Driving home from Maine in the middle of the night a couple of weeks ago, with my boys asleep in the back, my wife half out of it, and the iPod plugged into my car stereo and set to SHUFFLE, The Jam‘s “That’s Entertainment” came on. I had the volume down on the stereo so I wouldn’t wake anyone, but I started to get annoyed that I couldn’t follow the lyrics to this old favorite. I’m not married to lyrics – and I’m definitely not one of those people who search for a lyric sheet as soon as I buy a new album – but I’ve always like Paul Weller’s lyrics and will eventually pore over his latest set of words. I’ve always liked the lyrics to “That’s Entertainment,” but on this night, with the volume turned down, I couldn’t make out what he was singing. I had to stir my wife.
“Shit!,” I muttered, “I can’t believe I can’t make out the lyrics to an acoustic song. No wonder The Jam never made it in the States!” I added, to no delight of my woozy wife, “The next person who whines about The Jam never making it bigger than they did should ask why they can’t make out the lyrics to a damn acoustic song!”
It’s true what you’ve heard: I’m a dream to live with.
What whining artists, critics who deem them darlings, and fans do you think need to get over it – and why? I’ve got thoughts on longtime whiners like XTC and Graham Parker as well as an artist who I don’t think whines himself but leaves the critics to do his sobbing, Richard Thompson.