Baxter Dury will be releasing a 20 year Best Of called “Mr Maserati 2001 to 2021” on December 3rd. The album will be on LP/CD. Downloads will come with the purchase of the physical release.
Mr Maserati showcases two decades of Baxter Dury’s idiosyncratically louche music, a universe of late-night London meet-ups, shuffling basslines and comedown disco tunes, all run through with a wry bleakness and sweet love of humanity. Mr Maserati collects tracks from across Dury’s six albums, plus a new song D.O.A.
“I don’t really think I warrant a ‘best of’ album,” says Dury. He’s wrong, though, and the selection here is stellar: the oldest song, Oscar Brown, is a wistful spooky slice of pop that can somehow put you in mind of The Carpenters and Spiritualized and haunted arcade games and a rotten sadness at the heart of England; a couple of years later we’ve got Cocaine Man, with its grim-sweet singalong chorus, a signature Dury surrealist wide-boy monologue and a half-submerged hook that does sound a bit like the Bloodhound Gang; Leak At The Disco, a provincial horror story from 2011’s Happy Soup, opens with Club Tropicana birdsong and a sweet guitar pulse and ends, after a shitty Chiswick night out, with Apocalypse Now helicopters; there’s the sinister bontempi-ish serenade of Palm Trees, and the poignant, daft and tender Oi; last year’s Carla’s Got A Boyfriend is funny and sexy and sad, with some of Dury’s finest lyrics and a frankly lovely Balearic Chris Rea guitar twang. What riches we have here! Baxter Dury’s career has snuck up on us: he’s quietly built a back catalogue of absolute beauties.
There’s one brand new track on the album – the closer, D.O.A. – made with Dury’s son Kosmo. “It’s a kind of provincial nod to the music I got into over lockdown because Kosmo was playing it – Frank Ocean and Tyler the Creator and Kendrick Lamar. I became obsessed. They’re embracing everything – sexuality, politics, all of it – and I find that inspiring. So D.O.A. is me trying to move towards some of that without ever trying to sound like it’s appropriated. You need to be very careful to not be a knob by thinking you are something you're not.”
The result is a beautiful, uncanny and completely catchy song, with lonesome piano, a vocodered Kate-Bush-chipmunk refrain and theremin gales; Dury’s vocals are more battered and vulnerable than you’re used to, there’s a gorgeous trip-hop richness and an unhinged lullaby at the end. “I wrote the lyrics, and Kosmo wrote all the best bits, the bits I don’t have the musical skills for,” says Dury. “It's the beginning of something.”