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A Grand Don't Come for Free

A Grand Don't Come for Free is the second album for UK garage musician Mike Skinner, aka The Streets, released on May 18, 2004.

Track listing

  1. "It Was Supposed to Be So Easy"
  2. "Could Well Be In"
  3. "Not Addicted"
  4. "Blinded by the Lights"
  5. "Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way"
  6. "Get Out of My House" (feat. MC C-Mone)
  7. "Fit But You Know It"
  8. "Such a Twat"
  9. "What Is He Thinking?"
  10. "Dry Your Eyes"
  11. "Empty Cans"

The story

A Grand Don't Come for Free is a concept album. In the story, the protagonist loses £1000, or a grand in slang terms. In the first track on the album, "It Was Supposed to Be So Easy", he plans out a series of seemingly simple events for the day, including returning a rented DVD and taking out some money from a bank machine, but it all starts to go wrong when a passing car splashes him with water, then he discovers the DVD is not in the case and still at his house and when he comes home he cannot find the thousand pounds, and his television is broken. In the process of trying to recover the money he:

  • Starts seeing a girl called Simone who works in JD Sports with his friend Dan. ("Could Well Be In")
  • Tries to recover the thousand pounds by gambling. After a series of wins he frustratingly cannot get to the bookmaker's in time to make a big gamble. Fortuitously, the prediction is wrong — it's his lucky day. ("Not Addicted")
  • Is stood up at a nightclub by Simone, but passes the time drinking alcohol and taking cocaine and ecstasy; he thinks he sees Simone kissing Dan but the drug induced high distracts him before he can think about it properly. ("Blinded By the Lights")
  • Moves into Simone's house and finds himself comfortable smoking marijuana there, rather than drinking with his friends at the pub. ("Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way")
  • Argues with Simone and she kicks him out of her house. ("Get Out of My House")
  • Poses to impress a girl ("Fit But You Know It") in a take away restaurant during a heavy night drinking on holiday.
  • After flying back from the holiday, remorsefully reviews the events of the previous night during a phone call to a friend, realising he still wants to be with Simone.("Such a Twat")
  • Suspects his mate Scott of stealing his coat, money and girlfriend but discovers that Simone is actually having an affair with Dan. ("What is He Thinking?")
  • Tries to cope with his girlfriend breaking up with him. ("Dry Your Eyes").
  • Deals with the events of his life in one of two ways; the final track, "Empty Cans", features two endings to the plot, a bitter ending and a happy ending (the former where he and a TV repairman get into a fight over the repairman's fee, and the latter in which he reconciles with his mates and finds the thousand pounds hidden in his TV).
  • The B-Side to the UK single release of "Fit But You Know It" contains the song "Soaked By The Ale". The story of this song takes place between the events of "Fit But You Know It" and "Such A Twat". It documents one of Skinner's mates being annoyed at Mike for stealing a tub of ice cream whilst on holiday in Spain as a result of his excessive drinking. The chronological order is identified in "Such A Twat" where Skinner raps "And that incident with the ice cream I forgot, it all ended in our vodka".

Singles

The first single from the album, "Fit But You Know It" reached No. 4 on the UK Singles Charts with the second single, "Dry Your Eyes entering the UK Charts at No. 1. The album itself reached No. 1 in the UK Album Charts, No. 11 in Australia and No. 82 in the US. Two other singles - "Blinded by the Lights" and "Could Well Be In" - were released, but failed to earn much recongnition like the previous two. "Fit But You Know It" and "Dry Your Eyes" both featured in the 2004 Triple J Hottest 100 in Australia placing #18 and #19 respectively.

Singles

  1. Fit But You Know It Released: March 1 2004
  2. Dry Your Eyes Released: May 31 2004
  3. Blinded by the Lights Released: September 13 2004
  4. Could well be in Released: November 8 2004

External links

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