The Coulda-Shoulda-Woulda Files: My Life Story’s Tragic Tale

Nov 28th, 2006 // 2 Comments

mls.jpgTime 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]


  1. radnauseum

    i fuckin’ loved those guys. Just listening to “The Golden Mile” now. It hasn’t aged very well.

  2. Ned Raggett

    Yeah, that’s the problem with it — concept overreached delivery, and while I still have that and Mornington Crescent around, it’s more like I admire the attempt than the results. Who would have guessed their longest lasting influence was that original drummer Jason Cooper ended up joining the Cure back in 1994 and has been with them ever since?

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