Sunday, 1 February 2009

1981 Joe Dolce Music Theatre: Shaddap You Face

'Shaddap You Face' is now probably better known as the answer to the classic pub quiz question 'What Song Kept 'Vienna' Off The Number One Spot', as if some noteworthy injustice had been done which, like the antics of the Nazis, must never be forgotten.*  Whether or not you agree with that is a moot point, but anyway - what exactly do we get with the Joe Dolce Music Theatre? An American born, Australian dweller who a tooka onna da Chico Marx faux Italian character but forgot to steal the humour to go with it. That's what. Fair play, I can imagine Chico telling Harpo to 'Shaddap You Face' in any one of their films, but he'd justa sayit da once and then move on to other business. Dolce, on the other hand, stretches his one non joke rather too thinly with the effect that the song actually gets less and less amusing as it rattles on, and the intervening years have not added anything to the party; merely a vehicle to poke fun at foreign stereotypes, it wasn't funny then and it isn't funny now. Still, Midge's face was a picture.

* 'Vienna' was voted Britain's favourite single to ever peak at number two in the charts in a 2012 poll run by the BBC and was awarded an honorary number one by the OCC. What is conveniently forgotten though (or perhaps never mentioned) is that John Lennon's 'Woman' was number one for the first week of 'Vienna's runner up residence.The inference here, of course, is that there's no shame in being beaten by a dead former Beatle. Again, whether or not you agree with that is another moot point.

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