Despite the biff-bang nature of his moniker and the low-budget, pub rock scene to which he clearly belonged, there was more to Wreckless Eric than his early career demise suggests. He was more a victim of changing times than a lack of originality or talent.
His self-titled debut album was released in June 1978. While the 90-second Rag’n’Tatters epitomises the straightforward, two-bob approach in an era when you could record a hit for next to thing, tracks like Reconnez Cherie show a facility with songcraft and a nicely perfumed turn of phrase. Whole Wide World, meanwhile, is Wire-like, post-punkish, in its sense of the huge space and opportunity apparently afforded by punk.
Later in the year followedThe Wonderful World… and Eric might subsequently have felt aggrieved that his own, spacey Walking On The Surface Of The Moon tanked by comparison with The Police’s Walking On The Moon a few months later. So it went, however. His final album Big Smash!, featuring the sardonic A Pop Song, was his biggest seller but his last for Stiff. There would be no place in the big budget, polished 80s for a Wreckless Eric.