Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Singles going steady 17: Cornershop


Almost exactly ten years ago, there was a most unlikely number one single. It involved a band who hadn’t been anywhere near troubling the charts before, and at least in their early days would probably have though this totally abhorrent.

Cornershop first emerged in 1992, and at first were associated with the Riot Grrrl scene (they weren’t girls of course, but it was a broad church), releasing records such as The Days of Ford Cortina and Readers’ Wives which didn’t exactly scream ‘chart action’. They went a bit quiet in the mid-90s before re-emerging in ’97 with the When I Was Born for the Seventh Time album, which marked a bit of a step forward from their earlier scrappy sound, with its appropriation of funky rhythms and a Hindi version of Norwegian Wood. Possibly the poppiest tune, Brimful of Asha was released as a single but only got to number 60. But there was more to come.

It was all about big beat. At that time the nation’s dancefloors were pounding to the sort of chunky beats laid down by the likes of the Propellerheads, The Chemical Brothers and the whole roster of Skint Records. It was the Skint main man Norman Cook who lent both his name and his winning way with breakbeats and breakdowns to turn Brimful of Asha into a chart-topping, radio friendly tune. I suppose people were so busy dancing to stop and think what the song was really about. If you’ve gotten older and ever wondered, look no further than this detailed analysis.

Needless to say, Cornershop never went near such best selling action again. Almost six years on from heir last album, we’re still waiting. I don’t think even Norman Cook can help them this time around.

Download: Cornershop – Brimful of Asha (original version)
Download: Cornershop – Brimful of Asha (Norman Cook Remix – extended version)


6 comments:

jamila FUCKING DANCE said...

can't believe that song is ten years old!! that would have made me 8 when it came out hahaha.

Anonymous said...

every girl i've tried to turn on to this song has looked askance at me because of the "bosom for a pillow" lyrics. anyone else had this experience?

The Daily Growl said...

Erm, no, but I can see why...

Tom OMG said...

This song is one surefire way to make me feel all nostlgic.

The Daily Growl said...

Tom - what do you mean 'nostalgic'? You must have been even younger than Jamilla when the song was out! Honestly, you kids making me feel old...

Tom OMG said...

Like a big nineties kid wearing awful recession clothes, it makes me want to hunt in the attic for old family videos