by ChumbawambaChumbawamba


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With chilly compu-beats, English folk song samples, lyrics borrowed from Shelley and Mae West, and the soothing warmth of Alice Nutter's voice, there is a time-warp quality to the songs on Readymades, a title lifted from the everything-is-art musings of Marcel Duchamp. More somber than Chumbawamba's provocative 2000 release WYSIWYG, these beautifully crafted songs are inspired by a mix of age-old tragedies and current events. "Jacob's Ladder" -- built on Davy Graham's classic instrumental "Anji" -- addresses sailors left to drown during World War II, a disaster with parallels to the recent Kursk submarine tragedy. "Don't Try This at Home" reverberates with the language of revolution ("Gunpowder and modem"); "Sewing up Crap" attacks child labor. At every turn a seamlessly deployed folk song sample brings haunting echoes of the past into the present. "When I'm Bad," for instance, reworks West's "When I'm bad I'm better" adage against house-piano, cooed rap, a sample from esteemed traditional vocal trio Coope Boyes & Simpson, and a classic Chumba drinking line: "Oh barman fill this glass again/And keep on pouring 'til Death says 'when'." While there's no slamming single à la "Tubthumping," these subversive pop collages are filled with a constant stream of clubland pulses, great lyrics, and haunting voices. Light pop doesn't get any heavier than this.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/18/2002
Label: Imports
UPC: 0044001807121
catalogNumber: 1807121
Rank: 122790


  1. Salt Fare, North Sea
  2. Jacob's Ladder
  3. All in Vain
  4. Home With Me
  5. If It Is to Be, It Is up to Me
  6. Don't Try This at Home
  7. Song for Len Shackleton
  8. Without Rhyme or Reason (The Killing of Harry Stanley)
  9. Don't Pass Go
  10. One Way or the Other
  11. When I'm Bad
  12. Sewing up Crap
  13. After Shelley

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Chumbawamba   Primary Artist
Dick Gaughan   Sampling
Janet Russell   Vocals
Lal Waterson   Sampling
Kate Rusby   Sampling
Boff   Guitar
Neil Ferguson   Bass
Jude Abbott   Trumpet,Vocals
Alice Nutter   Vocals
Harry Hamer   Drums
Dunstan Bruce   Vocals
Lou Watts   Keyboards,Vocals
Harry Cox   Sampling
Belle Stewart   Sampling
Oliver Knight   Sampling
Richard Mutt   Tea-Chest Bass
Michelle Plumb   Vocals
Simon Pugsley   Trombone
James Reiss   scratching
Abi Riozzi   Vocals

Technical Credits

Chumbawamba   Arranger,Producer
Baader Meinhof   Cover Design
Boff   Contributor
Neil Ferguson   Contributor
Alice Nutter   Contributor
Harry Hamer   Programming
Dunstan Bruce   Sound Effects

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