It Seemed like A Good Idea At The Time
Fortuna POP! – 7 August – CD/LP/DL
It Seemed like A Good Idea At The Time, the debut solo album from Simon Love, formerly of John Peel and Marc Riley favourites The Loves, is a sweary and irreverent tour de force, full of catchy hooks and offbeat lunacy. Taking its inspiration from maverick Seventies singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson and The Lovin’ Spoonful, the album features guest appearances by comedian Stewart Lee and 60s pirate radio DJ Emperor Rosko, while indiepop ensemble for hire A Little Orchestra contribute lush strings and Rob Jones of The Voluntary Butler Scheme provides brass.
Described recently by the Guardian as being “more early Kinks than the early Kinks”, Simon formed The Loves in Cardiff in 2000. After releasing their debut single on Radio One DJ Huw Stephens’ Boobytrap Singles Club and playing live dates supporting the Yeah Yeah Yeahs their second album Technicolor was made Album Of The Week in The Sunday Times. The band went on to play four Peel Sessions and as many for Marc Riley on BBC 6 Music before calling it a day in 2011.
Full of giant pop songs and peppered with bitter love stories about bad relationships, It Seemed like A Good Idea At The Time opens with the expletive-heavy “**** (Is A Dirty Word)” before moving on to jubilant lead single “The New Adam and Eve”, in which Simon threatens to “punch a man in the face, with fists made out of jellyfish” before going on to “deny him any of my piss”. There’s a Paul McCartney cover version (“Dear Boy” from Ram), a song about the voluntary removal of Simon’s penis (“My Dick”) and a song about people who fuck you around (“Motherfuckers”), before side one closes with the five minute long psychedelic wig-out that is “Wowie Zowie”.
Side two opens with the gorgeous, string-laden “Sweetheart, You Should Probably Go To Sleep” and the mid-paced 60s pop of “Don’t Get The Gurl No More” before Simon and band pull out their best Booker T groove for “The Meaning Of Love”, featuring comedian Stewart Lee reciting the definition of love straight from Wikipedia. This is followed by what in the late 70s would be called a rocker, “You Kiss Your Mother With That Mouth?”, resplendent with sax solo, before the song most likely to lead to litigation, the epic “Elton John”, written from the perspective of Elton John’s ex-wife Renate. As Simon explains; “On the eve of his wedding to Renate Blauel, Elton was having three-way sex with his boyfriend & a male prostitute (according to the book I read). He then invited both of them to the wedding. It can also be seen as a song about being dicked around by anyone I suppose.” The album closes with the title track “It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time”, with the album credits read out over the outro by 60s pirate radio DJ Emperor Rosko.
With this album, Simon Love has created his most cohesive collection of songs to date, welding magic melodic mischief to his knack for great songwriting and witty lyrics. Simon contends that It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time is likely to be the inscription on his tombstone, saying, “I’m bound to die doing something stupid that I shouldn’t have been doing”. More likely to land him on the radio than in the grave, Love's debut solo album is daring, unique, and definitely a good idea.