Caricatures

What Went Wrong With… Shirley Bassey?

A caricature of Dame Shirley Bassey by What Went Wrong Or Right With...?

Although quite unique, Shirley Bassey’s singing voice has always sounded strange to me, like an airhorn on a train somehow became sentient. To my ears, her elongated vocals are akin to a cat slowly being squashed under a slow-moving steamroller. Her singing also has a slight doppler effect, increasing and decreasing in volume mid-song for no apparent reason sounding very much like an ambulance siren repeatedly passing you by. Now of course, if you’re a fan, you could argue that Shirley’s vocals are powerful and that she sang the best and most memorable James Bond theme tunes but unless you’re some kind of sycophantic superfan, you have to agree that outside the sixties and seventies, Bassey’s songs sound very much old-fashioned and her vocals have become less and less powerful, in fact in recent years, she almost sounds like she’s doing an impression of herself (if you want proof, just seek out her performance at the shit-tastic Glastonbury in which she makes Pink’s “Get The Party Started” sound even cornier than it originally did). Alongside the likes of Elvis Presley and Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey can easily be condensed into a one-dimensional parody or a two or three second sound which will instantly be identified as her. Bassey is now essentially a caricature, whereby any impressionist can accurately portray not only her mannerisms and speaking voice but also her singing voice almost down to a T and almost better than Shirley herself.

On a side note, I don’t see why, if I disliked someone when they were younger, I now have to “show them respect” simply because they’ve aged. Shirley Bassey, or Dame Shirley Bassey (ooh, almost royalty) has over the years become a darling of the British media with nobody ever saying a bad word against her (and I mean ever) even though on occasion, someone really should have.

In various interviews, Ms. Bassey has routinely highlighted aspects of her childhood, specifically being the only coloured kid in Tiger Bay and how difficult it was growing up looking different to everybody else. But let’s face it, once fame struck, she made the whitest of celebrity friends, buggered off to Monte Carlo and pretty much forgot that she was the mixed race daughter of a Nigerian immigrant. And after reading a few of her interviews, it seems that she’s even forgotten that she’s a woman. What the hell am I going on about you ask? Well, Shirley has made some idiotic, self-hating comments over the years and her moronic statements have to be read to be believed.

Firstly, Shirley Bassey once told the Daily Mail that women shouldn’t fight for equality. She said: “Women in my industry aren’t empowered. Never have been, never will be”. She goes on; “Think about the modern man. The gene goes so deep, it goes right back to the caveman days: man must have control. Women should not change it, because we’ve tried and we’ve emasculated men. It’s dangerous to mess with science.” (“Science” LOL, like society has actually neutered men or edited their genes). This was 2015 by the way not some mid-to-late twentieth century “it’s okay to be downtrodden” time. Bassey then says the daftest thing in the whole interview; “There’s a reason why men are here. If I was flying with a female pilot, for instance, I’d be very worried. Women have periods and hormones, and that bothers me about women who want men’s jobs. Like firefighters, police, soldiers… I don’t believe in women soldiers! Come on, women should be women. We should be feminine. I’m not sad about it. We should accept it. It’s worked this way for a long time. Men went out and brought home the bacon. Women are now going a step too far, trying to be cleverer than men – or as clever.” She almost went as far as saying women are thicker than men there! And in some kind of ironic way, she nearly went about proving it by airing her stupid opinion… ooh look, there goes another airliner crashing into the ground all because the pilot is on the rag… what a twat.

A few years earlier in 2009, in an interview with The Guardian, Shirley said this about Britain and immigration: “We’re letting in too many people. We’re an island, for God’s sake. And the Britishness seems to have [gone].” Time to play “Never, Never, Never” or maybe “The Banana Boat Song” at the next UKIP conference I guess.

As if performing as the main “artiste” for that old royal-racist The Duke Of Edinburgh at his 80th birthday celebration wasn’t proof enough, Bassey is a confirmed bigot in ink (or more accurately pixels). I always thought there was something iffy about her but until I read these online articles, I didn’t know what. So now I know, Shirley Bassey is the type of mixed-race minority who plays the race card for sympathy or credibility but sides with the white establishment and patriarchy most of the time. She’s the embodiment and actual definition of a sellout. Remember the line by Chino XL “black when it’s convenient like Mariah’s ethnicity”? Well that could easily apply to Shirley Bassey.

Appealing to James Bond nerds, BBC Prom attendees, royalists, folk who have the union jack superglued to their hand, and people who bandy the term “Diva” about as though it can apply to any female singer in a dress (forgetting that the word once meant “goddess”), Dame Shirley Bassey is arguably one of the most overrated performers of all time. Usually seen looking like Jeanine Pirro‘s better looking twin and waving the tips of her feather scarf about like a vulture’s wings, over the last two decades she has become an exaggerated, burlesque, parody of herself. Showing up to old-arsed events held in old buildings, draped in old-looking sequins and feather boas, regurgitating her old hits to old people. At least we now know that her opinions are old and antiquated too.

Oldfinger.

