The Boy Bands Have Won
|The Boy Bands Have Won|
|Studio album by Chumbawamba|
|Released||3 March 2008|
|Label||No Masters, Westpark|
The Boy Bands Have Won, is the shortened title of the 13th studio album by British music group Chumbawamba, released in 2008. The whole title is The Boy Bands Have Won, and All the Copyists and the Tribute Bands and the TV Talent Show Producers Have Won, If We Allow Our Culture to Be Shaped by Mimicry, Whether from Lack of Ideas or from Exaggerated Respect. You Should Never Try to Freeze Culture. What You Can Do Is Recycle That Culture. Take Your Older Brother's Hand-Me-Down Jacket and Re-Style It, Re-Fashion It to the Point Where It Becomes Your Own. But Don't Just Regurgitate Creative History, or Hold Art and Music and Literature as Fixed, Untouchable and Kept Under Glass. The People Who Try to 'Guard' Any Particular Form of Music Are, Like the Copyists and Manufactured Bands, Doing It the Worst Disservice, Because the Only Thing That You Can Do to Music That Will Damage It Is Not Change It, Not Make It Your Own. Because Then It Dies, Then It's Over, Then It's Done, and the Boy Bands Have Won. Its full title contains 865 characters, and holds the record for the longest album title, as of August 2009.
The album continues their move into politically and socially aware folk music. Themes addressed on this album include suicide bombers, Philip Larkin, social networking websites, surviving a firing squad, evolution and the pains of the workplace. Also, on "Sing About Love" a heartfelt plea for a time when they wouldn't feel the need to "sing about the thing [they] always sing about".
The album was recorded by the five-piece line-up of Jude Abbott, Lou Watts, Boff Whalley, Neil Ferguson and Phil 'Ron' Moody that comprises the Chumbawamba of recent times but features guest appearances by several other artists.
The album's title was inspired by Fiona Apple's famous 1999 album When the Pawn…, whose title is over 400 characters long. The 2007 Soulwax release Most of the Remixes then took the title of longest album name when it was released with a 552 character title. The Boy Bands Have Won has since set the world record for album title length at 865 characters upon its release.
All tracks written, arranged and produced by Chumbawamba except where indicated.
|1||"When an Old Man Dies"||0:54|
|2||"Add Me"||3:27||Featuring the Charlie Cake Marching Band|
|3||"Words Can Save Us"||1:52|
|4||"Hull or Hell"||3:31||With vocals by Oysterband|
|5||"El Fusilado"||2:32||With vocals by Ray Hearne, Barry Coope & Jim Boyes, also based on the story of Wenseslao Moguel|
|6||"Unpindownable"||1:22||A song about Evolution, particularly that of the Peppered Moth.|
|7||"I Wish That They'd Sack Me"||4:10||Music traditional, arranged by and lyrics by Chumbawamba|
|8||"Word Bomber"||2:13||Lead vocals by Roy Bailey; Refers to the 7/7 suicide bombings in London, 3 of the 4 attackers who came from Chumbawamba's hometown, Leeds.|
|9||"All Fur Coat & No Knickers"||2:12||Refers to 'Lord Bono' and The Edge; The 'Theatre of Dreams' is Old Trafford, Manchester United's football stadium|
|11||"Lord Bateman's Motorbike"||3:34||The characters, Lord Bateman and John Barleycorn, are metaphors for the British upper class and working class, respectively, Barleycorn being a common character in folk music; Hull KR is a rugby league team from Hull, UK; The A65 is a major road from West Yorkshire to Cumbria and Quarry Hill is an area in Leeds.|
|12||"A Fine Career"||0:47||Lead vocals by Robb Johnson|
|13||"To a Little Radio"||1:08||Based on a poem written by Bertolt Brecht while in exile from the Nazi regime in 1933 as he listened daily for news of the war; Music by Hanns Eisler for his "Holywood Songbook" song cycle, which put famous poems to music, under the title "An Meinen Kleinen Radioapparat" or "To My Little Radio", a clip of which can be heard here; English translation by Eric Bentley|
