It’s a B-Side. It’s not the earliest of their out put. And all told it’s just a bouncy pop rock song. But Goddamn! If they didn’t write songs with a huge appeal, I’ll be a Dutchman.
This was tucked away on the back of a third single from a third album. I’d wager there were dozens of ‘cooler’ indie bands around at the time (or since) who could’ve wrung a hit single from Fobbed Off.
That little simple stacked on itself riff chimes in and out in a poppy enough way and the lyrics have something to say about ennui and frustration
“if I knew then I wouldn’t be asking, if I knew I wouldn’t need to be told, I don’t want to find out when I’m older, I don’t want to know just when I’m old”
This song chimed with me at the time, as a *ahem* promising young thing *ahem*, looking to make my way up the ladder for no other reason than to dilute the condescending stream of ineptitude pouring my way, all day, every day. In the sights of middle management who really knew nothing more than their date of birth and the distance from theirs to mine. The frustration of youth, if you shall, if you will, if you must.
“If you’re in the know then you’re out of favor and they’ll lock you away for offensive behavior”
If memory serves correctly this was backing the same single (Bad Actress) as the even more brilliant Too Stoned To Dance and was a shining example of how record companies in the 90’s were ready to be torn down by the decimating democratization of the Download era.
Bad Actress was a decent album track with a snarky lyric and no chorus that had no business representing Terrorvision on the radio and Top Of The Pops. Both Too Stoned To Dance and Fobbed Off would have made better A-Sides. Had they stopped mining the already fruitful album Regular Urban Survivors for more singles after the ace Perseverance, the questionable choice of Celebrity Hit List (also fine on the album but better singles would have gone differently). It would have made a neat stop gap Double A-Side.
The fact they followed CHL with the laid back Easy at least tried to show the diversity of this untapped seam of Brit-pop/rock. But neither were anthems for eager youth. Nor were they fan favourites.
Had they chosen Mugwump, Superchronic, Hide The Dead Girl or If I Was You as singles from that album I believe Terrorvision would have steered a different path.
But no. They norsed it right up at their label and it took several more years before Tequila (The Mint Royale Remix) became their legacy rather than those brilliant Pop-Metal songs like Fobbed Off, Too Stoned To Dance, Days Like These, Jason, My House, Oblivion, Problem Solved, Ships That Sink, Fists Of Fury, III Wishes and Tom Petty Loves Verruca Salt.
I guess what I’m really saying is, if I had been their Manager Terrorvision would have been as big as Iron Maiden. But I was too young. And they were too good to wait.
*This song is so lost in the mists of time there’s no link to a video*
But there is one for some of the other TV songs I’m talking about