Song of the Day: Johnny Boy “You Are The Generation That Bought More Shoes”
Combining the Phil Spector “Wall of Sound” aesthetic (including directly lifting the drum beat from The Ronettes‘ “Be My Baby”), ideas from The Clash‘s Sandanista! LP and an anti-consumerist ethos, Johnny Boy‘s non-hit single from 2005 sounds like very little else from the era. The group did not exist for long, releasing only their self-titled debut LP (the rest of which did not live up to the single) before promptly disappearing. The group seemed like they were part of a mini-girl group revival that happened during the mid-2000s and which also included The Pipettes.
All that said, Johnny Boy‘s sole single, “You Are The Generation That Bought More Shoes (And You Get What You Deserve)” remains absolutely phenomenal. The song really digs into the Phil Spector sound but does so with an almost punk rock mania, attacking the excesses of consumer culture and spitting it back in your face, all without ever losing sight of the pure pop of the music. In a way, this is one of the most subversive singles to ever have been released, and it is a real shame that it failed to really chart or make inroads outside of the UK. Regardless of how you might feel about consumerism, it is incredibly easy to get lost in the swirl of strings, horns, swooshes, “Oh baby!’s” and “Yeah, Yeah!’s”. In a lot of ways, this is basically a perfect pop single that challenges the idea of pop as a disposable medium. It remains a cruel irony (and function of the corporate gate keepers of many radio stations) that it remains a rarity.