On April 23, 1978 Ian Dury entered the UK singles chart at #48 with "What A Waste!". The single, a grooving consideration of life's many options, would peak at #9 and be sampled in " Can I Kick It?" by A Tribe Called Quest. NME critics named the single the third best of the year.
Dury and pianist/guitarist Chaz Jankel had assembled The Blockheads for the Live Stiffs Tour. The 1977 album New Boots and Panties!! was on its way to selling a million copies, staying on the British Charts for almost two years.
For a few exhilarating years, when the musicians he christened the Blockheads took their places on stage and he ambled wonkily on behind them, be-suited in best vintage, draped in polka-dot scarves and gypsy kerchiefs, with one of several exotic titfers perched on his head, you knew that something extraordinary was about to happen.
In 1978 New Boots would be released in the United States by Arista where it received more critical acclaim, finishing at #13 on the Village Voice critics poll between Brian Eno's Before and After Science and Patti Smith's Easter.