Myzsterious Mizster Jones

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"Myzsterious Mizster Jones"
Sladesingle-myzsteriousmizsterjones.jpeg
UK/European cover of "Myzsterious Mizster Jones".
Single by Slade
from the album Rogues Gallery
B-side Mama Nature Is A Rocker
Released 11 March 1985
Format 7" Single, 12" single
Genre Pop rock, electronic rock
Length 3:37
Label RCA Records
Writer(s) Noddy Holder; Jim Lea
Producer(s) John Punter (a-side)
Jim Lea (b-sides)
Slade singles chronology
"7 Year Bitch"
(1985)
"Myzsterious Mizster Jones"
(1985)
"Little Sheila"
(1985)
Audio sample
file info · help
Alternative Cover
UK/European Picture Disc cover of "Myzsterious Mizster Jones".

"Myzsterious Mizster Jones" is a song from rock band Slade which was released as the third single from the 1985 album Rogues Gallery. The song was written by lead singer Noddy Holder and bassist Jim Lea. It was produced by John Punter.[1]

Background[edit]

Following the band's Top 15 success with the late 1984 single "All Join Hands", the band's follow-up January 1985 single "7 Year Bitch" stalled at #60 in the UK chart after it was banned by the UK broadcasting media. It was hoped that the single would boost the band's popularity back up after the commercial failure of "7 Year Bitch". Despite a radio-friendly sound, the numerous TV appearances across Europe and a promo video, the single only peaked at #50 in the UK, spending a total of five weeks on the charts.[2]

The single was released just two weeks before Rogues Gallery, originally entering the UK chart at #61. The following week the single had peaked at #50. By 6 April 1985, both "Myzsterious Mizster Jones" and Rogues Gallery were in the charts. Since Rogues Gallery had entered at #60, "Myzsterious Mizster Jones" fell back to #57, #60 and #70, respectively.

The title of the song was purposely misspelled. Such misspellings were a hallmark of some of Slade's song titles during the early 1970s, but this was the band's first single with such a title for more than a decade.

In a 1985 interview with Holder on Australian TV, Holder was asked "The current single Myzsterious Mizster Jones, what's that all about?" Holder replied "Oh, basically it's about a friend of mine from Wolverhampton who used to be a Hell's Angel actually, but I changed his name to protect the innocent cause I don't think he'd like a song about him. It's not knocking him, you know, but it's a song about him." The interviewer concluded "Okay. We'll have a look at it now." as the video was aired on Australian TV.[3]

In the September–December 1986 Slade International Fan Club magazine, Lea was interviewed on 18 September 1986 and was asked to share where he was when he wrote various Slade tracks. For "Myzsterious Mizster Jones", Lea stated it was written while he was talking to his brother in a pub. The interviewer had stated "It has been said that Jim can write a song anywhere, and at any time, so we asked Jim to recall where he was when he wrote some of Slade's songs. We learned that Jim sometimes gets some of his melodies whilst he is holding a conversation with someone..." Lea revealed "Oh yeah. "Myzsterious Mizster Jones" was written while I was talking to my brother in a pub. I was holding a conversation and wrote it at the same time."[4]

In the September–December 1986 Slade fan club magazine, the poll results were announced for the 1986 opinion poll based on Slade's material. For the top three best non-hit singles, "Myzsterious Mizster Jones" placed at #1. In the same poll, for the top three best single picture sleeves, "Myzsterious Mizster Jones" placed at #3.[4]

During the mid-1990s, Ken Sharpe interviewed Jim Lea on Slade's entire career over the phone. In the interview the song was mentioned and Lea admitted that although he liked the track, it was never going to be a hit. After Lea spoke of the 1985 single "Do You Believe in Miracles", Sharpe had commented "Another one I thought from that same period, "Myzsterious Mizster Jones", I like that a lot, I think that should have been a... I think it was somewhat of a hit but it probably should have been bigger. Do you like that track?" Lea replied "Yeah, yeah, it's alright. You know, it's like, umm, being a sort of 'singles' person, you know, 45's are they were, I used to write in that mode, and that, I never saw that as a 45. "My Oh My" I did, and I wrote "My Oh My" while the other guys were tuning up in a dressing room before we went on stage." Later in the interview Lea mentioned the song again. He stated "When I came up with "Gudbuy T'Jane", I knew that was a single. I came up with "Mama Weer All Crazee Now", I knew it was a single, you know? "Cum on Feel the Noize", "Skweeze Me Pleeze Me", you know that's a single. I think it must have been similar for The Beatles, you know? There's no question what's going to be the single. And the worst singles are the ones like "Myzsterious Mizster Jones" which were never gonna be singles." Sharpe added "I like the song though actually." Lea continued "No, no, I sound very derogatory to my own material, I don't mean it like that. I like "Myzsterious Mizster Jones", but it was never, you know, 'wow that's a single', you know? It's just a good track."

