JILTED JOHN: True Love Stories: LP

Sep 17, 2018

A standard toss-in on any big label ’70s U.K. punk/new wave box set released in the last quarter-century, “Jilted John” (the song) was the brainchild of Jilted John (the singer)—a character played by Graham Fellows (the human), a then-nineteen-year-old drama student who’d gotten the wild idea that he’d like to record a batch of songs he’d written for his comedic dweeb persona. The end result was much like grafting Olga from the Toy Dolls’ mouth onto Peter Noone from Herman’s Hermits, then asking him to portray a lovelorn lad beset by various enemies, including the disloyal Julie and her new flame, Gordon the moron—all of which was good for a #4 punk(ish) novelty hit in England. They milked this unlikely smash out for an entire album, hereby reissued because people have been enjoying the fortieth anniversaries of things lately. While there’s more charm in listening to Double J recite his endless tales of young love gone hopelessly awry than one might initially think, the bit wears thin by side 2, at least if you’re an American and have to expend mental energy on things like figuring out that a “paper round” is a “paper route” (hell, I used to think the line “I was so upset that I cried all the way to the chip shop” was about a “jit shop,” which I figured was English slang for a porn store). I’m not so sure this record is superior to Bad Habits by the Monks, but it’s certainly an enduring work of twerpy genius. BEST SONG THAT ISN’T “JILTED JOHN”: Probably “Baz’s Party.” BEST SONG TITLE: “Fancy Mice.” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The liner notes call this album “Punk’s supreme triumph,” apparently in complete seriousness. –Rev. Nørb (Boss Tuneage, bosstuneage.com)