Friday, July 16, 2010

Mod Anthems: Part Two

THE COASTERS-Shoppin' For Clothes U.S. Atco 45-6178

I'm sorry kids but it doesn't get any closer to defining what "Anorak Thing" is all about than this amazing record by The Coasters.  I first heard this on a cassette tape back in the mid 80's when a Welsh mod penpal named David Kennard (where are you now mate?) sent me a tape of a BBC radio documentary on mods filled with great clips of music and comments by original mods.  Playing in the background were a variety of tunes, some of which I've yet to decipher, some I already knew.  The quest led me to some amazing finds (it was here I first heard Chris Farlowe & The Thunderbird's "Buzz With The Fuzz" and The Ikettes "I'm Blue (Gong Gong Song)").  It also led me, eventually to this track.

It's somber, slow, cool, suave and above all it's about a guy going into a shop to buy a suit:

"I was shopping for a suit the other day
And walked into the department store
I stepped on the elevator and told the girl
"Dry goods floor"

When I got off I saw a salesman was coming to me
He said "Now, what can I do for you"
I said "Well go in there and show me all the sport's clothes
Like you're supposed to"

He said, "Well, sure, come on in buddy
Dig these fabrics we got laid out on the shelf"
He said "Pick yourself out one
Try it on, stand in the mirror and dig yourself"

Ohhhhhh...That suit's pure herringbone
Ohhhhhh...Yeah, that's a suit I'd like to own
Ohhhhhh...Buddy, that suit is you
Ohhhhhh...Yeah, I believe it too

I see for the business man you feature the natural shoulder
That retail, wholesale indeed
It's got the custom cuffs and the walking short
He said "And I'm gonna let you have at a steal"

And for the playboy you have the latest in tweed
With the cut-away flap over twice
It's a box-back, two button western model
He said, "Now ain't that nice"

Ohhhhhh...Them buttons are solid gold
Ohhhhhh...You made a deal, sold
Ohhhhhh...That collar's pure camel hair
Ohhhhhh...Well, you can just set it down right in that chair

Now you go back there and you get that paper and let me sign on the dotted line
And I'll make sure I get all my payments in right on time
Hey wait a minute buddy, let me go back there and do a little checking on you
Then the man come back, he said "I'm sorry my man but your credit didn't go through"
Why, what you mean

Ohhhhhh...Ain't this a shame
Ohhhhhh...My heart's in pain
Ohhhhhh...Pure, pure herringbone
Ohhhhhh...That's a suit you'll never own
Oh, Lord have mercy
I got a good job, sweeping up after school... "

Hear "Shoppin' For Clothes":

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