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SINGLES

Here is a chronological list of every single released by Kirsty. For vital statistics regarding Chart Placings and Weeks in Chart go the the Singles Stats.

You may also wish to consult the Discography.

B Sides listed were not all necessarily on the same release, but all were B sides on some format or other.

Singles

They don't knowJune 1979

, They don't know was Kirsty's debut single, launched in a blaze of picture sleeve and alternate picture disk. Later taken to great heights by Tracey Ullman, this ought to have been a huge hit at the time. It should be familiar to all but the most casual of Kirsty followers nowadays thanks to Galore.

Turn my motor on is daft but great fun, we love it.

You caught me out October 1979

You caught me out was withdrawn after a few white label copies had been pressed when Kirsty left the label. These were sold off in the Stiff Records shop and are (almost) impossible to find. Backed by (and co-written with) the Boomtown Rats, it is actually very good. The song itself was rescued and appears on a Tracey Ullman album. The picture is a genuine scan - Kirsty signed this copy when in the US a few years ago. 

Boys is a rather short (1:49) Kirsty rocker which is kind of a companion piece to Motor on - similar pace. There's some mean guitar playing going on throughout and is well worth a listen.

Keep your hands off my baby February 1981

Keep your hands off my baby was a crack at a Goffin/King number for single number 3 (or 2!), which again was mysteriously a flop. It's a glorious slice of pop music.

I don't need you was perhaps Kirsty's worst recording ever. Actually it's quite funny but it is also awful.

There's a guy works down the chip shop swears he's Elvis May 1981

There's a guy works down the chip shop swears he's Elvis
Now we're talking - big hit time at last and well merited. The country version is equally good. Every bit a winner. Often dismissed stupidly as "a novelty record", this song was highlighted in Kirsty's live shows right to the end, usually as an encore. Since this is probably the Kirstysong most associated with her by the general public, she could have done a lot worse. In the US, a promo was issued which spoke of a "truck stop" in preference to a "chip shop" but that was plain silly. UK No. 14 (13 June 1981), 9 weeks in chart.

Hard to believe is a decent MacColl original, and the Country Version of Chip Shop completes the lineup.

See that girlSeptember 1981

See that girl was another fine pop record, another miss. Isn't life cruel? I rate this as one of the very best of Kirsty's early recordings. It harks back to the golden girl group era with strong harmonies, a lovely bridge and a cracking pace throughout. "You won't see me no more if you see that girl". A song for the Beckhams possibly.

Over you was a fairly lightweight song but it sits well enough with the main track. Another slice of teenage angst. "I thought for a while I was getting over you, it shows just how wrong I can be."

You still believe in me November 1981

You still believe in me - a fairly straightforward run through of a Pet Sounds classic, and none the worse for it. This one is very difficult to find, and sadly unavailable on CD since it has a very quiet opening. I got my copy from Sweden! Fabulous hairdo. 

Queen of the high teas is also highly recommended. A rollocking pop song with loads of multiracked vocals and a breezy instrumental break in the middle. Could that be Jools Holland tinkling the ivories?

I want out (Matchbox featuring Kirsty MacColl) 1983

Best known for the hit Rockabilly Rebel in 1979, their biggest hit was actually When you ask about love which made No. 4 and has escaped my memory completely. Eight Top 75 hits altogether, they progressively made less impact until this one missed the chart altogether, which is a real shame because it was actually a fine track with Kirsty adding duet lead vocals. Since Kirsty is credited, this appears here as well as on the Backing Vocals and Discography pages.

The B-side (Heaven can wait) doesn't feature Kirsty.

Berlin August 1983

Berlin was conjured up out of a brief sojourn at North of Watford records, Berlin also appeared on the Kirsty MacColl album. Something of a stopgap release, and nobody we know of has ever found a copy of the actual vinyl. It was intended to come out on the never issued "second" album The Real MacColl.  There was of course a long gap between albums in the 80s - partly due to such record company woes and largely due to having a new family to look after.

Rhythm of the Real Thing is otherwise unavailable, this was a rocking number in the manner of Quietly alone. Rarer than hens' teeth.

Terry October 1983

Terry
Back to full power on this power pop classic, definitely one of the very best Kirstysingles. Another surefire hit which somehow didn't achieve what it might have. The longer Extended Version was on the 12" release.

The "Best Supporting Actor" apparently goes to Chris Heester, who was International Label Manager for Stiff Records at the time.

Quietly alone - A great B-side.

A New England December 1984

, A New England
Back in the charts with Billy Bragg's wonderful song, including a new verse written specially for this release because Kirsty thought the original song was too short. Bragg actually wrote two extra verses but Kirsty combined them into one to score her biggest solo chart hit. This was my favourite Kirsty song for years until "Free World" came along. Prior to this of course it was my favourite Bragg song.  After Kirsty's death Billy started to play the song with the extra verse, having always previously stuck to his original form.

