Chart Peak: 4
It's statistically unlikely that you'll need a link to the original of this, but here it is anyway.
My strongest memory of Suggs's solo career is that in May 1996 (or around that time at least) I was torn between buying his album The Lone Ranger or The Sun Is Often Out by Longpigs. Much to my brother's derision, I ultimately plumped for the latter (but guess what he got for his birthday that year). Whilst I still think I made the right choice, this doesn't necessarily mean I have a complete downer on the one I decided against: if I remember correctly, I actually took it with me when I moved out of the house, but I did have to give it back eventually. It's no masterpiece but there are some decent chunks of Madness-like pop on there (indeed the song '4am' was later recycled on a Madness album) thanks to his renewed collaboration with ex-colleague Mike Barson. And then there's this.
At the time, I actually thought this was quite good. It's certainly a good-natured treatment of Paul Simon's original, which lends itself better to Ska than might have been predicted; I don't even know whether there might have been ska versions of the song before. And, I suppose the extra vocals from Louchie Lou and Michie One add a slight spark of originality. But still, this hasn't aged at all well - it sounds like a bit of a novelty now. It was novel enough for a lot of people though: in a time when almost every hit single entered the charts at its peak position, this managed to leap 33-9 in the second week of release, thanks to an appearance on the televised lottery show if I remember rightly. It went on to peak even higher and sell over half a million copies, and inspiring them to team up again for the less successful 'No More Alcohol'.
Oh, and some people might not forgive me if I neglected to link to this. Naughty Top Of The Pops producers!
Also appearing on: Now 32
Available on:Platinum Collection
Charting 1997: 27th December
4 years ago