‘Curiosity’ would probably be the best word to describe this song. You remember my mate Jim? well, he introduced me to this. Eddie Cochran’s rock and roll ode to the frustrations of attempting to, among other things, find a car to use for the weekend was given minimalist backing of what sounded like…well, pots and pans. Over this, a very bored sounding female (Deborah Stickland, I think) spoke the words, and the famous riff was relegated to occasional distant and ghostly effusions.
The leader was David Cunningham, who used improvisers and free jazz musicians to create his robotic and distinctly emotionless style. The sleeve included the following:
The first time I heard The Flying Lizards, almost a year ago, the country was in grave economic difficulties. Twelve months later The Lizards have brought their petulant minimalism to the public ear and the country is still in economic difficulties. Every new day admits of the mechanism of a gun. – Dave Fudger including a quotation from “On The Level” by Anthony Howell
It was inevitable that John would play it, as it sounded like nothing else, and it made FF 1978 #47. Curiously enough, they became far more successful in the British charts than on Peel’s chart, having two further hits (Money, which ended up being used on virtually anything that mentioned finances, and TV, which finally got them on Top Of The Pops). But they never troubled the Festive 50 again.