Hear This: A British punk captured the feelings of a Sopranos mobster
In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well. This week, we’re talking about songs we’ve discovered via TV shows.
John Cooper Clarke, “Evidently Chickentown” (1980)
Back before the term “punk poet” became a two-word warning that it was time to leave the coffeehouse, John Cooper Clarke wore it proudly as the wild-haired “Bard Of Salford,” the tall, barmy guy who would rattle off vituperative free verse before bands like Joy Division, The Fall, and Sex Pistols. And while I generally loved all those groups and anyone even tangentially associated them, I primarily thought of Clarke as a novelty act.
I first heard Clarke’s rendition of “(You Never See A Nipple In The) Daily Express” on the classic post-punk live compilation Short Circuit: Live At The Electric Circus, and “Health Fanatic” in the new-wave concert film Urgh! A Music War. And …