The self-styled band ‘unofficial theme song’ that has become a stalwart of live shows.
There were 2 versions of the single release:
- CD JIMCD25 – Getting Away With It (All Messed Up) / Make You Alright / So Swell
- CD JIMDD25 – Getting Away With It (All Messed Up) / Stand / The Shining (Live At Ridge Farm)
|Release Name:||Getting Away With It (All Messed Up)|
|Release Date:||25th June 2001|
|Catalogue:||5886782 (CD JIMCD25), 5886792 (CD JIMDD25)|
The following are reviews published at the time.
Producer Brian Eno’s bizarre compulsion to work with James must cast open doubts upon his status as pop genius; you can’t imagine Picasso clapping his hands with delight at the works of Rod Harris. Still, as James have managed to return with one of their rare songs that doesn’t make you want to slip strychnine into Britain’s tofu reservoir, we shall say no more. This mentions John Travolta and Richard Burton, and we guess that’s progress of a kind.
Well they’ve been away for a while, but the evergreen Mancunians return with their first new material since the album Millionaires . The first single from their forthcoming album, Getting Away With It, finds the band heading into slightly rockier, rawer territory than you’ve probably previously seen them. However, they still retain that James edge and appeal that we all know and love so well and in the process create a really stunning return. Always a pleasure to hear any new material from this band, if this is an indication of what’s in store with the album then we can hardly wait.
It seems James have been forgotten yet again. Two decades ago James were famously hailed as ‘the next big thing’ by the British media. It took them 7 years to reach that expectation when they got the whole country singing along to ‘Sit Down’. A short spell as the top indie band in the country they were out of favour for 3 years until they worked with Brian Eno and released the classic album ‘Laid’. It wasn’t until the release of their ‘Best Of’ compilation in 1998 when they were back on top of the charts and the country could be heard asking “I didn’t know James had this many brilliant songs”. Sell out arena tours followed and they went into the studio to record what became ‘Millionaires’. When the reviews came out on that record the album was being hailed as James’ best album to date, only no one ended up buying the record. And it doesn’t look like many will buy the forthcoming album ‘Pleased To Meet You’, because even a massive James fan like myself has seen James’ comeback go almost unnoticed.
‘Getting Away With It (All Messed Up)’ is a song I can’t quite make my mind up about. Undeniably it’s a typical James song. That in itself is a good thing – they’re sticking to what they do best at. The first time I heard this song I found myself singing along to the chorus as if I’d played it 10 times on repeat. That could mean two things, either its such a catchy chorus or that its just far too predictable. Unfortunately I’m forced to admit that it lies in between the both of them. Its not a song which will stand itself up against the likes of ‘Sit Down’, ‘Born Of Frustration’, ‘Sometimes’ or ‘Say Something’ but you will find yourself singing and/or whistling along to this tune.
On the strength of this the album doesn’t look too promising, the loyal fans will buy it as usual and we can be left in the hope that James will make their way back to the top next time around. Meanwhile I’ll buy it and sing along to it on my own.
Though James peaked around the point in the early nineties when it seemed mathematically impossible that every man woman and stray dog in Britain didn’t own 6 James t-shirts, their facility for creating superior pop songs has not deserted them. This elegant mid-tempo singalong contains a terrifically demented guitar solo and would be best appreciated with a long empty road aheadIt has been a stalwart of James’ live shows over the years and according to Tim their ‘unofficial theme’ song.