John Alford – Blue Moon

Release Date: May 96
Chart Position: 9

Another important moment in neg history and another massive track to keep us on the straight and narrow as we head for home. John Alford offers up a tasty slice of sunny island fruit cake that compliments his debut nicely and stamps his authority on a genre that will soon become a happy hunting ground for him. The string intro offers a serious undertone to an otherwise lighthearted affair and Alford’s tones are able to melt the steeliest of hearts. Throughout the production he also thankfully demonstrates his diverse and impressive range of acting, Sci-Fi, 70’s Disco, mad man, safari man, its all there. It’s now clear to see where Dean Gaffney took inspiration.
……sorry, I can’t keep the sarcasm going. This is pig shit and is seriously making me consider taking up internet trolling.
2/10. Piss off Alford.

James BC
Remember the other John Alford song from a few weeks ago? This is just about the same as that. The one new addition is the weird Eurodancey intro, but after that Mike Stock and Matt Aitken’s reimagining of reggae kicks in and John deploys his just-above-average voice to the presumed delight of nans everywhere but not me. The badman MC is still in the background but his contribution has been significantly scaled back and the volume turned down – most likely some of the Horlicks drinkers who bought the last one found him a bit hardcore when fully audible.alford
Once again the best you can say about this is that it’s an important precursor to today’s foremost light entertainer, Olly Murs. There’s a long list of reasons why Olly is better, but the basic cheeky-TV-chappie-does-reggae-light idea started in large part with John and you have to give credit where it’s due. That said, Blue Moon isn’t any better than Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, so I’ll give it one point less for the lack of firefighting references and MC Badman’s marginalisation.
Score: 3 out of 10

So another John Alford song this week, better have a look at my last review and see if I mentioned the following;

  • Grange Hill – check;
  • London’s Burning – check;
  • Getting done for woof – check.

This is tough, this could be the shortest Neggae review in history. The intro is promising as it sounds like the Beloved have remixed Beats International, unfortunately this is the nadir of this track and after 10 seconds it descends into karaoke mediocrity. Yet another Stock and Aitken attempt at a reggae beat kicks in and we trundle along in this manner, this won’t be getting on the ‘Death in Paradise’ soundtrack anytime soon. There’s some lame attempts at authenticity were someone has pressed the ‘Random reggae cliché chant generator’ button on the keyboard so we got the odd ‘Oi, oi, oi, oi’ and ‘have mercy’, if you close your eyes you could be at Sunsplash. The vocals are ok, the sort that if you were at a karaoke night they’d grab your attention momentarily, before you were distracted by the alien object floating halfway down your pint in a plastic glass.
The video is interesting though, what initially looks like your standard ‘Neggae singer stuck in a TV’ storyline at first is revealed to be something far more sinister on closer inspection. The opening scene is John being banged up, which means he knew his fate before it happened and the reason for this makes Julian Assange look like schoolboy stuff.
In the scene directly after prison John is being seen chased by a reptilian, lizard like form which suggests he was already being pursued by the lizard overlords who run the world, as the video goes on the reasons become clear. We go to his first ‘character’, who is a seventies style singer dressed a bit like Elvis performing on a pop show, remind you of anyone? Someone whose gang you wouldn’t have really liked to have been in perhaps? The next ‘character’ is a white haired man dressed in a gold jacket, now if you remove the moustache it bears a striking similarity to someone who’d fix it for you, especially if you were under 16 or dead. Next we have a scruffy haired man in a cravat and safari suit standing in front of a map of the UK he’s just drawn, suggesting he’s come from foreign shores, now add facial hair, can you tell who it is yet? Basically Alford is trying to tell the whole world about the scandal which is now being investigated by ‘Operation Yewtree’ and predicting he’d be incarcerated by the reptilian powers that be for bringing to light these stunning revelations. This has to make you wonder the legitimacy of his coke bust and subsequent career ruining jail time.
This could have been the most politically charged Neggae song ever released with massive repercussions across the world of entertainment but was stopped in its tracks by shady forces at work.
1/10 – For any of the illuminati reading this I don’t believe a word of that, it was merely done to pad my review out, honest.

Blue Moon is a 20th century American standard. Written by Richard Rodgers of Rodgers & Hammerstein in 1934, it featured in countless MGM movies through the 40s and 50s and graced the Billboard charts on numerous occasions.
Elvis had a stab at it. So did Sinatra. My favourite version is this one by the Marcels:

Which closes the film American Werewolf in London. The wolf gets cornered and shot in a Picadilly Circus alleyway. Jenny Agutter looks distressed and sexy at the same time (standard), and everyone feels a bit of a wally when the wolf reverts to a human corpse. All rather sad. And then:
“ Bom ba ba bom ba bom ba bom bom ba ba bom ba ba bom ba ba dang a dang dang.”
And you’re instantly reminded that actually, a lot of the film was daft and clever and it’s not that sad after all and to be honest it was probably for the best I mean it’s no way to live is it not knowing what you’re doing every night and massacring commuters on the London Underground and waking up in the Lion’s Den at London Zoo and having to steal balloons off kids to cover your knackers you can’t even go to the pictures because a zombified apparition of your best friend will talk all through the film and..
You get the picture. Clever use of a great song in a great film.

Which is the complete opposite of this shite.

Alford (and his shadowy puppetmasters Stock and Aitken – who will have pocketed most of the children’s pocket money that got spent on this turd) has somehow managed to ruin one of the greatest songs of the modern era.
I went to see Paul Weller play at the Forum in 2005. Good gig all in all. It was his drummer Steve White’s birthday – and as an excuse to have a break and a ciggie the band all swapped instruments. Weller went on drums, and Steve White was made to sing Blue Moon. How we all laughed. Here’s the clip:

Where does one start?
The backing music is like a Karaoke tape; it’s like they’ve gone out of their way to specifically recreate the sound of a Sunfly Karaoke CDR you’d hear in Yates’ on a Monday night. It’s quite some feat.
Muted bass, tinny drums; I’m pretty sure NO live instruments will have been used on this. It reminds me of the bontempi keyboards we had in Music class at school. If you selected “REGGAE BOOGIE” from the preset menu, you’d get Blue Moon by John Alford. Swear down.
The song is easily the shortest on the blog; 2m55s but 40 seconds of that is intro and outro padding. So that’s something I guess.
As for the video – he’s referencing Suggs persona but with 10% of the budget and frankly charisma. The cheap set and costume amounts to titting about in the dressing up box on wet break. Also how does he get from out of the telly and into the girls bed? Unexplained. At least in Baby Come Back Pato Banton flew in and out of the TV in a pixelated timewarp beam of light. THAT made sense.
Score: What do you think? Nought out of ten.