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"Ball and Chain" is a song by Colin Moulding. It appeared on and was released as a single for the 1982 album English Settlement. It reached no. 58 on the UK Singles chart.

A shelved single version appeared on the 2002 Coat of Many Cupboards box set, while the original demo was never released.

Single tracklistingEdit

7" singleEdit

  1. A-side: "Ball and Chain"
  2. B-side 1: "Punch and Judy" (Andy Partridge)
  3. B-side 2: "Heaven is Paved with Broken Glass" (Partridge)

12" doublepackEdit

  1. A-side 1: "Ball and Chain"
  2. A-side 2: "Heaven is Paved With Broken Glass"
  3. B-side 1: "Punch and Judy"
  4. B-side 2: "Cockpit Dance Mixture" (Partridge)

7" Canada singleEdit

  1. A-side: "Ball and Chain"
  2. B-side: "No Thugs in Our House (3:39 edit)" (Partridge)

10" Canada singleEdit

  1. A-side: "Ball and Chain"
  2. B-side 1: "No Thugs in Our House (edit)"
  3. B-side 2: "Punch and Judy"

QuotesEdit

Andy (on the demo): “This is based on [the Beatles'] ‘Getting Better’.” Colin: “About the destruction of Swindon town centre, but it wasn't much of a song. I think I'd gone off the boil.” Andy: “You reckon?” Colin: “Yeah, I do. The least favourite of my contributions. I don't think I got it back until Skylarking.”

Colin (on the shelved single version): “When eldermans in council chambers were getting outrageously fatter on inner city clearances, I offered up this little chant from the terraces. Perhaps a little overstated, I don't think it was ever going to save the 1980's equivalent of the Euston arch, but it seemed quite relevant to the times. Alan Winstanley, one half of the very successful Langer and Winstanley partnership, ended up being crowned producer, but only by default. Langer, the musical ideas man of the duo had started the proceedings enthusiastically enough and we had high hopes of the fairydust of hit records they had enjoyed with Madness recently, settling on our hair. But as day one progressed, Langer became more and more disillusioned with what his position actually was, and as band folklore has it, ‘left while the cymbals were still swinging’. On the plus side, Winstanley went on to make, I think, the definitive recording of the song, but alas, politics got in the way and it was denied an album place.”

Andy (on the shelved single version): “On hearing songs for our proposed next album, Virgin (rather diplomatically) suggested we take two of them, ‘Ball And Chain’ and ‘Punch and Judy’, and record, up front, a double A-side single. What a good excuse, they also reasoned, to try out their suggestion for a new producer. The team of Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley, the chaps behind the very successful Madness singles. So like lambs drunk on clover, off we went and immediately made the mistake of booking the Townhouse Studios before we'd even met these people. We found ourselves in with the chunky but amiable Winstanley (the engineer half of the duo) and the twitchy, hawklike Langer (Mr Musical Decisions). The latter proceeded to get everyone's back up from the start. Chop this out, add that, repeat that bit, think up a new place for there. We felt the carpet was being pulled from under us, this was not the time and place to be confused or unsure and we rebelled, sticking to playing it as rehearsed. We wouldn't ‘Madness-ize’ it up.

“Clive Langer listened to us stomping it out for about half an hour, then leapt to his feet proclaiming ‘well you don't need me, I'm off’. Swiftly leaving the room, never to be seen again. We cuddled up to the talented Mr. Winstanley and just got on with it.”

LyricsEdit

Save us from the ball and chain,

Save us from the ball and chain,

Save us from the ball and chain,

Oh yeah,

The diggers and the tower cranes,

The diggers and the tower cranes


Don't want demolition,

Don't want your compensation,

It's not just bricks and mortar,

We are lambs to slaughter


Save us from the ball and chain,

Save us from the ball and chain,

Save us from the ball and chain,

Oh yeah,

The diggers and the tower cranes,

The diggers and the tower cranes


Must we live in fear,

From those who she'd no tears?

Our one and only shelter,

Your games, your helter skelter


Motorways and office blocks,

They're standing on the spot

Where stood a home,

Crushing on the memories of people,

Who have since turned to stone

(Ahh)

They've turned to stone,

(Ahh)

They've turned to stone


Save us from the ball and chain,

Save us from the ball and chain,

Save us from the ball and chain,

Oh yeah,

The diggers and the tower cranes,

The diggers and the tower cranes

VideosEdit

PromoEdit

Promo video for "Ball and Chain." Uploaded by YouTube user "23Daves."

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