The cover was allegedly flipped round after the original "bombsite" cover was deemed to cause offence because of the ravaged British flag on display. Copies of the original sleeve are rare. Also available at the time as a picture disk shaped like Great Britain. UK No. 7 (19 January 1985), 10 weeks in chart.

The extra tracks are only average and included an Extended version, though I'm going out with an 80 year old millionaire covers well trodden ground in a jaunty manner. Patrick is a pleasant enough number but doesn't really hit any heights for me.

He's on the beach June 1985

, He's on the beach somehow escaped my notice until Galore came out but it's another excellent pop song, in the top catalogue of Kirstysongs. The Extended Version is different (and superior) to the version on the Perfect Day cd single. This single was released as a picture disk shaped like a Qantas airliner. 

The second extra track is Please, go to sleep - clearly written in desperation during Kirsty's early days of motherhood!

Fairytale of New York November 1987

Fairytale of New York
A classic. Say no more.

This was a UK No. 2 on 5th December 1987 and spent 9 weeks on chart (a reissue in 1991 would add 5 more weeks to its chart run). The American release is credited to "Kirsty MacColl (w/ the Pogues)". The extra tracks are some live Pogues recordings - A pair of brown eyes, The sick bed of Cuchulainn, and Maggie May. It's taken on a life of its own in the past few years, making No.3 in 2005 and No. 4 two years later.

Free worldMarch 1989

Free world - biting, ferocious and utterly essential for anyone's record collection. A No. 43 UK hit (8 April), with 6 weeks on the chart. An inspirational song for a generation alienated by Thatcher's Britain (and not a bad name for a website either).

The start of a clutch of singles with different editions and loads of extra songs, this one had three songs which were not on the vinyl release of Kite but appeared on the CD version: You just haven't earned it yet baby , Closer to God? and La Foret de Mimosas . It also included The end of a perfect day (demo version).

DaysJune 1989

CD sleeve10" sleeveDays supplied another chart moment for KM - much loved by one and all. The song has been covered by loads of people, including Elvis Costello, but Kirsty's version is about as definitive as it gets. The best packaging is a kite shaped box! A UK No.12 on July 1st, the record spent 9 weeks in the chart, and was re-released in 1995. 

Extra tracks were the excellent Please help me, I'm falling, Still life and Happy. Walking down Madison (Club mix) appeared on the reissue.

InnocenceSeptember 1989

CD sleeve10" sleeveInnocence - a favourite from "Kite" which failed to take Kirsty back into the charts (well it got to No.78) but it's a solid enough record without making the top league. It is a remix of the album version.

Additional tracks were the Guilt Mix of the main song, the Dave Gilmour fuelled Guitar Mix of No Victims, the charming Don't run away from me now (featuring the Tex Pistols) and Clubland.

Don't come the cowboy with me, Sonny Jim!April 1990

Don't come the cowboy with me, Sonny Jim! had the potential to be another "long title" so called "novelty" hit - it didn't fit into conventional hit record style but could have slipped in there with a few more plays. Anothe big favourite with Kirsty's many fans.

Extra songs were the jaunty Am I right?, the gorgeous Other people's hearts and the Kite bonus track Complainte pour Ste Catherine.

Miss Otis regretsNovember 1990

Picture sleeveAlbum sleeveMiss Otis regrets (with the Pogues) was taken from the AIDS benefit album Red Hot & Blue, Miss Otis is sublime, especially on the album where it segues beautifully into the drunken Pogues led ramble that is Just one of those things. The video is also magnificent.

The B-side is Aztec Camera's Do I love you.

Walking down MadisonMay 1991

Walking down Madison is possibly the most remixed song in the Kirsty canon. My favourite is the beautiful 6am Ambient mix, but the original was a huge airplay hit, and made Top 30 in the UK. It was also, I believe, her first US hit. Not in her usual style, but you know the record anyway don't you? This made No. 23 in the UK on 23rd May, with 7 weeks on chart.

The extra tracks were dominated by remixes: on various releases we got the 6am Ambient Mix, the Club Mix, the Urban Mix and the LP Extended Mix. However, some other stuff too in the shape of Darling, let's have another baby with Bill Bragg, One good thing and another appearance for Days.

My affairJuly 1991

My affair
Skirts hitched, packed dance floors and crazy latin dance rhythms, this is one of Kirsty's finest singles. Don't go near the water was the theme song from a BBC documentary presented by Kirsty on water pollution. This release got to No.56 in the UK (17th August) and spent 2 weeks in the chart.

The third song was All the tears that I cried.

All I ever wantedSeptember 1991

All I ever wanted was not an obvious single to take from Landlady and failed to chart. It remains a lovely song though, and was remixed somewhat for the single version. The live BBC Session tracks on the CD are great, particularly the Bragg duet on A New England. Pity about the party hooter though.

We also got Walk right back, Chip Shop and What do pretty girls do?

