Busted – On What You’re On

“Daft Punk”

Tim: There were a number of Big Releases last Friday (by which I mean music, before you jump in with something rude), some of which (HI NIALL) were a tad disappointing. Others, though: not so much.

Tom: This does not sound like Busted. It does, however, sound good.

Tim: I got all worried a few months back, when Busted said their new stuff wouldn’t be like their old stuff, and it’d be a bit more serious. Turns out that is all true, but all that my worries were unfounded, because this is at least five times better than what I was worried it might be. (I had, incidentally, completely forgotten about their comeback single.)

Tom: That’s a difficult sentence to parse, Tim, but yes, I agree.

Tim: It’s a curiously funked up number, which to be honest I’d be surprised if anyone was expecting, but it works well. I don’t know if I’d have enjoyed it as much if it was, say, on the next Daft Punk album (yes, a surprising comparison but still appropriate), but as a new Busted track? I’m game.

Tom: I actually thought ‘this sounds like something off Random Access Memories’. Which might be a bit of a backhanded compliment, but even so. Well done them for trying something new and pretty much pulling it off. Even that sax solo.

Busted – Coming Home

“Question on everyone’s mind: is it any good?”

Tim: The first new Busted track in over a decade (!) is finally here, after Charlie realised how much cash the other two were making off the back of McBusted and decided he wanted in as well.

Tom: For legal reasons, I should clarify that Tim is entirely speculating there.

Tim: Question on everyone’s mind: is it any good?

Tim: YES, it actually is! Which is fantastic news! A somewhat different sound, as is to be expected with the aforementioned “over a decade” part, but it’s largely a good one – the pop rock they were known for is all still there, now with added electronic stuff.

Tom: Which sounds a bit like MGMT’s Time to Pretend to me: not that they’re using an exact patch or anything like that, but it’s the same style.

Tim: I’ve got to confess my ears did twitch slightly in distress when I first heard that somewhat harsh and ever-present synth line, but jumping about in the chorus it’s alright, and the synths towards the end of the middle eight just sound absolutely lovely.

Tom: It is a bit much sometimes, and I’m really not sure about that odd twinge on Taj Mahal: the whole line’s a bit strange, really. But if I’m picking out things like that, I guess I don’t have any bigger complaints about the track.

Tim: Lyrically, it’s a good one for a comeback track, with the whole “I miss my family” line that I can kind of imagine Charlie yelling out as he frantically bangs on the door of McBusted’s tour bus, realising how much cash he was missing out on. Video’s odd – particularly the censoring of the naughty words, because presumably if people don’t want to be offended they’re meant to put it on mute. All in all: good starter track, let’s hear the rest of them.

Saturday Flashback: Busted – Hurra Hurra Die Schule Brennt

“HURRA HURRA SIE SIND ZURÜCK!”

Tim: BUSTED ARE PROPERLY BACK!!! So let’s take a trip back, shall we, with this track, whose translates to “Hooray, Hooray, The School Is Burning”?

Tom: I… haven’t heard of this one? Mind you, I don’t think I’ve heard of most of Busted’s tracks.

Tim: Well, to be honest, I’d be astounded if you had heard of it. An explanation, then: this is one of the few covers they ever released, originally a 1981 track by German punk band Extrabreit. Busted got hold of it, translated it pretty accurately, and then, for reasons lost in the midsts of time, released it in Germany, Austria and Switzerland instead of You Said No, which the rest of the world got. It didn’t stay there, of course – fans elsewhere got wind of it and duly loved it, and it was then stuck as a B-side to Crashed The Wedding. (Whether or not German speakers got You Said No as their B-side is also unknown.)

Tom: This is actually pretty damn good. I wasn’t expecting that. As their sort-of-pop-punk goes, it’s a really strong track.

Tim: I think the look on the janitor’s face at the end says everything that needs to be said about this track, and his immediate inspiration to Busted-jump around with his broom. God, I’ve missed it. HURRA HURRA SIE SIND ZURÜCK!

