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A Collection Of Goodies Media Interviews
Bill & Graeme - Record & Radio Mirror - 1974 - Print Email PDF 
Posted by bretta 27/12/2009

Index

» Graeme - Radio Time...
» Goodies - Televisio...
» Tim - Radio Lancash...
» Bill - Goodies 30th...
» Tim - Interview wit...
» Goodies - Deadpan -...
» Bill & Graeme - Rec...
» Goodies - Time Out ...
» Goodies - Cult Time...
» Goodies - The Heral...
» Goodies - Various (...
» Goodies - Various (...
» Goodies - Daily Tel...
» Graeme - Radio Time...
» Goodies - 1994 Inte...
» Goodies - Guardian ...
» Tim & Graeme - Esse...
» Tim - Maidenhead Ad...
» Tim & Graeme - Linc...
» Graeme - Nottingham...
» Tim - Worcester New...
» Tim - The Express M...
» Graeme - Essex Chro...
» Graeme - Guardian M...
» Tim - Hull Daily Ma...
» Graeme - Scotsman A...
» Graeme - Mature Tim...
» Graeme - Independen...
» Bill - Sunday Star ...
» Graeme - Time Out S...
» Goodies - Daily Mai...
» Bill - Bristol Even...
» Graeme - Best Briti...
» Tim - Telegraph Int...
» Graeme - Cotswold L...
» Bill - Daily Mail 2...
» Bill - Varsity 2012
» Graeme - The Age (T...
» Graeme - TV Tonight...
» Tim - Daily Mail (A...

FEATURE ARTICLE

(contributed by Lisa Manekofsky)

 

(from C&G #81  September 2002)

 

The following article appeared in the January 19, 1974 issue of "Record & Radio Mirror".  While the article is about the release of the Goodies first album, it never actually mentions the title of the album - it is "The Goodies Sing Songs from the Goodies" (later reissued as "The World of the Goodies) which contains the songs

"All Things Bright and Beautiful", "Ride My Pony", "Stuff That Gibbon",  "Mummy I Don't Like My Meat",  "Show Me The Way", "Goodies Theme",  "Sparrow Song", "Taking You Back",  "Sunny Morning", "Winter Sportsman",  and "Spacehopper".

 

We trust that our readers will find the article interesting enough to forgive the original author's mistakes, including the unfortunate misspelling of Graeme's first name and Tim's last name as well as incorrectly crediting the authorship of "Stuff That Gibbon" to Graeme instead of Bill. 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Take a little Goodie advice

   Peter Harvey's given some during an afternoon with furry Bill Oddie

 

The point is you've got to take the Goodies record seriously, well more or less anyway, and if the result is a new teeny sensation to rival Donny, Bill Oddie won't complain.

 

I knew it sounds unlikely and I'm going to have a hard job convincing you, but first consider the facts.

 

Bill's last venture into unknown territory was with a Cambridge University review that wandered into London and knocked the humour brigade for six.  It was something akin to the Beatles' early explosion back in '62, only instead of upstaging the music business, Messrs Oddie, Brook-Taylor, Garden, and Cleese (and ilk) breathed fresh air into satire.

 

From this amateur start that shook the London establishment has grown the Sorry I'll Read That Again, Goodies, and Python-type humour; if you like the "heavies" of British silliness.  So don't think Bill Oddie and his mates can't become rock stars as well!

 

Even now copies of the Goodies first album are finding their way into your friendly local record shop.  The release date was set to meet the Christmas trade but like many other records, the Goodies collection was late.  Fair enough, but what bothers ageing superstar Bill as he reviews progress in the secret confines of his Hampstead Heath Hideaway is that the blighters have filed the record under "British Humourists."

 

Bill, who looks strangely slimmed down in spite of the Christmas pud season, is deadly serious about the album.  Up in his "den" on the fourth floor of one of those tall thin houses that back onto Hampstead Heath, he'd even got fellow Goody, Graham Garden present to bolster his arguments.

 

I sat there wondering when the room was going to take off into space leaving me an outsider in the lastest Goodies episode, but this was for real.

 

"Obviously I take the music seriously," said Bill, lighting a pencil thin cheroot.  "And that's a major problem at the moment.  The point we've been trying to make ever since we recorded this damn thing is that it shouldn't be filed under humorists because it's not merely a funny record.  But you cannot get this through.  Still, probably a lot of listeners don't have such a set attitude as the people who put records in racks.

