Friday, 5 February 2016

My Top Ten Hairstyle Songs

Thinking of trying a new hairstyle? Here's ten suggestions from the best barbers in pop...

Special mentions to The Voice of the Beehive, Braid, The Crewcuts, Popcorn & The Mohawks, Mohawk Lodge... and, at a push, (The) Pixies.

10. Tom Waits - Trouble's Braid

It's only 1 minute 17 seconds long, but sometimes that's all Tom needs.
Well, I pulled on trouble's braids
And I hid in the briars out by the quickmud
Stayin' away from the main roads
Passin' out wolf tickets, downwind from the bloodhounds
9. Luxembourg - Close Cropped

David Shah's original band, Luxembourg, should have been massive. So should his next band, The Melting Ice Caps. He's an undiscovered indie genius as far as I'm concerned - the bastard son of Jarvis Cocker and David Gedge. Or something like that.
I want your close-cropped hair
I want your pale blue eyes
And I want your soft hands
And your handsome thighs

I want your gormless grin
Your regional accent
And I want your cracked lips
And I want your snake hips
And I want it right now
8. The Charlatans - Jesus Hairdo

 So baggy it's trippy.

7. They Might Be Giants - Bangs

 Bangs are basically what we in the UK would call a floppy fringe.
To drape across your forehead
To swing concordant angles as you incline your head

And although I like you anyway, check out your haircut
A proscenium to stage a face that needs no makeup
I was going to say that this must surely be the only pop song in the world to feature the word 'proscenium'... then I found at least five more. Go figure...

6. The Divine Comedy - Bernice Bobs Her Hair

Anyone else adapting an F. Scott Fitzgerald short story into song, you'd have to accuse them of pretentiousness. Neil Hannon..., it's still pretentious. But that's why we love him.

5. Super Furry Animals - Ice Hockey Hair

A not particularly complementary tribute to the much-maligned mullet - according to Gruff Rhys, you've sunk to the lowest of the low if you stoop to asking advice off a woman with Ice Hockey Hair. Or Bono.

For other famous mullets in rock songs, see Army in which Ben Folds grows a moustache and a mullet and gets a job at Chic-Filet when his band split up then reform without him. And then there's Mullet Head by the Beastie Boys: 'nuff said. And finally, of course, there's the peerless National Shite Day by Half Man Half Biscuit, in which we get...
There's a man with a mullet going mad with a mallet in Millets...
4. 10CC - Dreadlock Holiday

The story behind Dreadlock Holiday casts this oddball 70s Number One in an interesting light. The song's based on the experiences of 10CC's Eric Stewart and The Moody Blues' Justin Hayward when on holiday in Barbados (although the lyrics change that to Jamaica). In an attempt to talk themselves out of a) getting robbed and b) a dodgy drugs transaction, they explain to the locals harrassing them how much they like cricket and reggae. They don't just like it: they love it!

The 1970s, ladies and gentlemen: different times.

3. Happy Mondays - Kinky Afro
Son, I'm 30
I only went with your mother 'cause she's dirty
...was a serious contender for My Top Ten Opening Lines Vol. 1. 

Maybe when I get round to Volume 2...

See also  James - Afro Lover and Luke Haines - White Honky Afro.

2. Camper Van Beethoven - Take The Skinheads Bowling

CVB's David Lowery claims he has no idea why this song was a hit, and that the lyrics are utter nonsense with no hidden meaning. Which is pretty frustrating, because I was certain I knew what it was all about. Drat. Still, it's from an album called Telephone Free Landslide Victory, which should have tipped me off. 

TTSB was famously featured in Michael Moore's movie Bowling For Columbine and has also been well-covered by the likes of the Manics and Teenage Fanclub.

1. Morrissey - Suedehead

Why do you come here?
And why do you hang around?

Morrissey's debut solo single, and still one of his best. Much was made at the time that it charted higher than any Smiths single, and while Morrissey solo won't ever match his former band, it's interesting to note that he's had far more success as a solo artist, and a career that's lasted almost five times as long.

The video is gloriously dated though, beginning with Moz reclining in a bubble bath in his swanky Chelsea apartment (complete with There Is A Light... bathmat and the complete works of Byron) before a local urchin arrives to invite him to Fairmont, Indiana to visit the place where James Dean died. Once there, Moz stalks the snowy streets dressed like Chris Lowe from the Pet Shop Boys, graffitis his name in the local school, drives a tractor (see above) and plays the bongo for a herd of cows before camping out for the night on Dean's gravestone. If you've never seen it before, look up "hilarious bollocks" in the dictionary. All of which has nothing to do with the song OR the suedehead subculture, but it's still a winner.

Which will you be asking your salon for...?


  1. How about 'Duck Tail', a high maintenance hairstyle if ever there was one? The original was by Rudy Grayzell, but Joe Clay also recorded a great version.

  2. Voice of the Beehive would obviously be the house band.

  3. Hat's off to the Swede
    I should probably read your posts more closely before posting

  4. Suedehead is a great 80s song, good enough to be on a Smiths album. To me, his hairstyle is as iconic as his vocal


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