The song would later be covered by SAPO.[5]

Release[edit]

"Myzsterious Mizster Jones" was released on 7" and 12" vinyl via RCA Records. The single was released in the UK and Germany. Additionally a limited edition 7" vinyl picture disc was issued in the UK with the same track-listing as the main 7" release, and a jukebox issue of the single was also released in France, with the 1984 hit "All Join Hands" as the b-side.[6]

The single's b-side "Mama Nature is a Rocker" was originally exclusive to the single, before eventually being released on the 2007 compilation B-Sides and as a bonus track on the 2007 Salvo remaster of Rogues Gallery. For the 12" vinyl of the single, which was released in the UK and Germany, "Myzsterious Mizster Jones" was featured as an extended version that largely highlighted the usual song with an instrumental verse and chorus, whilst the exclusive track "My Oh My (Piano & Vocal)", was added as the second b-side. The track was an early, demo-like, version of the band's 1983 hit "My Oh My". This version wasn't made available elsewhere since the single's release until the 2007 Salvo remaster of Rogues Gallery, where it appeared as a bonus track. On the single, it was labelled as a "Special Collectors Edition" of the song.[7] Both b-sides were produced and arranged by Jim Lea for Perseverance Ltd., although no production credit was given for "My Oh My (Piano & Vocal)".[8]

All versions of the single came with a full colour picture sleeve which featured photography by Alan Ballard. In connection with the song's music video, the cover highlighted a group photo of the band dressed in gangster suits. Dave Hill and Jim Lea held guitar cases, whilst both Noddy Holder and Don Powell each held a Thompson M1921 submachine gun. The back sleeve featured individual shots of each band member. Green Ink handled the sleeve design. The UK 7" picture disc used this photo for the main side of the release, whilst the individual photos of the band appeared on the other side.[9]

Following the song's original release as a single and on the Rogues Gallery album, the song would also appear on several Slade compilations. It appeared on the 1991 compilation The Slade Collection 81-87. A re-packaging of the compilation was released by Salvo in 2007, which merged the release with the 1993 follow-up compilation The Slade Collection, Vol. 2 79-87. The Salvo double CD release was titled The Collection 79-87. Following this, the song also appeared on the 2005 Polydor compilation The Very Best of Slade, the 2006 Salvo four-disc box-set compilation The Slade Box and the 2007 Salvo double-disc compilation Rockers.

Additionally the song has also appeared on the unofficial 2008 Russian digipak two-disc compilation Greatest Hits, released by Star Mark, as well as the unofficial Russian 2CD+DVD set Anthology 1969-1991 Volume Two.[10]

Promotion[edit]

A music video was created for the single, featuring the band in a small brewery as gangsters.

Circa March 1985, the band appeared on the BBC1 children's television show Saturday Superstore, hosted by radio DJ Mike Read. The band mimed the new single "Myzsterious Mizster Jones" as well as the album track "Hey Ho Wish You Well". On the same appearance, the band also had a Phone-In session where fan callers had a chance to ask the band a question.[11]

In Europe, the song was mimed on the German TV shows ExtraTour and Die Spielbude. On the latter show the band also performed the previous single "7 Year Bitch" and the American/Canadian/German 1985 single "Little Sheila".[12]

In the Melody Maker of 30 March 1985, an 8x6 inch colour advert was published which highlighted the song's lyrics and a picture of the band, taken in 1984 from the same photo sessions as the photo taken for the front cover of the late 1984 official biography book "Slade: Feel the Noize!" by Chris Charlesworth.[13][14]

Music video[edit]

