Mondeo Pop Month: The Korgis – Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime
Released: May 1980
UK chart position: #5
From the album: Dumb Waiters
I only found out a few weeks back that “I’m Free”, The Soup Dragons’ mid-1990-defining slice of baggy mediocrity, was actually a cover of a Rolling Stones song. This may be a common blindspot for anyone who was between the ages of, say, five and 12 in 1990, where “love me, hold me, love me, hold me…” doesn’t signify a wild and shirtless young Jagger, but rather four Mary Whitehouse Experience lookin’ boys with curtain fringes lipsynching on Going Live.
And maybe the same generation had, for a while, the same problem with “Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometimes”. Maybe it’s just me, maybe the time I slowly became aware of music from before my generation (say, 1997), this song’s 2:33pm playings on local radio were accompanied by “Wait, I don’t remember the chick from Baby D having that deep a voice” solely as a result of my ignorance and weren’t indicative of any greater concerns. Who knows?
What’s always struck me about this song is how polite it is. “Got To” rather than” Gotta”, for a song that was released when punk and new wave were perfectly acceptable chart concerns, always seemed to be the sign of a band who really wanted to mark themselves out as mature.
We’ve gone over the need for maturity and a rejection of the values of youth in Mondeo Pop before, but it may be worth reiterating with regards to The Korgis: the frontman and guitarist of whom were both formerly members of Stackridge, a band who peddled that most maligned of adult genres: prog. It’s not too hard to imagine that, when they split Stackridge in 1977, bloodied and battered from the assaults of punk and disco, they decided to pay the mortgage off with something that would have no real appeal to the flared and bondage trousered massifs. The Korgis even come from a time before you could wear jeans with a shirt to work.
It’s hard to imagine a greater lowbeat track than this though, mournful and dour and with very little hope. And if you want very little hope, you can always try and hunt down covers of this song by the following artists: Beck, Zucchero, Ginger from The Wildhearts, Glasvegas. What a gang.