Hackskeptic’s 500 Greatest Songs: Ian Dury & The Blockheads – Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick

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159 – Ian Dury And The Blockheads – Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick (1978)
Written by Ian Dury and Chaz Jankel
Produced by Laurie Latham
Label – Stiff

I have had limited personal exposure to well known musicians, but at high school I was familiar, if a distant friend of Paul Raven, bass player with Killing Joke. During the late 70s he was a founder member of a punk band (Neon Hearts), who achieved regional success and appeared on national TV on a few occasions. The Regis School in Wolverhampton had a popular punk scene, largely influenced by Raven, and although I was only 13 when they released their self financed debut single (“Regulations”/”Venus Eccentric”). I saw Raven in Tettenhall village at the start of 1979 and asked him who he considered great bass players. He immediately said, “If you can play Norman Watt-Roy’s bass line on “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick” you’re a bloody great bass player, believe me.” I loved the song but never realized the significance of the bass line. I went home, put the single on record player and was immediately blown away. Watt-Roy’s bass melody is incredible. Like nothing I’ve ever heard before of since.

Thank you Norman Watt-Roy!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Watt-Roy

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Thank you Ian Dury! R.I.P.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hit_Me_with_Your_Rhythm_Stick

Thank you Paul Raven! R.I.P.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Raven_(musician)
Here’s Killing Joke’s Gothic classic, “Love Like Blood”

And here’s a dude who does a bloody good interpretation of said bass line.

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9 responses to “Hackskeptic’s 500 Greatest Songs: Ian Dury & The Blockheads – Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick

  1. Another one of those bands I don’t really know much of, but I am really fond of this song and would agree that the bass is pretty incredible.

    • I think Dury is one of those artists that may have passed many people by. He only had three or four hits, but this one was a U.K. number one. And deservedly so IMO

  2. Just on the subject of Mr Watt Roy…
    I’ve met him three times now, last of all getting out of a limousine with Wilko Johnson before a gig at the Robin Bilston.
    Down to earth and as level headed as can be, an astonishing transformation on stage changes him into an engine room of energy passion and skill.
    Bewildering to watch, listen to and groove to, Hit Me is a peak on a mountain range of riffs, like Wake Up, pulling you into the tune and spitting you out onto a huge pile of luvly London lyric.
    Great 45, great introduction to the movie of Porridge, full marks Hackskeptic

      • Very few of us crave books of rock lyrics, we need these pearls of wisdom wrapped in a good tune well played.

      • I think I’ve touched on this before, I’m moved more by music driven, as opposed to vocal driven bands, as much as I love the verbal expertise of Dury it’s the musical framework and astonishing musicianship that draws me back again and again to his canon. On a tangent, that’s why Dylan’s recent output has engaged me so much, he’s surrounded by great players and builds beautiful arrangements

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