Occasionally during my tenure at the college radio station, a song arrived that was so very, very, very, terribly British. Given that our station was largely populated by staff members who defaulted more to the angry blasts of Hüsker Dü than the artful, lolling heartache of the Smiths, a decidedly U.K. feel to a song was no guarantee of such on our charts. I was one of those who craves loud guitars more than intricate synths, but there were times when a song proved irresistible. “Hello,” the breakthrough 1990 single by the Beloved was one of those.
Even if the basic sound of the song didn’t betray its British lineage, the lyrics certainly did. The chorus of the song basically turns into tuneful listing, with the greeting of the title parceled out to a series of individuals. Sure, the likes of Little Richard, Willy Wonka, and Salman Rushdie were clearly in our cultural lexicon in the U.S. (even in Central Wisconsin, if you can believe it!), but the song also called out Tommy Cannon and Bobby Boy (referring to the comedy duo Cannon and Ball, Barry Humphries (who was admittedly starting to cross over a bit with his Dame Edna character), and Billy Corkhill (a character on the soap opera Brookside, apparently). Playing the song as the winds of a Stevens Point winter roared outside of the studio window could make a DJ feel oh so cosmopolitan.
Listen or download –> The Beloved, “Hello”
(Disclaimer: I honestly haven’t checked to see if “Hello” is available for purchase in a way that compensates both the original artist and the proprietor of your favorite local, independently-owned record store. If the song is available in that manner, let this shared audio file be encouragement to go and buy more music from the band. If not, go buy something from the record store anyway. They need your support more than the big box store or Amazon does. Though I maintain it is well within the legal concept of fair use for me to post this here, I know the rules. I will gladly and promptly remove it if asked to do so by any individual or entity with due authority to make such a request.)