Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Ian Dury and the Music Students

  • 4000 Weeks Holiday [Polydor, 1984] B+

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

4000 Weeks Holiday [Polydor, 1984]
Bowie does a song about international pop star Andy Warhol; more deeply cultured and deeply Brit, Dury does one for London pop visionary Peter Blake. His culture broad, informed, and utterly unhierarchical, his Britness rooted rather than snobbish or xenophobic, Dury has tended toward rock and roll music hall, but with the U.S. audience out of reach his music is drifting toward Europop cabaret, and sometimes his determination to ennoble the cliché seems a bit arch: "I like you very much" is preceded by a series of tropes that could have come out of a bad children's book and probably did. But on the B he toughens up, from "Percy the Poet" who's smarter than Pinter to "The Man With No Face" and his life's supply of dope. Internationalists will want to hear it. B+