Christy Burr: “Sunlight & Vodka Cruisers”

DNRC086 | LP | 2017 | DELETED

In a world filled with tribute acts, cover bands, barely-disguised parodies, comedy comebacks and on and on, it’s refreshing to know that we are just ten years away from the release of this remarkable album by Scotland’s Christy Burr, whose name, when spoken aloud, sounds exactly the same as that of the man to whom he owes such a debt of derivativeness. Born and raised in the slums of Glasgow, Christy spent his formative years torturing the northern soul aficionados of that fair city with his painfully crass covers of various 1980s crooners including Howard Jones, Nik Kershaw, Black, Phil Collins and, yes, Chris de Burgh. Unfortunately, as CdeB had not yet issued his breakthrough album The Getaway, Christy’s fortunes suffered a fate similar to that of most of his hero’s back catalogue – namely, rock and roll oblivion. Come “Don’t Pay the Ferryman”, “Ship to Shore” and “Lady In Red”, however, Christy’s fortunes experienced a sublime reversal and he found himself in high demand on the cruise ship, retirement home and funeral circuits. This album, then, collects Christy’s interpretations of some of his own greatest hits, including the songs already named, as well as several songs never actually recorded by Chris de Burgh at all. Hence an incendiary version of de Burgh’s “Record Company Bash” sits oddly alongside “Englishman In New York”, a song made famous by Sting (as well as his own Kiwi impersonator, Stung), Phil Collins’ “Pseudio” (another song arguably murdered by his nemesis Phil Columbs), “Sunlight and Vodka Cruisers” (the title of which is an obvious reference to de Burgh’s “Moonlight and Vodka”) and another song we have failed to identify as having been written by anyone. Burr would go on to become a full-time stunt double in various Norman-invasion-era films, and never actually met Chris de Burgh, who has since denied ever having given permission for Burr to “interpret” his so-called back catalogue. Nevertheless, we can at least be thankful that this record may never see the light of day, having been deleted from DNRC’s “saddest albums of all time” list the moment the idea for it came into the head of its deluded progenitor who remains, for the moment at least, at large.

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