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The Duke Listens To “Greatest Hits” By Goldie Lookin’ Chain

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Novelty records, man. Hard to know what to do with the buggers. You certainly can’t hope to “review” them in a manner befitting the likes of, say, The White Album, or the one about the fella says “Fuck you, you ho, I don’t ever want your stinkin’ ass back” and such. Conventional critical guidelines don’t apply, you can’t go on about this sucks, because most likely, that’s the whole idea, you humorless knob.

Some of them, like maybe half of that Tenacious D record, or that one about The Bohemian Rhapsody by, I think, Queensryche, they go on to surpass expectations and prove durable enough to transcend their inherent disposability. Others quickly lose their appeal, failing to raise even the weariest of smiles following a radio-and-MTV-charged blitz on our senses.

This record by Goldie Lookin’ Chain, Greatest Hits, ie, the one what is the subject of this incisive critique, it’s certainly very funny in places, and catchy and so on, but it’s hard to know how long it’ll last, how many spins it’ll survive before you fling the damn thing over a bridge and pray to God you never again encounter the likes of it.

How long can a song called Your Mother’s Got A Penis hold your attention, before you head off in the direction of some substance, like maybe a Phil Collins song about he loves you, but you broke his heart?

The answer, according to intellectuals from here and there, is about twenty thousand minutes, which proves, if nothing else, that it’s better than most of Coldplay’s recorded output.

The reason for this unsuspected longevity is that it makes a joke about a fella’s mother has a willy. This here is funny because mothers, in at least 30% of all known cases, probably don’t have penile apparatus of any sort, although quite a few have one or more testicles, I hear.

Greatest Hits is Goldie Lookin’ Chain’s first “proper” album, following a handful of self-financed and distributed CD-R efforts. The 13 tracks on here are all made up of stuff from those earlier, home-made recordings, albeit in sonically-spruced-up form. Musically, they’re kind of like a spoof Welsh Wu-Tang Clan, except a bit less daft.

Back in the days of The Duke’s youth, I was rather fond of a recording by the name of Santa Claus, You Cunt, Where’s Me Fucking Bike?, a gloriously foul-mouthed festive number. Throughout Greatest Hits, that’s the kinda shit I was reminded of. The kinda stuff you pass around in primary school and then you listen to at night with the headphones on and maybe your folks find it and you have to say a bad boy made you listen to it or else he was gonna fry your face in month-old gravy. Those CD-R’s were most likely handed around in such a fashion, except now The Duke looks upon it all with a disdainful glare and probably some yacking about motherfucking kids nowadays, what a bunch of bastards they are, listening to songs about a woman with a penis.

This sense of uncovering something illicit, something dangerous, is lessened somewhat by the fact that these goons are now staring out from every damn record store in the land, although thank God it’s not really them, usually just a poster saying about “This here record is available. It has songs about your mother has a penis.”

Also, turn on the radio most days and you’ll be treated to the hit single, Guns Don’t Kill People, Rappers Do, a fuck-laden ditty regarding the perils of the hippin’ and hoppin’ on the Nations Youth. Don’t tell anyone, least of all the cats involved, but this track is indicative of the kinds a brain-workings going on behind the faux-moronic facade.

Guns Don’t Kill People… is at one level an incredibly witty satire, and on other, probably more interesting levels, an excuse to yack about bongs and “fuck” and so on.

“Guns don’t kill people, rappers do,
Ask any politician and they’ll tell you that it’s true”

They then go on to illustrate the point with any number of harrowing episodes; “It’s a fact that MC Hammer left me bleeding”, for example, and also “Cypress fuckin’ Hill taught me to make a fuckin’ bong.”

Sometimes the juvenile nature of the proceedings (imagine, The Duke, of all people, talking about folks being juvenile) verges on the genuinely offensive. You Knows I Loves You may be a much-deserved spoof of sentimental R-Kelly esque balladry, but the line about “My love is waiting like a rapist would lurk in a bush” still leaves a nasty taste in the mouth.

Much preferable is the likes of Self Suicide, wherein our heroes ponder the impact that killing themselves might have on the record sales. It’s an old routine, but, at least half the time, the jokes, coupled with the Sesame Street-esque tune, are hilarious, in a stupid sort of way. Observations like “Kurt Cobain is rich as fuck, he’s buried in the ground”, are hardly gonna have jaws-dropping, but the gleeful irreverence might. It takes a certain kind of genius to come up with the line;

“Michael Hutchence, he’s one of ‘em too,
Made a hundred million quid dyin’ wanking on the loo.”

Best of all, perhaps, is Man-Machine, an inspired narrative concerning a fella who becomes a robot by interfacing with his ZX Spectrum. “You fucking can’t go down the shop like that, man”, advises his friend in the intro, “You got fucking tin-foil wrapped round your ‘ead.” The hook is stunningly, perplexingly ridiculous; “Half-man, half-machine, what can it mean, what can it mean?”

Who knows if anyone will give a half-baked shit in the afternoon sun this time next month? It doesn’t really matter. At least two-thirds of Greatest Hits is genuinely funny, and as spoof records go, it’s probably just as wonderful as the majority of Monty Python albums out there. Terrifyingly, though, it’s probably just as likely to serve as “material” for the drunken sod sat next to you at the pub, regaling you with his rendition of the one about smoking a joint and then burning a hole in your tracksuit bottoms.

Shut your yack-flap you insufferable wretch, and shove your damn parrot up your motherfucking arsehole.

Thanks folks.

NOTE – The album doesn’t seem to available yet via Amazon.com, so Click Here To Order From The UK Branch

The Duke resides at Mondo Irlando – Home of The Greatest Album Ever Even Made

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