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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Alan Klein - "Well At Least Its British" CD Album




Alan Klein – Well At Least Its British
CD, Album, Reissued 2008, original issue 1964
RPM

Here's a curiosity of importance! Alan Klein, a songwriter and performer made Well At Least Its British in 1964, when British music was trying hard to be American. But Klein went totally the other direction and presented himself as a Cockney working-class lad whose music bordered on British music-hall pop. Totally forgotten, till Blur's Damon Albarn gave him a creative check-in for the early Blur music, RPM the label re-issued this album as well as an obscure single produced by Joe Meek.

Klein's take on pop was that there wasn't an English voice and he didn't see the point imitating an American voice. Not that he's exactly a Nationalist, but the self-expression through his songs is one of an everyday Englishman. Specifically an Islington chap.

Hearing the album now, it seems so quaint and twee. But I keep coming back to it, I think mostly due to my interest in 20th century London culture. If I hear it enough, I feel like a gate will open to a new discovery. In many ways I hear traces of Jake Thackray in his music and words. Both have that 'everyman' approach to their songs, but alas, it is somehow totally unique.