Title - 'Move Over Darling: The Complete Stiff Recordings'
Artist - Tracey Ullman
Back in the day, British actress, comedienne and Pop diva Tracey Ullman was first known as a TV sketch comedy artist; on such shows as A Kick Up the Eighties and Three of a Kind. But, before she emigrated from the UK to the US and created her own network television series, The Tracey Ullman Show, in 1983, Ullman succeeded as a singer on the punk label Stiff Records.
Sure her musical style was more retro, more '50s/'60s in sound; at times comically romantic even, but very quickly her first single, 'Breakaway' was a massive hit, and it's follow-up, the international hit cover version of label-mate Kirsty MacColl's 'They Don't Know' went to #2 in the UK.
Kicking off this incredible, fabulous 2-disc anthology (containing all the tracks from her two Stiff albums, as well as extended versions and a previously-unreleased track) is the frantic, aforementioned 'Breakaway' (Jackie DeShannon), which is followed by the Sandie Shaw smoothly-playful 'Long Live Love.' The true-life romance 'Shattered' is next, followed by both 'Oh, What A Night' and the lyrically speed-read Reunion cover, '(Life Is A Rock) But The Radio Rolled Me'!
The always-flowing, always-dreamy cover of Doris Day's 'Move Over Darling' is next up, with the air-punchin' girl anthem, 'Bobby's Girl' and the crackin' 'They Don't Know' following. But, it's the Debbie Harry-enfused '(I'm Always Touched By Your) Presence Dear' that steals the show at this point!
The scorned 'You Broke My Heart In 17 Places' is always fun to listen to ("You broke my heart in 17 places ... Shepherd's Bush was only one" - classic!), the Dusty Springfield soulful cover of 'I Close My Eyes And Count To Ten' is followed by Belle Stars-influenced 'Dancing In The Dark.' (Note: This was the B-side to 'Breakaway' in Europe, and is NOT the Bruce Springsteen song!) The spoken-word 'B-Side' is weird, but as Tracey gives us many characters and their opinions on why a b-side song actually exists (on what was then a vinyl, of course), it's quite funny come the end!
And extended verson of 'Move Over Darling' comes to us next (which is only extended in the sense that the mid-section has more elongated piano work), Tracey's version of 'My Girl' ('My Guy') resonates Madness, but lacks the backbeat punch, in truth. CD 1 ends with a rousing 'Thinking Of Running Away.'
CD 2 begins with the frantic 'You Caught Me Out,' before Dusty Springfield's 'Little By Little,' the uber-catchy 'Baby I Lied' and Kirsty MacColl's 'Terry.' The fast-paced rockabilly/swing version of 'Bad Motorcycle' is backed up by the very slow, yet beautiful tender 'Loving You Is Easy.' The bawdy 'Sunglasses' is next, the synth-inspired 'If I Had You' thereafter.
The arm-swayin', finger-clickin' 'Helpless,' with a sultry 'Where The Boys Are' and a cover of The Shangri-Las 'Give Him A Great Big Kiss' take us into the latter half of the second disc. The Waitresses' 'I Know What Boys Like' goes through the motions, before 'Candy' (the B-side of the single 'Sunglasses') literally bounces our way - with some Dave Edmunds guitar licks incorporated; given that Nick Lowe was part of Stiff at the time, me thinks!
As all the hits were on disc one, we enter the final straight with an extended, flamenco inspired version of Skeeter Davis' 'Sunglasses,' before the body-swaying (and B-side of the single 'Helpless') 'Falling In And Out Of Love' and the run-of-the-mill; and no-good-reason-to-have-been extended version of the aforementioned 'Helpless.' Which is immediately backed up with a so-called Instrumental version of the very same song! It's like, for fifteen minutes, the song doesn't want to end!
The chatty, freeflowing, Ullman-original 'I Don't Want Our Loving To Die' is next, with the previously-unreleased, and Art Of Noise-ish rap tale 'Little Red Riding Hood' and the '50s inspired Shepherd Sisters cover of 'Alone' bringing the 2-disc set to a close.
UK CD Purchase Link