The single's music video was filmed by Phillip Davey who had filmed the music videos for Slade's 1984 hit "All Join Hands" and the 1985 single "7 Year Bitch", as well as this video's successors "Little Sheila" and "Do You Believe in Miracles". As published in the Slade International Fan Club newsletter throughout 1986, one of the fan club's editorial members, Dave Kemp went through all of Slade's promotional music videos. For the "Myzsterious Mizster Jones" video, reported in the September–December 1986 newsletter, it was revealed to be Lea's own personal favourite. In the video Davey depicted Slade as gangsters. The opening shots featured Slade walking through a warehouse door. As they entered, their everyday clothes changed to gangsters suits. The band perform the track in the warehouse (a sign outdoors reads 'Rehearsal Studios'), where Mr. Jones, complete with a snake tattoo running up his arm and a diamond tooth (relating to the song's lyrics), is supervising the production of prohibition whiskey. The ominous final sequence of the film shows the band leaving the warehouse and Powell buying some flowers from a street trader who has the words 'Remember St. Valentine's Day' written on the wall behind her. With more showings of the video on TV, the single would probably have climbed the charts further at the time.[15]

Around the time of the single's release, Holder, Hill and Lea appeared on Sky Tracks, where the video was broadcast for the first time on TV. The presenter asked about the video, "What about the video? Is it arty?" Holder stated "Oh the video's fabulous", whilst Lea added "No the video's not arty, this was a cheap budget." The presenter asked "What would you call it?" and Lea stated "This is just, umm, ethnic". After the clip was played, Holder commented "That was an exclusive, you had the exclusive there, we hadn't even seen that." The presenter responded "That is true, that was shown on Sky Tracks for the very first time anywhere in the whole wide world. Probably the first and last time it will be shown anywhere in the whole wide world. No, thanks, that's great that." Holder finally added "Did you like the suits on there? The suits were good weren't they?"[16]

In the September–December 1986 Slade fan club magazine, the poll results were announced for the 1986 opinion poll based on Slade's material. For the top three best promo/video films, "Myzsterious Mizster Jones" placed at #2.[4]

In the Slade International Fan Club magazine of April–June 1987, Hill answered several fan questions during a published interview that was conducted by fan club editor Paul Lythe at Music Works Recording Studios on 27 March 1987, where Slade were recording a new song at the time as a potential future single. One fan had asked "Where did you get the gangsters gear from that was used in the "Myzsterious Mizster Jones" video?" Hill replied "We hired it especially for the occasion. It was all organised by Philip Davey."[17]

Likely due to the disappointing charting of the single, the video has never been officially released to purchase, only appearing online unofficially via such sites as YouTube. Along with the other music videos Slade made at the time, it was not included on the 1991 video compilation Wall of Hits or the 2005 DVD release The Very Best of Slade.

Since appearing unofficially on YouTube in May 2007, the main video for the song has gained over 99,000 views as of August 2013.[18]

Formats[edit]

7" Single
  1. "Myzsterious Mizster Jones" - 3:37
  2. "Mama Nature is a Rocker" - 2:52
7" Picture Disc Single
  1. "Myzsterious Mizster Jones" - 3:37
  2. "Mama Nature is a Rocker" - 2:52
12" Single
  1. "Myzsterious Mizster Jones (Extended Version)" - 4:47
  2. "Mama Nature is a Rocker" - 2:52
  3. "My Oh My (Piano & Vocal Version)" - 3:11
7" Single (French Jukebox release)
  1. "Myzsterious Mizster Jones" - 3:37
  2. "All Join Hands" - 4:16

Critical reception[edit]

Sean Carruthers of Allmusic highlighted the song as a Rogues Gallery album standout by labeling it an AMG Pick Track. Dave Thompson of Allmusic had also highlighted the song as an AMG Pick Track from the 2006 four-disc box-set compilation The Slade Box.[19]

Sounds magazine reviewed the Rogues Gallery album upon release, stating "The band are back on full power for side one's closers: "Myzsterious Mizster Jones" is almost a throwback to the halcyon daze of "Coz I Luv You"..."

