In the words of Morrissey, Kirsty MacColl was ‘a supreme original, although not, as far as I know, an original Supreme.’
The singer-songwriter died tragically in 2000, but her twenty year music career was absolutely brilliant. And whilst she’s best known for ‘Fairytale of New York’ and her cover of The Kinks’ ‘Days’ and Billy Bragg’s ‘A New England’ there’s much more to discover.
A new compilation called All I Ever Wanted: The Anthology is out on April 7 (tracklisting here), which gives me an opportunity to post some videos of her.
This was her first hit, ‘There’s A Guy Works Down The Chip Shop Swears He’s Elvis.’ A novelty hit? Maybe, but what fun, and a gem in her hands.
I remember hearing the 12″ version of ‘Terry’ when I worked in HMV in 2002 on a various artists compilation, I honestly think this is superior to the original version and I’m glad it’s on the album.
The last album she released before she died, 2000’s Tropical Brainstorm is an excellent record which I bought on it release and showed her love affair with South American msuic. It also showed her way with a witty and acerbic lyric. ‘England 2 Columbia 0’ is the outstanding track on the album.
Finally, she worked with The Smiths (hear her on ‘Ask’, which came out around the same time as Billy Bragg’s ‘Greetings To The New Brunette’ which also featured her on backing vocals) and also with both Morrissey and Johnny Marr once The Smiths had split. ‘Walking Down Madison’ was a chart hit in the UK, featuring Johnny Marr on guitar in early 1991, and she was back in the charts a couple of months later singing backing vocals on Billy Bragg’s hit ‘Sexuality.’
All I Ever Wanted: The Anthology is released by Salvo on April 7.