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Simply the Worst: #8 Love is All Around

We don’t need to look far for our next entrants in the hall of shame – step forward Clydebank’s own Wet Wet Wet.

You want controversy? Here’s some; Wet Wet Wet weren’t always bad. No, really. Their first single ‘Wishing I Was Lucky’ said as much about dole culture under Thatcher as anything Billy Bragg ever wrote. Their early pop-soul stuff was shiny happy pop music, sure, but they were very good at what they did. But by the time the 90s rolled around…forget it.

Marti Pellow had always struck most people as a prick, but when he suddenly appeared with a pony-tail it simply sealed the deal. And when they took this simple, lovely little Troggs number and viciously fucked it until it lay in a pool of its own blood, too ashamed to even speak, it made a nation which had previously given them the benefit of the doubt realise that they should cease doing so.

It took time though – this single, from the ‘go-on-admit-it’s-not-bad’ Four Weddings and a Funeral, was number 1 for an astonishing 15 weeks – but their fall was quick and painful. Suddenly Pellow was a heroin addict; now he’s a ‘West End Star’ of Joseph and other such things that gays and women like. A heavy price.

Why is this so bad? The massive production, the sickeningly tremulous powerchords and Pellow’s puffed-up whiteboy ersatz soul voice. At one point he bellows ‘gotta keep on movin’, apropos of nothing, and then starts freestyling in a way which suggests he’s been forcefed some particularly vile cough remedy. the band, never the most talented, trundle along in that wedding band way they made their own. It’s unspeakable.

The worst part was that REM had covered it perfectly decently in their MTV Unplugged show a couple of years earlier. Given that the video for the Wetx3 version was a shameless rip-off of the Athens troupe’s ‘Radio Song’ video, it was hard to believe this was simply a coincidence. Wet Wet Wet wanted to be REM, which is akin to me wanting to be an astronaut, or Andy Parsons wanting to be funny – an unattainable dream.

However, every cloud and all that. Reg Pressley of the Troggs made  million pounds from this, which he spent on crop circle research. Respect.


2 Responses

  1. Reg Pressley is a nutter and has been for decades…there exists a superb tape of The Troggs arguing in the studio in the 60s. Superbly vitriolic.

    Wet x 3 were so bad by the end they all had pony tails and headless guitars and key-tars for the piano players. It was bad.

  2. As you say, the hideous power chord (and I’m a man who likes a power chord) at the intro just must have made Reg Presley want to kick fuck out of them.
    Talking of Presleys, anyone remember the marvellous Sid Presley Experience? They became Kray-light rockers The Godfathers later on, but as The SPE were top.

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