Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Ian Dury: Lord Upminster (1981)

"I am Spartacus" - Spartacus, 1960.

The first time I saw this record, I misread the title as Lloyd Upminster.

This album is famous for the track Spasticus (Autisticus), a song that was subsequently banned by the BBC and the subject of some debate on its merits. Some felt it was insensitive to the disabled while others, who recognized the irony in the song, applauded the message. Dury, himself disabled, wrote the song as part of a protest against the International Year of Disabled Persons. Wikipedia has a brief description of the track and of the controversy and Dangerous Minds has a longer article on the topic. More recently, it's safe to say that opinion has solidified on one side of the debate. The song was used in the 2012 Paralympics, though it was performed by a different act, given Dury's passing in 2000.

This record isn't as good as the first three, but Allmusic is a little uncharitable and they failed to address the controversy of the aforementioned track: "Lord Upminster turned out to be a set of uninspired funk that lacks the joyful energy of his three previous records." [link] How could they miss the opportunity to write about this song?

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