Time for another installment of the Coulda-Shoulda-Woulda Files, where we blow the dust off of a forgotten favorite and give its lack of chart success a once-over.
Artist: My Life Story
Song: “Strumpet,” 1996
What happened: The Golden Mile was this British outfit’s second album, and it was full of pomp and orchestral flourish. Bandleader Jake Shillingford fronted the 12-piece outfit, and his foppish, saucy lyrics were backed by outlandish orchestrations. My Life Story had a measure of success in the UK, racking up a couple of top-40 singles and touring with the likes of Blur and Pulp, but they proved to be just a bit too “British” for American audiences. My Life Story broke up in late 2000, but they’re playing a one-off reunion show next week.
Why it should have been a hit: “Strumpet,” with its withering lyrics about faded beauty and here-and-there horn flourishes, hits our indulgent-pop sweet spot like that; its undeniable power is only enhanced by the fact that it eschews a guitar solo, instead using a choir to provide a mid-song break of instantly memorable “bop-bop-bop”s.
My Life Story – Strumpet [MP3, link expired]
My Life Story [MySpace]