The Soft Boys - Near The Soft Boys 7" (1980)

The first thing I heard from the Soft Boys was this single and I instantly became a fan. This 3rd single is quite a masterpiece actually. Catch it here. Note thatin 1980 only "Kingdom Of Love" was on the associated album (Underwater Moonlight), and not the 2 B-side songs that were only released on late re-issues.

This is the 3rd single by the Soft Boys. The lineup had changed, Andy Metcalfe being replaced by Matthew Seligman on bass. Since Alan Davies had been replaced by Kimberley Rew on the previous single, only Morris Windsor on drums and of course Robyn Hitchcock were from the original Soft Boys formation that played on Give It To The Soft Boys that you can hear here. The music changed quite a lot, being more straightward and this is the Soft Boys I always liked the most. One month before the Underwater Moonlight LP, one of the great masterpieces of the music of the eighties, this 3-track single was released with a T. Rex crossed with Pink Floydian harmonies, "Kingdom Of Love", on A-side (a shame it was not a hit) and with 2 non-album tracks, "Vegetable Man", a cover of a rather rare Syd Barrett Pink Floyd-era song (the comics on the back of the sleeve is about this song and can be read below if you click on the cover), and "Strange", one of my fave Robyn Hitchcock song, all times confounded. It is a very emotional song about a man who freezed her wife immediately after her death and who tells us as it is strange when he goes down to see her lying in the freezer. This song always reminds me of the Dr Martineau, who had tried to maintain his beloved wife in such an artificial state in the minutes after she died, hoping she would benefit from a resurrection when science would be able to cure her illness. This mad plan was so romantic in a way that I never had the heart to judge the poor man ridiculous. And there is no mockery in the Robyn Hitchcock text, just a respectful narration of the atmosphere of this strange scene. 


shadreck said...

Great blog. Many thanks for your insightful selections.

Anonymous said...

Please reupload. THANKS!!