This month’s song for the UX Playlist is from Elizabeth Buie (@ebuie) via Twitter, who recommended this number by the salmon-farming head of prog rockers Jethro Tull.
Ian Anderson is a man of many and diverse talents, including his favourite party piece of playing a flute while standing on one leg.
We’re not sure if he was striking that pose whilst recording User Friendly for his 1983 solo album Walk into Light.
The song is very much a product of its time and Ian Anderson’s distinctive voice warbles lyrics that seem overly-keen to embrace the dawning digital age:
Dance on a printed circuit board
Throw the software to the fires
And on dusty terminals
Finger me lightly do
And QWERTY is the name of love
Printed on the VDU
Binary joys and digital sighs
User friendly <synth chords>
That’s what I am to you
Part way through the song he gives an obligatory toot on his flute and then noodles around with the synthesisers to bring the song to a close.
Incidentally while searching for the song on Google Music I learned that scary rock guy Marilyn Manson also has a song called User Friendly from his album Mechanical Animals. But after one listen I can see why it has a big Parental Advisory Badge slapped on the front of it. So I’m sorry Marilyn (or Brian Warner as you were christened) we won’t be having that kind of language on the UX Playlist and your song is not included.