Thank you, Baby Jesus, for Ben Elton

eltonI’m probably going to tell this story incorrectly, but this is how I remember it:

When my friends Kevin and Jenn moved back from Scotland to the U.S. in the (early?) 90s, they brought with them a couple cassettes of Ben Elton’s stand-up comedy. I’d never heard of Ben Elton, although I had heard of Blackadder and The Young Ones, two British comedy shows for which he’d written.

These two cassettes, Motormouth and Motorvation, were a revelation. I was already a big fan of stand-up, but I’d never listened to any British comics, and Ben Elton’s left-wing humor was right up my alley. I wore the cassettes out listening to them, memorizing every line.

Sadly, I lost the cassettes in a move, and by the time I looked to order them again, it was very hard to get either album in the U.S. A couple weeks ago, nearly 20 years after losing the originals, I found a vinyl copy of Motormouth online at Vinyl Tap. It arrived in the mail today. I’m listening to it right now. It’s just as funny as I remembered, and I have a huge smile plastered across my face.

Record Of The Day: Love Over Gold – Dire Straits

loveovergold

This is my favorite Dire Straits record, followed closely by the live album Alchemy. I was introduced to this record in high school, sometime around 1988 or ’89, by Jeff Smith, who played guitar in a band with a bunch of my friends. Love Over Gold is, for me, the apex of Knopfler’s period of writing extended, complex songs for the band. This album is by turns haunting and lovely and thrilling, with plenty of guitar heroics throughout.

BUY IT.