 

"It isn't really a comedy record.  There are one or two funny bits.  There's a big range which is risky...you do a lot of things and please some people for two tracks and others for two tracks and nobody likes the whole thing."

 

All but one of the eleven songs are taken from the Goodies television series.  Two of the out and out funnies are by Graham, Stuff That Gibbon and The Sparrow Song, and the rest, apart from All Things Bright and Beautiful (a straight rock version of the original and released uneventfully as a single in October) are from Bill.

 

He reckons he's written about 50 songs for the Goodies and about 100 funny songs for I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again.  The ones on the record are the ones they like best.

 

But back to the problem.

 

Bill: "We have a record that is a problem.  It's not typical of our image and thank you Decca, there's been no advertising, publicizing or anything, and we felt it was very important that since the record is not typical of our image we needed something saying this is a new venture.  It's not the Goodies doing a comedy record, it's the Goodies doing a music record.  The only advert described it as lunatic...maybe they are for releasing it.  But we had a meeting and said we didn't want to push the comedy side of it.  It's just ridiculous."

 

Bill says he can only describe it as a music album.

 

Graham: "It's a difficult album.  I think the first time people play it, they might be disappointed because it's not funny, or not funny enough, and then play it again and actually quite like it.  And they might be puzzled by some of the songs, when they are waiting for the funny bits."

 

It's a cross section, Bill decides, and admits that much to his amazement he enjoys listening to it.  He's very nervous about how it's going to go down though, reckons they have taken a chance, but believes it works.  It's the range that worries him.

 

"By and large I think pop followers are a little bit conditioned not to take range.  They may know someone's sound and expect a whole album to have that sound.  It does demand a bit of work.  I mean I hate the feeling of people putting the record on and just leaving it in the background.  We feel it is a listening record...party record as well.  But I hope people listen to the words."

 

Although there is an impressive antique drum kit, various saxophones, flutes, a guitar, even a couple of stuffed birds, in his den, Bill says his first instrument is his gramophone.  His taste ranges from "rather esoteric jazz" to Randy Newman, The Band, and Harry Nilsson, on that particular instrument, and when it comes to getting songs down he hums them onto tape.

 

The musicians used by the Goodies for the series and the album are what he calls "a really heavy band" - mostly ace session men - half of Soft Machine for starters!  When the lads themselves have a go it's all down to guitar, penny whistle and bongoes!

 

Graham and Bill don't collaborate on songs.

 

"Graham does write a few and they are usually very silly ones."

 

Would Bill like to become a rock star?

 

"No.  I'm too old.  But yes!"

 

Even if that sounds unlikely, there's a more than remote chance he could write a hit song for someone else.  Apart from the Goodies record deal there's a song publishing deal too and as soon as he gets time he'll be producing demos, songs written without the Goodies in mind, and hopefully these will be recorded by suitable artists.

 

Although Bill says he has no confidence in his musical judgement, he believes given a six month deadline to write a hit song, he could do it.

 

"Getting them to the right people and with the right arrangement is 90 per cent of the battle really.  So much of the basic material is just nothing.  It's the sound and whose singing it.  It's unlikely that if Slade were singing your song it would not be a hit."

 

Having decided he could it, he admits that interests him least.  It's more likely to happen more by accident than judgement, though don't be surprised is Bill comes out with a solo album on Randy Newman lines eventually.  And there's got to be, by contract, an album and two singles for this year and next, so we better get used to the idea.

 

They may even pop up on the Old Grey Whistle Test yet.  Or even on the road with a band, that's something, time and energy permitting, that they would like to do.

 

With the Goodies, as you know, anything is possible.

 

And if people dismiss the album because it's not funny enough?

 

"If that's the be-all and end-all of it, if they say it's not funny therefore I don't like it, well I suppose that's up to them."

 

"One reviewer," said Graham, "thought the single was not as good as Monty Python.  It wasn't actually as good as Beethoven either."

 

Finally, from Bill: "The chances are that it won't get enough exposure and I'm sure a lot of people won't like it because of what they are expecting, and by the second album, if it's still not a comedy album, they will realize that they have to listen to this in a bit of a different way..."

 




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