Peter Perrett Credit: Steve Gullick

If American listeners know about British singer Peter Perrett, it’s probably from the 1978 classic “Another Girl, Another Planet,” a brilliant pop tune covered by the likes of the Replacements. In England Perrett’s band the Only Ones, who originally cut the song, were would-be stars who made three albums before Perrett flamed out in the early 80s while fighting heroin addiction. He got his shit together to make a 1996 with a band called the One, and over the past few years he’s been involved in occasional Only Ones reunion shows in Europe. But few would have expected that Perrett had a record as strong and convincing as the new How the West Was Won (Domino) left in his 66-year-old self.

Perrett’s droll way with a turn of phrase and his thick London accent remain charmingly intact, and his melodic instincts are undiminished even though his voice feels a bit frayed. He fronts a combo featuring his sons Jamie on lead guitar and Peter Jr. on bass (who play together in the band Strangefruit), and they nail the album’s ten tunes, which convey an unmistakable air of rumination: looking back, taking stock, and expressing gratitude for making it this long. Quite a few songs address a lover who’s stood by him, and in fact Perrett has been with the same woman for nearly five decades—by all accounts she’s endured a lot, including a long string of infidelities. If today’s 12 O’Clock Track, “Man of Extremes,” is to be believed, she’s a veritable saint—”You’re the girl of my dreams,” Perrett sings, but only after confessing, “All the people I like are girls.”
Today’s playlist:

John Luther Adams, Canticles of the Holy Wind (Cantaloupe)
Mario Pavone, Blue Dialect (Clean Feed)
Verckys et l’Orchestre Vévé, Congolese Funk, Afrobeat & Psychedelic Rumba 1969-1978 (Analog Africa)
Dalia Raudonikyte With, Solitarius (New Focus)
Olie Brice Quintet, Immune to Clockwork (Multikulti)