|Ginger Rogers in Professional Sweetheart, released 1933.
The effort I still put in to these things…
I’ve never much cared for calling a band or artist under rated. It quite often comes attached to a rather snobby tone, along the lines of “oh, this band are wonderful, people just don’t get it, but I do” with an implied bit of “look how underground and brilliant I am”. Some bands just aren’t widely known, for whatever reason, the fact they aren’t famous doesn’t reflect on how well they are rated. None of which has any real bearing on today’s post, I’m mainly waffling. I do however think that today’s featured artist is and are (it’ll get complicated in a minute) arguably under appreciated.
Ginger is pretty much one of my favourite songwriters ever. He’s also one of the most prolific I can think of, whether with The Wildhearts, one of his many side projects, or as a solo artist, the number of songs in his back catalogue is frankly ridiculous. Even more so when there’s nothing amongst hundreds of songs he’s written that I can think of as a bad one.
Breathe easy, I’m not going to do a full album by album run down this time. I’d have to have started writing that last June to have any hope of getting it finished in time. Consider this instead an edited highlights package instead.
We’ll start with The Wildhearts. Seven studio albums of all new material, one more of cover version. Two b-sides compilations containing almost all new songs too, with a couple of cover versions on there. You can see why I’m staying the Hell away from trying to cover every album here, and we’ve not even gotten to the solo and side projects yet.
The odd thing is that I didn’t even care for The Wildhearts much for quite some time. I picked up a couple of singles and enjoyed them fine, bought P.H.U.Q. when it came out and enjoyed it, but still wasn’t really a big fan. A couple of friends were much bigger fans than I was, and got me to go to see them a couple of times, gigs I mainly went to because I liked the support band. Eventually, something clicked in my head, along the lines of “you like the songs, you enjoy going to see them, why on Earth do you still consider them a band you don’t like?”. For once my brain presented me with a not unreasonable question, and I changed my ways. Since then I’ve eagerly awaited new releases, went back and caught old ones I’d passed over and if there was a Glasgow gig to go to, I’ve been at it. I do find the later albums a bit more interesting than the earlier ones though…
Let’s have a couple of Wildhearts songs then, shall we?
The Wildhearts – 29x The Pain (Suckerpunch B-Side)
The Wildhearts – Sky Chaser High (Sick of Drugs B-Side)
The Wildhearts – Slaughtered Authors (from The Wildhearts)
The Wildhearts – You Took the Sunshine from New York (from ¡Chutzpah!)
Over the years The Wildhearts have gone on hiatus a fair few times, and are on another indefinite one again at the moment. This gives Ginger plenty of time to play around with other things, and his solo stuff, or stuff with other band members, is usually very interesting, and varies a lot in style.
Including Silver Ginger 5, because leaving them out would just be daft, over the years Ginger has clocked up four solo albums, one of those a double one. Add in a couple of live albums, a singles compilation, and the country and western alter-ego album, plus contributions to Clam Abuse and Super$hit 666, and we’re into a very large number of songs penned by Ginger.
Most recently, with The Wildhearts being on hiatus Ginger has taken on the Ginger Wildheart name, playing gigs with friends that mix Wildhearts songs with ones from other projects.
Also, he used Pledge Music to fund a new Ginger Wildheart album, with pledgers getting a 30 song triple album, which has been trimmed down to a single for general release. The triple album is named 555%, the number that his pledge campaign was halted at, raising a quarter of a million dollars. Of the 30 songs on 555% not one sounds like filler.
100% is out soon, and I’m going to steer clear of posting any songs from that or 555%.
Silver Ginger 5 – Walk Like a Mother Fucker (from Black Leather Mojo)
Ginger – Not Bitter, Just a Little Disappointed (from A Break In The Weather)
Ginger – The Drunken Lord of Everything (from Valor Del Corazon)
Ginger – Jake (from Yoni)
Ginger – You and Me (That’s What I Want) (from Market Harbour)
Howling Willie Cunt – Caffeine Bomb (from World of Filth)