11 replies »

  1. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG WITH SHIRLEY BASSEY! THERE IS EVERYTHING WRONG WITH THE FOLKS WHO ENVY HER. GOD BLESS HER FROM A YOUNG AGE AND HE IS STILL DOING SO. FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO DID NOTHING WITH YOUR LIFE, IT IS TIME TO TURN YOUR LIFE OVER TO GOD AND IN DOING SO, ASK HIM FOR FORGIVENESS FOR NOT DOING WHAT HE PUT IN YOUR LIFE THAT YOU DID NOT DO. SHIRLEY BASSEY WILL BE SHIRLEY BASSEY AND NO ONE ON THIS PLANET CAN TAKE WHAT SHE ACHIEVED FROM HER, SHE WILL ALWAYS BE THE BEST FEMALE SINGER IN MY BOOK. I WILL CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR HER AND IN DOING SO I KNOW GOD WILL CONTINUE TO KEEP HER SAFE. YOU ARE BLESS AND HIGHLY FAVORED, SO IF YOU CAN CONTINUE WITH WHAT I CONSIDERED A VOICE FROM HEAVEN DO IT MY FRIEND. I LOVE YOU AND WILL ALWAYS UNTIL THE DAY I DIE.

    • Shirley remains one of most thrilling singers ever to grace the stage at her best in the 60’s and 70’s. What went wrong is she got old and had personal problems just like the rest of us.

    • I agree, Dame Shirley is one the greatest female singers in history. Others would kill to be able to hit the notes she has sung and to muddy her up the way you have written about her is shocking. You must be one of her best fans and are just jealous that can never attain the love she has from fans, all over the world. We desperately need more singers like her and Tom Jones and Lulu….Wales has produced some astonishing singers….it must be something in the air or water there.

  2. What went wrong with you, that you despise others success with such a passion? Why not just walk away from something you don’t care for, rather than this bitchy tirade. After all, she is only an entertainer. She’s not a leader who holds the hopes and fears of a nation in her hands.
    Maybe a nice long look in the mirror is needed. But maybe that takes real courage.

    • It’s ironic is it not, that you commented on an article you clearly don’t care for. Why not just walk away? 🙃

      It would have taken real courage for you to admit that this website is just entertainment. It’s not like I’m a leader who holds the hopes and fears of our nation in my hands; this is simply a differing opinion to yours.

      And maybe take a gander at this site: bitchy tirades are kinda my thing. Telling me to change my style is like asking Bassey to stop sounding like a broken foghorn. It’s not an option.

      Now piss off to the Shirley Bassey Appreciation Society, Rupert old dear.

  3. You are obviously jealous of natural, raw talent. Of course Shirley’s voice is no longer what it once was…….she is now in her 83rd year for goodness sake!
    In her prime, Shirley’s voice was absolutely magnificent, and I am not some ‘sycophantic fan’………I am simply telling the truth as I see it. Not only is her vocal range incredible (or it was back then), but her sheer star presence……she actually lives the songs that she sings. Compare the class of Shirley to the likes of Beyonce, Miley and Madonna, who have to cavort on stage half naked in order to sell their stuff. Shirley NEVER had to do any of that because her talent spoke for itself.

    If anyone ever had to define the word “Charisma” there is one person who immediately springs to mind: Shirley Bassey. As for her views on the sexes, can you or anyone else deny that the so-called ‘Womens Movement’ has turned women in to men without penises? Women who think that shagging everything in sight and getting drunk and being one of ‘The Lads’ is somehow ‘cool’ and ’empowering’?
    These sad and deluded creatures have forgotten how to embrace womanhood in all of its glory and what do we have in place of REAL men nowadays? Pussified girls with dicks and balls. If you truly believe that men have not been emasculated then it is obvious that you are too young to remember the days when men really were men. Now I am NOT disrespecting everything that the womens movement gave to us, because there is no doubt that women did need their rights, especially women who were in abusive marriages (my poor old mum was one of these women and until Erin Pizzey came along she had nowhere to run to).
    But, on the flip side, Shirley is right, the sexes have somehow become blurred, with manly women and girly men. It is sickening and gross.
    But to get back to the wonderful Shirley and THAT voice, I suspect that you have not achieved much in your life and you have singled out a woman who has achieved probably more in one week that you could ever achieve in ten lifetimes. Can’t you just learn to be pleased for one of the sisters, instead of succumbing to the truly ugly trait of jealousy?

    Ps. Incidentally, it is jealous women like YOU who are the REAL enemy of women. Just saying.

    • Here we go again with that jealousy shite. Is a film critic jealous of films? Is a political correspondent jealous of the prime minister? In your moronic world criticism cannot exist. It’s the old-time version of being called a “hater”. The truth is people like you cannot fathom a differing opinion. You wanna crawl up Bassey’s arse and I don’t. End of.

      You do realise that Ladette culture was over two decades ago? Equality Feminism has been going on for hundreds of years. I guess you want to enjoy the “freedoms” these movements eventually give you but you want to denigrate people for starting them.

      Plus your argument makes no sense. If every other female singer is “cavorting half-naked” and women are “shagging everything in sight”, how are they accomplishing this with a set of “dick and balls”? You just sound like someone who’s gone old and modern femininity is too much for your backward arse.

      Sexualised singers have existed for a long time, even during Bassey’s era. Maybe stop focusing on the Madonna’s and Miley’s and listen to someone like Greentea Peng. Or is she not stereotypically feminine enough for you? Make your bloody mind up!

      BTW Sweetheart, I’m a proper bloke, a real manly man, so piss off back to the kitchen, cook some supper and do some cleaning as you nurse your babies. Having an opinion isn’t very womanly, so don’t worry your pretty little head about art, music, popular culture, and criticism. That’s a man’s job. 🙄

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