Previously seen as an explative-spewing bastard on Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares and other series, Gordon Ramsey’s F Word aims to show a kinder, gentler side to Britain’s most famous chef. His goal: get people, women specifically, back in the kitchen and caring about food. That and getting fresh with hot chicks in the name of Good Television. I have to admit, I thought the first episode was pretty good.
When I first heard the title of the series, I immediately thought of the song "The F Word" by Babybird. And lo and behold, it’s being used as the theme song of the series. In fact, the song practically omniprescent throughout each episode.
If you’ve never heard of Babybird, it’s the pseudonym of Stephen Jones, who was somewhat of a Brit indie sensation in the mid-90s, but never even dented the public consciousness of America. Amazingly prolific, he released five albums of home-recorded songs in 1995, then rerecorded the best songs from those records for his proper debut, 1996’s Ugly Beautiful, which spawned the UK hit "You’re Gorgeous."
The follow-up was 1998’s dark, depressing There’s Something Going On — which kind of sank his career. (1998 was dark year in Britain, which also saw the release of Pulp’s This is Hardcore and The Divine Comedy’s Fin de Siècle — both downer albums from bands known for being a bit more fun.). 2000’s Bugged went virtually unnoticed but is actually a really great record, containing "The F Word" and the twisted ballad "Out of Sight." Nearly all of Babybird’s albums are out-of-print, but the 2004 compilation Best of Babybird hits most of the high points.
Babybird went dark after Bugged, though in 2002 Jones released an album under his own name, Almost Cured of Sadness, a bedroom-recorded affair which featured a lot songs with annoying Chipmunk vocals.
But I’m happy to report that Jones has revived the Babybird pseudonym with his new album Between My Ears There’s Nothing but Music. It finds him in fine form, bizzare but undeniably catchy. My favorite is "Lighter ‘n’ Spoon" that puts an interesting spin on the old two-peas-in-a-pod theme. I don’t see it being used as a TV theme any time soon, but stranger things have happened.
Gordon Ramsey’s F Word airs Sunday nights at 9PM EST on BBC America.