Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Year by year: 1974

Cockney Rebel – THE PSYCHOMODO

There are albums which appeal to your mind and then there are albums which appeal to your psyche. The Psychomodo is in the latter category. Whatever I wanted my music to be, Cockney Rebel’s second had it. It triggered every hidden sense and nerve that needed to be triggered without me even realising that. It has never let go.

‘But Desdemona and me
We had a ball in a tree
She read my palm in a moment
It was shocking to me’

In more ways than one, The Psychomodo is an album you could describe as ‘mental’. Yes, you could say these are pop songs. But they are unconventional pop songs. Subversive. They have zero commercial appeal. Title track is glam-rock threatening to fall apart at any second. “Mr. Soft” is Ray Davies writing songs from a mental hospital. “Sling It!” is delirious pop insanity. “Ritz” makes no sense lyrically, but it’s the most charming incomprehension I can imagine. “Tumbling Down” is an orchestrated anthem that is almost too beautiful for this world.

The cover gives you a good idea of what The Psychomodo sounds like. It may not be a classic in the general sense of the word. Rather, it’s a personal classic. In fact, I don’t think you can be as heartless and sane as to not sing along with Steve Harley during that final chant:


Again, it makes no sense. It makes perfect sense.