Saturday Flashback: Busted – Thunderbirds Are Go

“A very very very decent track to leave by.”

Tim: I’ve just got tickets to see McBusted next April, and I am VERY EXCITED.

Tom: I passed on it — but I’ll be honest, this song almost made me reconsider.

Tim: Well then, let’s have a flashback, shall we?

Tim: Now, whatever you may have though about the film (and let’s face it, anyone who saw it probably didn’t think much of it), it’s hard to deny that this was a cracking track to go with it, and, as it turned out, a very very very decent track to leave by. Number 1, Record of the Year, and all sorts like that.

Tom: Yep. It’s a terrible film, which is a shame because — given an actual decent script — it could have been really good. They’re rebooting the TV series for 2015, and I’m interested to see what they can do with modern CGI updating those old puppet effects.

Tim: Musically it’s pretty good, with the reworking of the original theme tune into the intro and backing, beneath what’s basically just a good Busted track. Lyrically, though, it’s genius – the ‘no strings to hold them down’ metaphor quite possibly unrivalled in, ooh, at least that week, and maybe even the month.

Tom: Damning with faint praise, but you’re right: I remember playing this, many years ago on university radio, and having the folks who were all ‘oh no, it’s Busted’ start harmonising on that glorious ‘island’ call-and-response. It’s catchy.

Tim: That bit in particular is indeed GREAT. Moving on to that video, two things spring to mind: first, even at the age of twenty I can kind of understand why Charlie felt it was time to grow up just a bit, and second, some of the expressions on their faces really do make them look like a early version of Jedward. That probably sounds like an insult; I don’t mean it that way. (Although admittedly now I’ve typed it it’s hard to see how it could have come across as a compliment. Oh well.) Anyway, crap film, fun video, great track, sorted.

Saturday Flashback: Busted – What I Go To School For

Musically genius, lyrically terrible.

Tim: Now, I know we did a ten-year anniversary post just a few months back so some might see this as slightly lazy, to which I say: screw you, I’ve had this planned since Christmas. Because it’s Busted, the greatest pop rock band of all time.

Tom: That claim’s wrong on many levels, but let’s move on.

Tim: Oh, it so isn’t. But okay.

Tim: And ten years ago today, this debut single shot into the charts at number 3 and then hung around the top 20 for the next month or so. And why wouldn’t it?

Tom: It’s a brilliant pop song, but it epitomises everything I always thought about Busted. The music is perfectly-produced pop genius, but the lyrics are bloody awful, all half-arsed single entendres and lines that don’t really scan (“even though it is a real bore”?!). Year 3000, their most successful song by a long way, was the same: musical genius, lyrically terrible.

Tim: I’ll be honest: I can’t really disagree, or at least not with the facts you’re stating about the lyrics – I can’t, however, agree with the awful or terrible. Because without these lyrics, how would you convey this teacher fantasy? And it’s an important message – most schoolkids have a teacher they secretly fancy, and these guys are telling the world there’s nothing to be ashamed of. It’s perfectly acceptable to sit in a tree staring through her windows, or to peer through her letterboxes. It’s even better when she invites kids half her age inside and proceeds to give them snooker lessons, a gentle caning and a quick run around the long waving grass.

Tom: They were trying to be rebellious and edgy while being actually just a bit creepy. Another reason they never sat well with me.

Tim: Creepy? Well, possibly. But let’s not forget that this wasn’t the band’s only foray in fantasies with authority figues – eighteen months later they brought out Air Hostess, with a video involving the captain and first officer leaving the flight deck during landing to investigate their illegal embarkation and a chorus that includes the standout line “I messed my pants when we flew over France.” Again, top notch lyrics.

But in all seriousness, would a ten-year reunion be too much to ask for?

Tom: What Busted started, McFly came along and perfected: the two bands are intertwined in terms of members and songwriting, but it’s pretty clear who came out as the victor in the end. Never mind the reunion: see McFly instead.

Tim: Oh, fine. If I must.