On 20 April 1985, Leader-Post, a daily newspaper of Regina, Saskatchewan in Canada, reviewed the album and spoke of the song, stating "Still, Slade's penchant for uncomplicated rock that never takes itself too seriously is the group's biggest asset. Accents are on keen melody and a healthy dollop of humour on such items as "Myzsterious Mizster Jones" (their spelling) and "Walking on Water, Running on Alcohol"."[20]

In the booklet of the 2007 Salvo remaster of the Rogues Gallery album, the writer Chris Ingham spoke of the song. "A third single of the Rogues Gallery campaign, Myzsterious Mizster Jones, appeared in March 1985 but – despite some radio-friendly special effects and an all-round energetic performance – stalled at number 50. Slade would not trouble the top 40 UK singles charts again for six years." Ingham also mentioned the song again in relation to the song "Little Sheila", also from the album, by stating "Little Sheila is another very catchy song which may have made a better single than "Myzsterious Mizster Jones" but it shares with that track the distinction of not sounding an awful lot like Slade." Ingham also spoke of the song's b-side, stating "Mama Nature is a Rocker" is a continuation of the fat synth-rock style of the A-side "Myzsterious Mizster Jones"."[21]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1985) Peak
position
Total
weeks
Swedish Singles Chart[citation needed] 18 2
Swiss Singles Chart[citation needed] 43 ?
UK Singles Chart[2] 50 5

Personnel[edit]

  • Noddy Holder - Lead vocals
  • Jim Lea - Bass guitar, synthesizer, backing vocals
  • Dave Hill - Lead guitar, backing vocals
  • Don Powell - Drums

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Producer on "Myzsterious Mizster Jones" - John Punter
  • Arranger on "Myzsterious Mizster Jones" - Jim Lea
  • Writers of "Myzsterious Mizster Jones" - Noddy Holder; Jim Lea
  • Producer on "Mama Nature Is a Rocker" - Jim Lea for Perseverance Ltd.
  • Arranger on "Mama Nature Is a Rocker" - Jim Lea for Perseverance Ltd.
  • Writers of "Mama Nature Is a Rocker" - Noddy Holder; Jim Lea
  • Photography - Alan Ballard
  • Design - Green Ink

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Slade - Rogues Gallery at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  2. ^ a b "SLADE | Artist". Official Charts. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  3. ^ "Slade - Noddy Holder - 1985 Aussie TV i/v". YouTube. 2012-08-03. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  4. ^ a b c "1986 - Slade Fan Club www.sladefanclub.com". Sladefanclub.com. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  5. ^ "SLADE @ www.slayed.co.uk". Crazeeworld.plus.com. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  6. ^ "ALL Discography @ www.collectadisc.co.uk". Collectadisc.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  7. ^ "ALL Discography @ www.collectadisc.co.uk". Collectadisc.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  8. ^ "Images for Slade - Myzsterious Mizster Jones". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  9. ^ "Images for Slade - Myzsterious Mizster Jones". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  10. ^ "SLADE Discography @ www.collectadisc.co.uk". Collectadisc.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  11. ^ "Slade The Mysterious Mr Jones". YouTube. 2012-03-30. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  12. ^ "www.slayed.co.uk". www.slayed.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  13. ^ "TPNO1MG30/3/85PG41 SLADE "MYZSTERIOUS MIZSTER JONES" SONG LYRICS - 8x6"". eBay. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  14. ^ ""Slade": Feel the Noize: Amazon.co.uk: Chris Charlesworth: Books". Amazon.co.uk. 2011-07-26. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  15. ^ "1986 - Slade Fan Club www.sladefanclub.com". Sladefanclub.weebly.com. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  16. ^ "SLADE - MYZTERIOUS MIZTER JONES Video +promotion interview". YouTube. 2010-11-16. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  17. ^ "1987 - Slade Fan Club www.sladefanclub.com". Sladefanclub.com. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  18. ^ "Slade - The Myzsterious Mizster Jones". YouTube. 1987-08-15. Retrieved 2013-08-15. 
  19. ^ Sean Carruthers. "Rogues Gallery - Slade | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  20. ^ https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=3XBWAAAAIBAJ&sjid=OUENAAAAIBAJ&pg=5023,1213594&dq=slade+rogues&hl=en
  21. ^ Slade's remastered 2007 Salvo reissue of album Rogues Gallery booklet by Chris Ingham