Fairytale of New YorkNovember 1991

Fairytale was reissued in 1991, and charted again, this time reaching UK No. 36 (4th January 1992) with
5 weeks on chart. Again, the extra tracks were A pair of brown eyes, The sick bed of Cuchulainn and Maggie May.

Can't stop killng you1993

Can't stop killing you sneaked out as a single in Australia (and the USA?). The title song is one of the finest from Titanic Days and is backed up with two other good tracks - Touch me is an uptempo feelgood number while Fabulous garden is an atmospheric lament. Rare but excellent.

AngelNovember 1993

Angel brought yet another facet of Kirsty's music to light - spinning hypnotic dance mixes and a 25 minute journey which you don't get tired of. If you stop after the one mix it's still a terrifically different sort of single. Music Week claimed "at once folksy and danceable, thanks to the embellishments of Apollo 440, this takes up where MacColl's excellent Walking Down Madison left off, and is bound to be embraced by radio." If only... (BP)

This time all the extras were remixes, in the style of the nineties. We got Jay's edit, the Apollo 440 remix, the Stuart Crichton remix and Into the light mix.

Titanic Days 1994

Titanic Days also sneaked out as a single only in the USA. The other songs included were Angel (the otherwise unavailable Piano Mix), Walking down Madison and two live tracks from a Solana Beach (in California) gig - Free world and Miss Otis regrets. . Source - MG

CarolineFebruary 1995

Version 1, Version 2Caroline reminded me of her early approach, a no frills pop song with real chart potential (it just clung in there, reaching 58 in the UK, with 2 weeks on chart). Kirsty has referred to the song as "Jolene's revenge".  Coming during a fallow period when Kirsty was still putting her life back together after her divorce, it also appeared on Galore as an extra temptation.

The extra tracks comprise a reissue of the Marty Robbins song El Paso, one of the many remixes of My Affair (Ladbroke Groove), a frankly unnecessary appearance of A new England plus two new recordings - Irish cousin is a fine cut, and The butcher's boy is a rare reworking of a traditional song.

Perfect dayJune 1995

Perfect day was wonderful, due in no small measure to Evan Dando's languid reading of the song. Kirsty was forced to completely re-record her half after hearing Evan's contribution. UK No. 75 (24th June) but only 1 week in the charts. The impact of the song was later diluted by its wholesale adoption for BBC Children In Need with a cast of thousands.

Additional songs were all repeats seemingly picked at random - the Extended Version of He's on the beach, Tread lightly and Terry.

DaysJune 1995

Days was reissued to tie in with a Sony commercial, and it almost made Top 40 again (No 42 in fact, on 29th July, 3 weeks). The Club Mix of Madison was pressed into service to replace the original country number, and Still life and Happy made another appearance second time round.

Mambo de la LunaNovember 1999

Version 1, Version 2Mambo de la Luna was Kirsty's first single for four years and introduced her new latin flavoured sound with blazing horn section underpinning the vocals. The Mint Royale boys introduced a more shuffling backdrop with their treatments (Mint Royale Edit and Mint Royale Version), while CD One included understated new gems Golden heart and Things happen (co-written with former 10cc man Graham Gouldman) On the 14th of November this single only reached UK No. 114, which irked Kirsty no end given the eternal dross in the singles chart.

In these shoes?February 2000

Version 1, Version 2In these shoes? was originally planned as the first single from Tropical Brainstorm, and has gone on to become one of her most loved releases, with even the mighty Bette Midler giving it her own treatment.  Another decent non album track Good for me appears on CD 1 along with a recording of My affair from last year's Jazz Cafe shows, and two remixes of the main track (Le Rosbifs Mix and the P. Mix). Slightly better chart placing at No. 82 on 18th February.

England 2 Colombia 0July 2000

England 2 Colombia 0, another crowd favourite, was supposed to be released to tie in with the football European Championships in the summer of 2000, but was only ever issued to radio stations.

Only available as a promo CD with the "scumbag" radio version accompanying the original.

TreacheryOctober 2000

Treachery met a similar fate - the fourth track to be lifted from the album for radio playlisting, again with no proper release. Since there is practically no chance of any single charting in an era of manufactured pop the record label simply pressed enough copies to pick up radio play and promote the album. 

Fairytale of New YorkDecember 2005

Fairytale was reissued for the second time in 2005 to mark the Pogues' 25th anniversary, the 5th anniversary of Kirsty's death and to raise money for homeless charity Crisis at Christmas as well as the Justice For Kirsty Campaign. With publicity fanned by performances of the song with Katie Melua singing Kirsty's part on the Jonathan Ross Show and chart show CD:UK, the single reached No.3. A digital download of Katie's Ross appearance was made available on iTunes and sales of this counted towards the chart placing.

Fairytale of New YorkDecember 2012

Fairytale was reissued for the third time in 2012 to mark the 25th anniversary of its initial release. Rhino Records put out a limited edition 7" single, backed with the instrumental version.


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