As far as I know, Funky Kings produced a second album, but the record company refused to released it and the band split up. This would not be the last time such a thing would happen to Jules Shear. But I find it interesting. It reminds me of William Goldman’s maxim about Hollywood, “Nobody knows anything.” Here were these amazingly talented guys who would all go on to great success, but the “experts” at the record company couldn’t see it. Anyway, without a band, Jules Shear started Jules and the Polar Bears.
Their first album is so great that I’m going to spend two days on it, Got No Breading. Every song on it is a gem. For years, when Jules Shear was producing “new wave” albums how I wished that he would just get a plain old rock band and kill it as he had on this album. His writing has always been stellar, so it is usually just a question of whether or not it is properly accompanied.
Today, we are going to listen to the first Jules and the Polar Bears song I ever heard, “Lovers By Rote.” I wrote about this almost two years ago, How I Discovered Jules Shear. In that article, I tell the story of being in a band with an older guy who was constantly telling me that this or that just couldn’t be done. In one case, it was that I had placed a chanting section smack in the middle of what was, by my standards, a rocker. Well, a couple of days later, this older guy excitedly shared with me “Lovers By Rote.” Since someone on an album had done what I was doing (Four years earlier!) then it must be okay.
So this was my introduction to Jules and the Polar Bears. But it’s interesting because now I’m not especially fond of the song. It’s great. But it’s also somewhat preachy. But it’s got great lyrics like these:
Like it was so much cash
You better take out some insurance
On what keeps you attached
I got the only words to tell you
It’s a matter of fact:
You gotta make your mind your own
Before you find your mind a match.
Anyway, day one of Jules and the Polar Bears:
Afterword: the Chant
The chant is hard to understand. Here it is:
Is tug a little leash
To find yourself constricted.
All you really got to do
Is think about the crime
To find yourself convicted.
Also: stupid questions about love really are the stupidest questions of them all.