The title allegedly refers to Dury – a fan of second hand clothing – insisting on only ever buying these two items new. According to Ian Dury & The Blockheads: Song By Song, the name was chosen by Dury from a list of 20 drawn up by compere Kosmo Vinyl. Contrary to popular myth, the album is not credited to ‘Ian Dury & The Blockheads’ as the band wasn’t formed until Stiff’s Live Stiffs tour some months after its recording, and two of the band don’t play on the album
Also contrary to popular myth, ‘Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll’ was not on the original pressing of the album. It was only included when the album was first re-issued for the American market, and has featured on every re-issue since
Dury came across the old-fashioned shopfront while waiting for a bus. The shot was taken by Chris Gabrin outside Axford’s at 306 Vauxhall Bridge Road in Westminster, a stone’s throw from Victoria Station. On the opposite side of the road was a Woolworths store, the name of which can be seen reflected in the shop window
The six year old boy in the picture is Dury’s son Baxter, who was staying with him that week
Gabrin took a whole roll of 24 shots, but he and Dury instantly agreed on which to use. Then Barney Bubbles, Stiff’s in-house designer took over, and he and Dury cropped the picture square and added the marker pen lettering
Written on the back of the album’s sleeve, below the track list is ‘there’s nothing wrong with it!!’ which was apparently the reaction of the musicians upon hearing the first playback of their work!