supporting The Fall this time. Word Of Mouth: The Very Best Of contains most of the Martin Hannett productions and is as good as you're going to find. Beasley Street should be on the GCSE syllabus. And in fact it is.
John Shuttleworth - I Can't Go Back To Savoury Now
Inspired by some demo tapes Graham Fellows heard when under songwriting contract with Chappell Music, and early on subject to a rumour, when only the songs existed, that these were indeed demo tapes received by a major label.
Spitting Image - I've Never Met A Nice South African
Breyten Breytenbach! There's a namecheck for the teenagers. John Lloyd and Peter Brewis (not the Field Music one, a regular comedy TV music composer of the 80s) penned the brusque take on apartheid for the B-side of soon millstone The Chicken Song.
Monty Python - Accountancy Shanty
The theme from The Crimson Permanent Assurance, the Gilliam directed supporting feature short from the start of The Meaning Of Life, eventually compiled onto Monty Python Sings.
Spike Jones And His City Slickers - William Tell Overture
1940s-50s bandleader Jones took the long way round the big band standards of the day, referred to by Jones as musicial "homicides", replete with stupid sounds, whistles, comedy percussion and gunshots, the best of which are compiled on Spiketaculars. Here Rossini is rendered on kitchen implements while a horse race goes on (and no, one of the horses isn't called Beetlebum)
Half Man Half Biscuit - A Country Practice
Well, of course. Eliza Carthy has named this, from Four Lads Who Shook The Wirral as the song she felt most defined 'Englishness'.