Wednesday, 23 September 2009

The Hoosiers 'Goodbye Mr A'

Chart Peak: 4


Well, the good news is that six tracks into this second disc, we finally get a track that could sensibly be described as "upbeat".

When I first heard this single, the follow-up to their big debut hit 'Worried About Ray', I wondered how much mileage there was in singing about people called Ray. In fact, it's supposed to be Mr. A, although on some choruses they're clearly singing "Goodbye Mr AIDS" which doesn't seem entirely tasteful. Not that tastefulness or restraint seem to be major motivations here; it's really all about grabbing attention, as all the overdone mugging in the video shows.

I think we're supposed to think this is a vehicle for some important message, but it sounds more like a child complaining about his maths teacher. All this is underlined by the sort of production ELO would consider overdone - but like a lot of ELO, it's not even dramatic or outlandish, they just didn't know where to stop. And including a false ending is just cruel. Like quite a few tracks here, it seemed even worse at the time because it was so inescapable, but it still isn't good now.

Oddly, these first two hits and a Number One album were followed by 'Worst Case Scenario' peaking at 76. The jury is still out on whether, like so many breakthrough acts in the last couple of years, they'll crash and burn next time around.

Also appearing on: Now 68, 70
Available on: Goodbye Mr. A


  1. It's actually not Mr "aids", the drummer plays a badly timed open hi-hat which makes it sound like that.

  2. Thanks, having re-listened I think you're right there. I've replaced the YouTube link as well since the previous one had gone.

    Meanwhile, the jury seem to have delivered a verdict about the long-term saleability of the Hoosiers.