Another day, another TTOTDOWOHOHCBATCI… having shown you what Ian Dury and the Blockheads could do when they were trying, I thought I’d share with you how much fun they could be when they weren’t. “Razzle in my Pocket” is a humdrum tale of everyday thievery and its inevitable come-uppance ; the sort of Crime and Punishment which I’m sure Dostoevsky would have conceived had he originated from Romford rather than Moscow.
It also illustrates two song-types of which I’m very fond, one still alive (if unwell), and the other seemingly dead. Firstly, it’s a “vignette” song, a little slice of someone’s life… like, say, “Don’t You Want Me” by the Human League, or “Papa Don’t Preach” by Madonna. There are plenty of these still around; sadly, most of them are by Lily Nash or Kate Allen and inevitably concern subjects requiring very little imagination / creative skill; hence we hear endlessly about drugs taken, loathsome family members, failed short-term relationships brimming with bitchy resentment, unexpected discharges from various orifices and the like. Which is a shame.
Secondly, it’s a classic light-relief b-side record; i.e. a loose idea for a song which was never likely to make it to the album, but which has been resurrected and (very) hastily recorded specifically to fill the blank vinyl on the other side of the anticipated hit (in this case, it was the flip to Dury’s legendary “Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll”). With the demise of the 7″ - in fact, of the single altogether - the “comedy” b-side appears to be no longer required. Which is also a shame.