Monday, April 13, 2015

Top 100 Songs From the 1990s (No. 65)

65. "Becoming More Like Alfie"
Artist: The Divine Comedy
Year: 1996

Just back from vacation. Today is a scramble, but as much as I love Roddy Frame, I can't take another day with "Reason For Living" sitting at the top of the blog. So, rather quickly, let's move on with the countdown.

The Divine Comedy's mix of Britpop and chamber music wasn't for everyone, but it's how Neil Hannon was finally able to bust the singles chart. "Something for the Weekend," the first release from the Divine Comedy's fourth album, 'Casanova,' was the initial breakthrough. This was played to me by a pal at work called Jeremy. For whatever reason, it didn't do it for me. I know he was disappointed, and I felt bad for spurning his recommendation. He left the the job soon after (no connection to my rudeness, I assume). Then I heard follow-up single "Becoming More Like Alfie," and it just clicked. Maybe it was the sampling of Michael Caine. Perhaps it was the theme of jerks always getting the girls that resonated. More likely, it was just a perfect piece of pop.

Anyway, all these years later, I still haven't had the good fortune to run into my old friend. So, Jeremy, if you're out there somewhere, thanks for the recommendation. The Divine Comedy was up my alley after all. The impressive run of chart successes would continue for a decade. For me, there were hits and misses, but this song and "Absent Friends" from 2004 stand above the rest.


Echorich said...

Neil Hannon is a treasure. Becoming More Like Alfie is a great example of that.

Brian said...

Glad you like it, Echorich. I'm not sure there are many of us over here that are fans. I didn't really realize how many UK hits he had until yesterday.

Uncle E said...

Nice one, a personal favorite. Casanova was my introduction, and Absent Friends is fantastic. I actually prefer Liberation over all, but you can't go wrong with anything Neil touches. Have you heard his collaboration with Thomas Walsh of Pugwash, The Duckworth Lewis Method? Terrific!

Brian said...

Hiya, E. No. I completely missed that. Will investigate immediately. Thanks for the tip.