Me And My Big Mouth

Clarkey’s ‘best of’ compilation gets a review in the NME, 9 May, 1981.

John Cooper Clarke
Me And My Big Mouth
(Epic)

A compilation designed to coincide with Clarke’s May tour, ‘Me And My Big Mouth’ puts a neat perspective on the illustrious career of this renegade beatnik made good. Culled from the bard’s three albums, the first side is studio material ranging from ‘(I Married A) Monster From Outer Space’ to ‘The It Man’, while two thirds of the second are from the live album ‘Walking Back To Happiness’.
Having never been much of fan, finding the major part of his repertoire too dependent on the facile security of Pinteresque satire, the most pleasing rediscovery afforded by ‘Me And My Big Mouth’ is that of the original Invisible Girls, a “sometime combination” of Martin Hannett and Steve Hopkins.
This chilling, eerie backcloth to Clarke’s ranting is sometimes used to magical effect. The bitter, intense ‘Beasley Street’ would be an obvious example.
“My relationship with rock’n’roll,” Clarke once confided, “is like Lenny Bruce’s with modern jazz – I like the clothes and attitude.” Yet if he hadn’t been taken up by Hannett, and given this kind of musical entrenchment, one wonders whether John Cooper Clarke would today be in a position to undertake a nationwide tour.

Barney Hoskyns

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