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Baker's Dozen

Madness Frontman Suggs' 13 Favourite Albums Of All Time
Simon Price , September 27th, 2011 11:22

Nutty Boy Suggs takes Simon Price on a guided tour through his record collection


Ian Dury And The Blockheads - New Boots And Panties
Unfortunately I never saw them, but Kilburn & The High Roads [Ian Dury’s first band] used to play near where we were hanging around as kids. I was a couple of years younger than the rest of the band, who went to see them at the Tally-Ho. They were a huge phenomenon round our way. And they made a great album called Handsome, but a lot of the stuff Ian Dury was working towards on that album really came to fruition on New Boots And Panties. It was slightly infused by the whole punk thing, it had that wild energy, but it still had that vaudevillian faded grandeur of the music hall. Again, it’s about comedy and terror: “arseholes, bastards, fucking cunts and pricks” is a pretty fun thing to hear when you’re a teenager, coming out of the speakers! He was pretty acerbic in person. I remember I was with Clive Langer once, our producer, and he said “Ian, I love your work” and Ian said “So fucking what?” That was about the strength of it, with Ian. We got to know him better near the end. He played one of our Madstock gigs, and we recorded a track with him just before he died, called ‘Drip-Fed Fred’, which is rather good. I think he always saw us as slightly usurping him, which is kind of true. He could be very acidic. When he was working in our studio, I remember the police were called a couple of times. But an amazing artist and fantastic lyricist, and of course you listen to some of those songs now, ‘Clever Trevor’, ‘Billericay Dickie’, ‘Plaistow Patricia’ and all that, and they haven’t dated at all.