[20] Scissor Sisters, ‘Comfortably Numb’

Scissor Sisters

It seems odd that the Scissor Sisters’ debut album was the UK’s biggest seller of 2004. It’s not as if its songs have entered the national fabric, is it? For good or bad, its chief rivals – Keane’s Hopes & Fears, The Killers’ Hot Fuss – have insinuated their way under our skin, their leading singles revived again and again for adverts, idents, party political campaigns, but I’d guess you’d be hard-pressed to name more than a couple of tracks from Scissor Sisters, let alone associate them with time or place.

I could be wrong. You might prance around to ‘Filthy/Gorgeous’ before every night down the pub. You should be prancing to ‘Comfortably Numb’, the cheekiest, most fully realised Pink Floyd cover yet; a record that, all the same, stands on its own two feet as a modern disco wonder, layered with Bee Gees, KC & The Sunshine Band, Frankie Knuckles, Joey Negro… Now, I’m no enormous Floyd fan, so I find extra relish in this thumb-of-the-nose to the crushing seriousness of the original – but, then again, all of Floyd have at some point or other given this version the props it deserves, so perhaps I’m the one who’s outside the joke.

Junior says: “It’s crazy but I do like it,” rolling her shoulders to that glittery pulse.

Best bit: The handclaps after “You may feel a little sick” puncturing any lingering pomposity.

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