|14||"(Words Flew) Right Around the World"||2:15||Featuring the Charlie Cake Marching Band; The song was written 'especially for a performance at the annual Brecht Festival in Bertolt Brecht's birthplace, Augsburg'; 'The line "Bert told Brecht. Brecht told Bert" was taken from a poem by Leeds poet Ronald Arthur Dewhirst' |
|15||"Sing About Love"||1:39|
|16||"Bury Me Deep"||1:37|
|17||"You Watched Me Dance"||0:58|
|18||"Compliments of Your Waitress"||2:43|
|19||"RIP RP"||1:26||About the decreasing influence of 'standard' RP pronunciation of British English. The phonetician Jack Windsor Lewis noted the irony that the song was sung in an RP accent.|
|20||"Charlie"||2:12||Music traditional, arranged by and lyrics by Chumbawamba; About Charles Darwin|
|21||"The Ogre"||0:53||Inspired by the poem "August 1968" by W. H. Auden, which can be found here|
|22||"Refugee"||2:42||A 'modern-day version' of Frank Higgins' song "The Testimony Of Patience Kershaw" (see  for original lyrics) concerning mining conditions during the British Industrial Revolution, from which it borrows the lyrics "It's kind of you to ask me sir / To tell you how I spend my day"|
|23||"Same Old Same Old"||0:59|
|24||"Waiting for the Bus"||2:44||About Gary Tyler, in prison for over 34 years despite his "fundamentally unfair" conviction for murder. (See FreeGaryTyler.com )|
|25||"What We Want"||0:47|
Samples from previous albums
"...the band have ... mixed in samples of themselves from the past..."
|"When an Old Man Dies"||"Rubens Has Been Shot!" from Slap!|
|"All Fur Coat & No Knickers"||"Social Dogma" from WYSIWYG|
|"Fine Line"||"Rappoport's Testament: I Never Gave Up" from Slap!|
|"Lord Bateman's Motorbike"||"Happiness is Just a Chant Away" from Shhh|
|"You Watched Me Dance"||"I'm Coming Out and "Dumbing Down (Piano Version)" from WYSIWYG|
|"Charlie"||"Chase PC's Flee Attack By Own Dog" from Slap!|
|"The Ogre"||"Digger's Song" from English Rebel Songs|
|"Refugee"||"Fade Away" from A Singsong and a Scrap|
- Lou Watts - Vocals
- Boff Whalley - Vocals, ukulele
- Neil Ferguson - Vocals, guitars
- Jude Abbott - Vocals, trumpet
- Phil 'Ron' Moody - Vocals, accordion
- Oysterband, Roy Bailey, Robb Johnson, Ray Hearne, Barry Coope & Jim Boyes - Vocals
- Charlie Cake Marching Band - Brass
- David P. Crickmore - Banjo on 7, 22; Square-necked Dobro on 18, 22
- Jo Freya - Sax on 2
- Harry Hamer - Cajon on 9, 11; Tablas on 16
- The Pudsey Players - Strings on 6, 11, 18
- With the full name being: "The Boy Bands Have Won, and All the Copyists and the Tribute Bands and the TV Talent Show Producers Have Won, If We Allow Our Culture to Be Shaped by Mimicry, Whether from Lack of Ideas or from Exaggerated Respect. You Should Never Try to Freeze Culture. What You Can Do Is Recycle That Culture. Take Your Older Brother's Hand-Me-Down Jacket and Re-Style It, Re-Fashion It to the Point Where It Becomes Your Own. But Don't Just Regurgitate Creative History, or Hold Art and Music and Literature as Fixed, Untouchable and Kept Under Glass. The People Who Try to 'Guard' Any Particular Form of Music Are, Like the Copyists and Manufactured Bands, Doing It the Worst Disservice, Because the Only Thing That You Can Do to Music That Will Damage It Is Not Change It, Not Make It Your Own. Because Then It Dies, Then It's Over, Then It's Done, and the Boy Bands Have Won"
- Allmusic review
- Chumbwamba's Website
- Barlass, Tyler (23 August 2009). "No More Stories...". JustPressPlay. Retrieved 9 September 2009.
- Hanns Eisler's Website
- Chumbawamba's Website
- Chumbawamba's Website