Greatest Hits – Goldie Lookin Chain

Label: Atlantic

They’re hardly going to use that title any further down the line, are they. Might as well now, the scamps. Goldie Lookin’ Chain are A Good Thing for pop music, belly-laugh fantastic, you know that (we’re not gonna get dragged down by their damn colloquialisms though, Oxford English all the way for us). They’re one of those curveballs, a magnified exaggeration of a vilified caricature rapidly turned C-list celebrity, an immoral danger to the Daily Mail readers amongst us, a victorious underdog to the rest. A reminder that opposites attract, anarchy and creativity sometimes can’t help but fall for and out with each other. And that you can’t keep an ugly cross-eyed mob down. They work in packs you see, which is just as well, they’d be fucking useless on their own. They should have been rounded up long before they got anywhere near our hit parade mind, because aside from all the sociological arguments they have probably made just about the worst record of the year.

You will not be listening to this record next summer, chances are you’ll be taking it back to HMV before Christmas and insisting your Nan bought it for you but you’ve already got it. The advice is enjoy it while you can. You know when you wake up on a Sunday, splitting head, bleary eyes, peculiar stiffness of the ribs, paralysed smirk wedged to your achy face and nothing but a vague memory of laughing like a tit for hours at something or nothing in particular. There is a reason for this lack of clarity, it’s a twist of biological self-defence, your body protecting you from the patent fact that you and your mates are twats. Who gave the GLC a tape recorder then?

There are though moments of genuine 2-carat Elizabeth Duke brilliance here (along with surely the first, and last, pop culture mention for the affordable catalogue jeweller), inspired couplets, and background-affirming shambolic spontaneity (or as near as, we don’t imagine these songs progressed far beyond their moments of inception). All too often a whole track is squeezed out of a couple of decent lines (‘Self-Suicide’) or quickly collapses into pointless stoner comedy (‘Half Man Half Machine’). But for it’s failures, and it’s a really big fat dripping BUT, it is heroically and consistently on the money throughout, vividly and hilariously painting a realistic shambles. Wherever you grew up you knew a member of Goldie Lookin’ Chain. You could stick it in a capsule and blast it off to Mars, it’d do a better job of giving them a heads-up than the abstract Blur CD that was couriered up a couple of years ago. Laughter is the best medicine after all, we could avert a war of the worlds. That is until they realise we’ve not sent the receipt up with it.

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Release: Goldie Lookin Chain - Greatest Hits
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Released: 24 September 2004