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5 Sep 09 | Re: Super-oblique pop naming

I’m a bit of a fan of song titles that aren’t the words of the song - at their best they can give the whole song another dimension, like Pretenders to the Throne by the Beautiful South, or the blunter Good Riddance by Green Day. Not everyone agrees though - zenarchistic pop pragmatists the KLF said of their number one single Doctorin’ the Tardis:

We should have called it just ‘Doctor Who’, or at most ‘Hey, Doctor Who’. Trying to be witty-clever probably lost us a few all-important sales.

Snow Patrol used to be masters at this - think of Chocolate, Spitting Games or How To Be Dead. After they got big they suddenly stopped doing it. Perhaps they bought a copy of The Manual and took the KLF’s advice.

Anyway, Jamie T’s taken the trick to extremes and called his latest single Chaka Demus, which has to be the most baffling title for a while: Chaka Demus and Pliers used to be my favourite group, I still listen to Tease Me now and again, and even I cannot fathom what that title is referring to. The song’s not in a ragga style; there are no lyrical references to pliers or any other tools; it doesn’t even rhyme ‘wine’ with ‘waistline’, which was de rigeur for the portly Jamaican popster. If anyone has any theories, I would very much like to hear them.

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