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The Elbow is Taboo (1987)

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Click any underlined track for a 30-second, 64kbps MP3 sample

1.) A Street Called Straight
2.) Boule!
3.) The Elbow is Taboo
4.) Hambu Hodo
5.) Dance for Somnambulists
6.) Here's To The Oblong Boys
7.) The Bread Song
8.) Critical/Dance
9.) Extracting the Re-Re

(Original LP) Side 1: tracks 1-4; Side 2: tracks 5-9

Release Info:

LP: Ralph Records RR87081 (1987 - US)
LP: Some Bizz Are .rD5 (1987 - UK)
LP: Torso 33049 (Holland)
CD: T. E. C. Tones 93782
CD: Some Bizarre SBZ036CD (1997)
CD: Reissued in 2016 with bonus content

Renaldo's CD Liner Notes:

You know how it is sometimes when you're looking for inspiration -- maybe, every once in a while you catch a snippet of conversation or read a choice phrase that kick-starts an idea for a song title or lyric and suddenly it's playtime.

Now, these instances can be few and far between; that's how it was for some of this, Renaldo and the Loaf's final album, which took over 3 years to put together despite the advantage of 8 track recording and early digital effects to help us on our way.

We were fired up by intriguing phrases like 'The Elbow is Taboo', 'Here's To the Oblong Boys' and 'A Street Called Straight'. In the instance of 'Hambu Hodo' that was seen on the side of a distressed fast-food wagon where some of the letters from 'Hamburgers/Hotdogs' had fallen off; so, naturally, the lyrics had to be equally distressed. 'Boule!' was recorded for a project by the French band Ptose, who invited us to produce a cover version of their song about an itinerant dog. Similarly, 'Extracting the Re-re' was prepared for a touch tapes (UK) project on ritual.
Each song attempts to tell its own story, be it a child's desire to control (A Street Called Straight), the ridiculous purdah of an innocent part of the body (The Elbow is Taboo), a call for help in times of angst (Here's To the Oblong Boys), the rigours of a bread fetish (The Bread Song), the anger of a dance teacher to the terminally inept (Critical/Dance) or a ritual call to prayer, somewhere (Extracting the Re-re).

Personally important is that each song is also a distinct memory of a time, place or observation; a diary of the odd scenarios and obtuse thoughts that, back then, went buzzing through our heads.

- Brian 1993

Loafy Things to Say:

There were a group of us sitting in a pub one Saturday night talking and somehow the phrase the elbow is taboo came into the conversation, either I or Brian actually said it and we looked at one another and said, ‘that would make a good song title.’ It was only later that we decided to make that the name for the album as well.

Did You Know About...?

The Elbow Is Taboo Desperation Issue

Click the cover for a larger version

Clear vinyl edition of 300 in plain white cover with applied special artwork.

This interim release was for Ralph mail order customers who has been kept waiting due to a delay in cover printing parts arriving from England -not RatL's fault by the way. The disc contents and centre labels are no different to the final release.


Renaldo & the Loaf are Brian Poole and Dave Janssen
All Songs Written, Recorded & Produced by Renaldo & the Loaf
--Except for 'Boule!' Written by Ptôse, Arranged by Renaldo & the Loaf
Recorded Chez Struvé, Master Cut by Ian Cooper, Townhouse, London.

Sleeve Concept: Renaldo & the Loaf
Design & Realization: Me Co.
CD Package Design: Steven Cerio
Typesetting: Face Up
Elbows Cast by: Simon Stringer
Marbled by: Ahmed Sidki
Cover Photos by: Dave Warden

A ROTCOD Production 1987.

Thanks to: Trevor Gilbert who Played & Arranged
Treble & Descant Recorders on 'A Street Called Straight.'
--- 'g' (lady voice) & 'h' (inquisitive american)
on 'Elbow is Taboo'

Ptôse for Permission to Play 'Boule!'
'Extracting the Re-Re' originally conceived for
'Magnetic North' Project, Touch Tapes, London.

Waldo said: "Bite the Wax Tadpole".

Dave: I was reading a copy of Readers Digest at coffee break one day and came across this amusing piece of information. When Coca-Cola first went on sale in China the marketing department looked for some Chinese characters that sounded phonetically like Coca-Cola. When they translated these characters into English they discovered that they meant ‘bite the wax tadpole’ – it’s like Frass; not a lot of people know that.

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