Sunday, April 28, 2013

Who the fuck wrote Alice?

Brainiac was not in a good mood this morning when The Online Scum contacted him about a pressing question that came up at yesterday's apres-hash piss-up. "You're really going to waste my time with this drivel?" he asked.

Well yes, afraid so. As happens so often, Softcock was adamant that he was correct regarding a subject about which someone else (in this case our exalted GM) seemed to have more information. "Living Next Door to Alice", the Soft One insisted, was written and first performed by the band Smokie. Egghead respectfully disagreed, saying he remembered that the song had come out a few years earlier than the 1976 Smokie version. The beer makes things a bit fuzzy, but he might have added that he thought it was by an Australian band. (Smokie, for the record, hailed from Hamburg but achieved their small measure of fame in Britain.)

"New World, 1972!" shouted Brainiac. "Morons!" And then the line went dead.

So of course now I had to research this cryptic reference, and you don't think I have better things to do today? Anyhow, New World was indeed an Australian group and yes, they're the ones who wrote and sang it, to no particular success. That came only with Smokie's version, four years later.

And the charming "Who the Fuck Is Alice?" variant? That would be by the Dutch band Gompie in 1995, after hearing a crowd shout along with the song. Smokie, in a rather pathetic move to revive their career, put out their own recording with these lyrics in the same year. If for some unfathomable reason you want the entire recording history of this stupid tune, click here.


  1. Brainiac's been smoking too much of the ol' Kryptonite Green.

  2. I'm not proud of having been right about this (it's an age thing, you see), just pleased that I couldn't remember the exact name of the band! However, I am surprised that Softy championed the cause of a third rate British band who never had a hit that hadn't been recorded earlier by at least one other group, against that of an Aussie trio who at last had the decency to write their own (crap) material!

  3. One more thing while we're at it - and yes, Braniac, I did check it first, unless Bradford is a suburb of Hamburg, and not a grubby little city in Yorkshire, Smokie were very definitely British!

    1. As described above, all Brainiac said was the artist and year of the original performance. I had to research the rest and yes, owing to my rush to make my plane this morning, I failed to see that Smokie was indeed formed in Bradford rather than in Hamburg, where several of its members had played. I do apologize to any closet Smokie fans out there (and now we know who you are!).

  4. The Great BrainiacApril 30, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    You dare to accuse The Great Brainiac of being wrong? I will crush you like an insect!