First, I can’t help but acknowledge the unstoppable cultural ascendance of Persona Don Dada. Just days after I posted last week’s Vintage Video of Rodney Dangerfield’s novelty classic “Rappin’ Rodney,” the Onion A.V. Club ran a feature on novelty singles by comedians, headed by none other than “Rappin’ Rodney.” Coincidence? If so, let’s just say it’s a coincidence that I expect will be getting fairly common very soon …
OK, down to beeswax. The Only Ones are one of the great unsung (or at least “less sung”) bands of the punk era, fusing wiry, raucous guitars with the nervy, drug-influenced lyrics of glammed-up frontman Peter Perrett. Although they hailed from London (an early incarnation of the group once included Glen Tilbrook, future leader of the über-British Squeeze), the group’s hazy sound was more in step with the American punk scene and helps draw the line between punk and early alternative bands such as R.E.M. and the Replacements.
“Another Girl, Another Planet,” which is about heroin, not laying Martian broads, is their best known track. Groups that have covered it include the Replacements, the Libertines, the Lightning Seeds, Belle and Sebastian, Blink-182 and, of course, my own band, MSO! Perhaps aptly for a band with a messy discography (their first three albums are basically repackages of the same tracks), this video for the song doesn’t even use the studio version but a live version. The strip cartoon editing adds a fantastic touch.
But perhaps the best part about this video being on YouTube are the warring comments between Only Ones fans and Blink-182 fans about which version of the song is best. Blink fans seem to take issue with the band’s perceived “pussiness” and Perrett’s “bad” voice, whereas Only Ones fans are incensed that the two groups are even mentioned in the same breath. Here’s some highlights:
masterchiefwithanm16: “wow this guy cant sing fr shit blink could kick this band’s ass!!!”
the1line1: “this one way better than blinks this is real raw punk”
jeanpasou: “punk is about givin a fuck about a good voice..fuck that teeny blink shit!this song is one of the greatest in the world!”
denvernug600: “y r u insulting blink 182? they did some things different but thats what u do with a cover. nd u cant complain about blink 182 the singer for this group is sooo whiny and no offense but he kinda sucks at singing. i think blink 182 sings sooooooo much better.”
electrongarbage: “Why is it that everyone who supports the Blink 182 cover version has such poor grammar and poor arguments. Their version is a pop punk cover, it’s an homage to the original. It’s not better at all, it’s just different. In fact I’m 100% sure Tom Mark and Travis would agree that the Only Ones are a better band than they were.
And to the wanker who said that Peter Perret sings like he’s constipated… You sir have no ear for music.”
giarc999: “i like blink 182, so what if they diddent do well on this, blink is more fun… this is a great song but i cant listen to this over and over like i can to all blinks songs and they still make me laugh, especially first date the vidio is awesome :D”
… and user lamer99 sums it up thusly: “that’s a big shit of music!!”