Friday, 8 August 2014

Jimmy Nail 'Crocodile Shoes'

Chart Peak: 4
'Crocodile Shoes', the title track from the hit TV series, was the 3rd Top 5 single for Jimmy - it reached No. 4 in December '94... His previous hits were 'Love Don't Live Here Anymore' and 'Ain't No Doubt'.
A slightly odd chart career the former James Bradford had had up to this point, with all his singles either making the Top 5 or missing the Top 40 entirely; he finally broke the mould when the follow-up to this, 'Cowboy Dreams', peaked at 13. At this point, though, 'Crocodile Shoes' was his lowest-peaking actual hit, though it went on to notch up the longest chart run of his career: a total of 20 weeks Top 75, which was a lot back in the mid-90s.

The reason for this success was of course that this was the first time he crossed the two strands of his career. Whilst it's hard to contradict the argument that his previous success was largely thanks to the goodwill he'd built up as an actor, this was the first time he'd been able to promote his music directly whilst in character. In Crocodile Shoes the TV series (which he apparently created as well as starring in) he plays a factory worker who becomes a successful country singer, and the title song is a decent enough fit, offering the sort of sentimental down-home country music that fits in with that storyline. It finds Nail making the most of his limited vocal availability, even if the metaphor of his crocodile shoes crying is a bit confusing - surely crocodiles are famous for fake tears, not real ones? Millions of viewers were presumably too charmed to think that through. Whether this could plausibly have been any sort of hit in "real life" is another question.

Also appearing on: Now 5, 22, 32
Available on: Crocodile Shoes

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