Tuesday, 10 March 2009

1982 Captain Sensible: Happy Talk

What odds at the start of the year on the bassist from a seemingly defunct punk band scoring a number one with a cover of Rogers and Hammerstein? If that wasn't surprising enough, the good Captain catches us all unawares by not taking the path of least resistance by speeding this up into a fast, loud thrash like fellow punks The Dickies ('Nights In White Satin') or The Toy Dolls ('Nellie The Elephant') might have but instead staying faithful to the original and playing it straight down the middle.

As faithful as he could that is - as jovial as the Captain is, he couldn't recite the phone book without making it sarcastic and his arch delivery on this makes for a bittersweet listen (though maybe that's needed to offest the overly girly squeals from the backing 'Dolly Mixtures') and in so doing adds sufficient edge to raise this just above the level of novelty.

The problem with 'Happy Talk' as a song is that it's a bit of a one trick pony that doesn't really bear too many repeated listens. It works well in the context of the 'South Pacific' musical as a bridge in the storyline, but it's a bit isolated when taken out of context and the Captain's version outstays it's welcome by a good minute.
Ah but it's easy to forgive it's tardiness in leaving due to the sheer good nature and inoffensiveness of it all when it arrives, and as long as you have a bottle in one hand while the other does the hand movements, then the time flies by.

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