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Submit Response is a weblog by Jack Mottram, a journalist who lives in Glasgow, Scotland. There are 1308 posts in the archives. You can subscribe to a feed. This post was made on and belongs in the music category. The previous post was , and the next post is .

Jan Terri

Janet turned me on to Jan Terri the other day.

Terri is an ‘outsider’ musician. Or, to put it another way, she writes naive-but-brilliant pop songs then performs them in a sub-karaoke style so jaw-droppingly bad that it beggars belief.

Interestingly, Terri’s work is conceived as a multimedia package—she first came to the attention of citizens of her hometown of Chicago by selling VHS tapes of her performances while she worked as a limousine driver—and, like her delivery, these promos are spectacularly inept.

So, what raises Terri’s work above the level of the plain old shite? Her nonchalance. Jan Terri knows that she is a great songwriter, Jan Terri knows that she is an attractive woman, Jan Terri knows that by rights she should be topping the pop charts. That few of these things are true matters not: Terri’s self-belief is contagious because she happily goes about her business, putting almost no effort into her performances, so sure is she that the mantle of greatness is upon her.

Here is Jan Terri’s best song, and best video, in my view, Losing You. I’m particularly fond of the literal visual interpretation of the lyrics. And the fact that she looks like a black pudding in those leathers.

By way of contrast, here is Get Down Goblin, a Hammer horror inspired Halloween song. At first viewing I worried that the relatively high production values of this piece diluted Terri’s appeal, but the moment roughly halfway through when she appears to forget that she is being filmed is so charming that I came around. Also, the scene in which Terri mimes an organ solo on a piano is, perhaps, an image that speaks more eloquently of Terri’s genius than words ever could.

See also: Baby Blues a love song which is, quite frankly, deeply terrifying, and perhaps the equal of Losing You (note that the blue-eyed subject of the song is played by a man with brown eyes). And finally, there is Little Brother, which both daringly appropriates Frere Jaques and features a nod to the Shangri-Las with its spoken introduction. Terri also released an album, High Risk, but, sadly, I can find no trace of it on the web.

Update: it has been brought to my attention that Jan Terri’s genius has been brought to the attention of the head of a major record label, and that a certain lupine pop star may have plans to cover Get Down Goblin—the Jan Terri revival starts here?

Posted at 6pm on 11/07/06 by Jack Mottram to the music category.
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  1. JAN


    Carol - American Limo

    Posted by carol from american limo at 7pm on 20.01.07

  2. What IS a beggar’s belief?

    Beware the rampant apostrophe.

    Posted by Lupus at 12pm on 19.01.08

  3. Fixed! Thanks Lupus.

    Posted by Jack Mottram at 3pm on 19.01.08

  4. Also youtube Journey To Mars…it may be her best one.

    Posted by Natalie at 11pm on 06.03.08

  5. Jan Terri is my IDOL!

    Never have my ears been so blessed as when they are hearing her pure genius lyricism and angelic purity of voice.

    Thank you for existing Jan Terri.

    and also, where can I buy her songs? I can’t find her CD’s anywhere!

    Posted by Ruthie at 5am on 13.07.08

  6. heres the lerycs to loosing you at least They sound like it I admire jan for doing what she did and not careing about what people thinks I wihs I was brave like her :D

    I dont wanna loose you tonight your the only thing that matters
    I dont wanna loose you this way just need your love

    2 times

    Loosing you will thing hardest thing to do
    my heart is open like a open book but yours is closed

    I never thought it would be like this
    so hard to read you anymoree..!

    I dont want to loose you tonight your the
    Only thing that matters I dont wanna loose you this way just need your love

    2 times

    Remeber long walks sandy beaches monlit swings to geather we were like a
    mirigle round going around in circles….!
    You sed weell allways be togeatherrr but you wernt tellin the truth you were tellin lies….!

    I dont wanna loose you tonight your the only thing that matters
    I dont wanna loose you this way just need your love

    2 times

    Pick up the phone an give me a call and
    talk to me it shouldent have been like this
    I can take it no more….!

    I dont wanna loose you tonight your the only thing that matters
    I dont wanna loose you this way just need your love

    3 times

    Posted by Matt at 10pm on 27.02.09

  7. Can anyone point me to where I can purchase Jan’s Baby Blues CD? Or does someone have one?

    Posted by Don at 6am on 26.11.12

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