WHAT Peter Gabriel - No Self Control
WHEN Cwmbran Gateway Supermarket - May 1980
Imagine coming across this record sleeve as a 12 year old in a department store. It’s stuck between David Essex and UK Subs, next to the small electrical appliance department. Then imagine hearing the song that’s inside. In retrospect, it probably explains a lot about how my tastes were going to develop…
“No Self Control” is a downright creepy song. It's different to the shock & awe creepy of the Butthole Surfers or the cartoon menacing creepy of Nine Inch Nails. It's vulnerable, desperate and self-aware. It sounds all too possible.
“You know I hate to hurt you
I hate to see your pain
But I don't know how to stop
No, I don't know how to stop”
Those are some nasty lyrics to be rubbing shoulders with David Essex and home furnishings. Musically, its got an off-centre structure and warped tension which you can’t imagine charting in the 21st century. And it’s got a xylophone. Yeah. A xylophone. Olly Murs doesn’t have a xylophone.
This vintage Top of the Pops performance with its oh-so-jaunty Dave Lee Travis introduction gives an idea of how out of place it now seems.