Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Gangway "My Girl And Me" (Irmgardz, 1986)


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Now that, is UNQUESTIONABLY, my favourite picture sleeve of all time. I mean, just look at it! I still can't pick it up without a big daft grin on my face. Consider this a challenge: if anyone else out there can find a better sleeve, i'd like to see it.


It's 1986. i'm working in Our Price Records, Watford High Street. My partner in crime is charming young man called William Learmonth. Together, we are "High Fidelity" before Nick Hornby ever thought of putting pen to paper. We charm all the young girls into submission with a combination of winning repartee, devil-may-care attitude, and most importantly, the best records we can lay our hands on. The sort of songs that, when played, will make those self-same girls approach the counter, fluttering their eyelashes, to ask us: "Oooh, this is lovely, what is it?"


Well, what this is, is one of the greatest slices of slightly-camp, lounge pop ever created. It's the sort of record that should have been on Compact records, should have been recorded by Mari Wilson, was The Divine Comedy but better, was My Life Story but with more pop hooks...it was the sort of record that should have been a huge hit, but wasn't. Gangway were a highly accomplished Danish band, whose career should have been kick-started in this country by "My Girl And Me", but, inexplicably, it wasn't. They signed to London records over here and the single was re-recorded in 1988 (by David Motion, who did Strawberry Switchblade, Intaferon, and...ahem a couple of Jesus Jones songs...) and was totally ruined. The flow of the original, it's wit and swagger seemed to have been lost. And as if that wasn't enough, the wonderful sleeve was replaced by THIS, which is, quite frankly, totally shite.


Here's the video of the re-recorded version:






Overall, it's just one of those songs which somehow fell through the cracks. How and why seems to be a combination of bad luck, bad timing, and the capriciousness of the music business. At least it'll have it's moment in the blog-spotlight. I suspect that "My Girl And Me" will have a longer life in the blogosphere than it ever would have had in the normal charts. Enjoy.


Gangway "My Girl And Me" (Original Version) (mp3)

10 comments:

So It Goes said...

You, Wa(t)ford. Me, Letchworth and Plymouth. Our Price guys all. Which one ended up on TOTP??
And why does this remind me of 'Eloise'?
Take care, bruv!

iain said...

Plymouth? Did you work with someone called Paul Pledger? he worked at that one, IIRC....
Martin Rossiter (Gene) also worked at Watford High St, it was quite the hotbed of musical activity :)

So It Goes said...

Yes indeedy! Paul was one of my best mates there. We used to enjoy doing impressions of the rest of the staff. He was a real vinyl junkie, like you.
One weekend, he made the grave error of listing for me his thirty least favourite songs of all time, including Leo Sayer's 'When I Need You' and Ottowan's 'D.I.S.C.O.' (a kind of inverse Festive Fifty). Bad, bad move. I made sure I played them at every available opportunity. What a great guy.

Mick said...

Only just got round to listening to this. Sounds very familiar. That chorus - I'm sure I've heard it before. The singers voice is so familiar that I think I've got a record that sounds like this but I can't place it. If I find it I'll post it.

Tim said...

I worked in Watford Our Price...I think it was 85? I know it was when the Space Shuttle turned into a firework..I lived in Central London at the time and used to take a National Express Coach to work!! What was I thinking??

I think I remember William...tall...dapper...loved the smiths...gave me a cassette with a song called art is dead...? Same chap? You recall me? Tim Merrick...curious to know...forgotten most people from so many summers ago.

Tim

Mick said...

Forgot to mention that I also like the Mari Wilson Compact records. You weren't just buying records, you were buying in to a whole fantasy world. Also, she recorded my favourite version of 'Are You There With Another Girl'.

iain said...

Tim, i think I may well have started working just after you left (though you probably served me!) but yes, that sounds like William.....

greenhippo said...

I worked in Our Price in Fleet Street back in 1983 then they shoved me over to Cheapside. Lots of suits buying Dire Straits records. Oh the tasteless masses. I loved Gangway back in the day, even wrote to NME about them and got my letter printed on that Fred page, was it Fred Dellar? I always thought My Girl And Me sounded like Madness.

iain said...

Tasteless masses? In Our Price? surely not ;)
This song seems to have got all the ex-Our Price employees out of the woodwork, i'm not sure why...
Good call on the Madness comparison!

Term Papers said...

They signed to London records over here and the single was re-recorded in 1988 (by David Motion, who did Strawberry Switchblade, Intaferon, and...ahem a couple of Jesus Jones songs.