Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Neil's Heavy Concept Album (1984)

Neil's Heavy Concept Album is a 1984 recording of songs and spoken comedy routines by British actor Nigel Planer, in character as the long-suffering hippie Neil from the BBC comedy series The Young Ones. Production, arrangements and keyboards are by famed Canterbury keyboardist Dave Stewart, who also debuts on guitar, bass and drums.

The album followed the success of the Neil single "Hole in My Shoe" — a cover version of Traffic's 1967 hit — which reached number 2 in the United Kingdom.

The album starts with a spoken apology in which Neil apologizes for the album's quality. Additional spoken tracks include Neil having a conversation with a potato in a sewer, reciting a poem to his rubber plant, and experiencing a flashback. Also included is a parody horror movie commercial, which sees vegetarian Neil being turned into a carnivorous monster after accidentally eating a hamburger.

Among the originals is the Planer composition "Lentil Nightmare", a dark metal number that quotes from King Crimson's "The Court of the Crimson King" and features Planer singing in an uncharacteristic loud, high falsetto. In "Bad Karma in the UK", Neil's mum (played by musician Barbara Gaskin) admonishes him to watch his I Ching, chew his food eleven times, and remember his expectorant.

The album was heavily promoted by MTV, who had embraced The Young Ones and served as the sole outlet for the original LP in the US. A television commercial for the album had Neil in character talking about his "really beautiful" album, displaying a hole in his shoe, and hitting his head on a table.

01. "Hello Vegetables" – :26
02. "Hole In My Shoe" – 3:40
03. "Heavy Potato Encounter" – :42
04. "My White Bicycle" – 3:31
05. "Neil the Barbarian" – 1:12 (narrated by Nigel Planer's brother Roger Planer)
06. "Lentil Nightmare" – 5:47
07. "Computer Alarm" – :36
08. "Wayne" – 1:36
09. "The Gnome" – 2:29
10. "Cosmic Jam" – 2:26
11. "Golf Girl" – 4:40 (featuring Dawn French as a not-so-nice fairy godmother)
12. "Bad Karma in the UK" – 2:17
13. "Our Tune" – 1:13
14. "Ken" – :41
15. "The End of the World Cabaret" – 1:09
16. "No Future (God Save the Queen)" – 2:12
17. "Floating" – 1:39
18. "Hurdy Gurdy Man" – 3:46
19. "Paranoid Remix" – 1:59
20. "The Amoeba Song (From 'A Very Cellular Song')" – 1:19

Horrible Electric Musicians

* Bryson Graham - heavy metal drummer
* Gavin Harrison - flash studio drummer
* Pip Pyle - drunken cabaret drummer
* Jakko Jakszyk - heavy and psychedelic guitarist
* Dave Stewart - keyboardist, heavy metal bassist, useless drummer and fifties guitarist
* Rick Biddulph - cabaret bass & Rickenbacker 12 string

Beautiful Acoustic Musicians

* Jimmy Hastings - flute, saxophone and piccolo
* Annie Whitehead - trombone
* Barbara Gaskin - backing vocals
* Ted Hayton - backing vocals on "Hole In My Shoe"
* Rick Biddulph - 12 string guitar


marram62 said...

Anonymous said...

well let's give it a try then, hey?

Anonymous said...

p.s. --- thank you.

Anonymous said...

this is fantastic. thanks so much

Anonymous said...

some funny bits here! particularly enjoyed his take on caravan's 'golf girl.' thanks for showcasing it.

Fasbinder 62 said...

nice one, one thing I've been trying to reclaim from the cosmos for awhile is the original Comic Strip lp, featuring Nigel Planer, Rik Mayall and Alexei Sayle.
great blog by the way.

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Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this. I appreciate the ability to check stuff like this out. I do have to say that it's perhaps the least funny thing I've ever heard that was ostensibly intended to be funny. This isn't so much unfunny as it is *anti*funny; I'd been laughing to some snotty mashups & then listened to this - all humor was evacuated from the room within 7 minutes. Oh well - they can't all be winners. Thanks again for the opportunity.

Anonymous said...

the link is dead...

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Abigail Gonzalez said...
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