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CLASSIC WIN BAlupeotortoathblespeaker!

CLASSIC POP

eighties
electronic
eclectic SOPHIE
ELLIS-BEXTOR KIM APPLEBY
MAY 2018

She´s back – with ˝We weren´t part


strings attached of the Hit Factory˝
KYLIE MINOGUE • GREEN GARTSIDE • PREFAB SPROUT • KIM APPLEBY • SOPHIE ELLIS-BEXTOR • DAPHNE & CELESTE • THE BEAT STARRING DAVE WAKELING

GREEN GARTSIDE
How Scritti Politti‘s
creative genius fell
back in love with pop
SOPHISTI-POP

+
The 15 albums you
need to hear now!

Prefab Sprout
The Beat Starring
Dave Wakeling
Morrissey
Daphne
& Celeste
Chvrches
Sting & Shaggy
E SS O
R INC F Alison Moyet
Erasure
THE P

From PWL to Golden


PO
P

– we celebrate the Much more...


N dancefloor goddess
RY
A

NI
V E R SA
40
CL ASSIC POP
M AY 18
ISSUE 40
9 772050 664327 PRICE £5.99

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Sony Music_Eurythmics_CPMag_FP Ad.indd 1 03/04/2018 16:59


WELCOME TO
CLASSIC

SOME POP STARS ARRIVE ON THE SCENE


AS THE FINISHED ARTICLE STRAIGHT OUT
OF THE BOX, WHILE OTHERS GRADUALLY
GROW INTO THE ROLE. KYLIE MINOGUE
IS DEFINITELY IN THE LATTER CATEGORY. 40
OVER THE PAST 30 YEARS, WE’VE SEEN
SEVERAL REINVENTIONS

I
AND THE ODD MISSTEP, t’s been fascinating to see Kylie’s and tours may never have occurred
evolution from the days of the without Kylie being spotted by
BUT MOST INTRIGUINGLY Stock Aitken and Waterman chance leading a Neighbours cast
OF ALL, THE GRADUAL production line and witness her singalong at a charity dinner...
REFINEMENT OF artistic moment of clarity in the early In addition to our healthy chunk
90s when she started taking control of La Minogue, we hope you enjoy
A REMARKABLE of her musical output. our generous portion of sophisti-pop
POP PERSONA. Even more heartening is that in this month’s issue. Scritti Politti’s
she achieved her biggest success Green Gartside grants us a very
in her 30s. PWLKylie, IndieKylie, rare audience to talk about his
DiscoKylie and now CountryKylie – ups and downs as a reluctant chart
although we now know the last one star; we take an in-depth look
is somewhat of a red herring after at the glorious Prefab Sprout and
we’ve fully taken in her terrific new kick off the debate about the Top 15
album, Golden – there’s something sophisti-pop albums of all time.
for every pop fan. Does your favourite make our list?
Here in the UK, Kylie may be the Before I sign off, a quick
most beloved pop artist of all time. heads-up about the latest incarnation
It seems almost ridiculous to say of Classic Pop. In addition to our
there’s something of the underdog print version and web, Facebook,
about Kylie – anyone who can thrill Twitter and Instagram online
arena- and stadium-sized audiences presence, we’ve now got a mobile-
around the globe is no shrinking responsive app for those of you
violet, but she’s never given off who want to read the mag on
the bulletproof confidence of the go. Search for Classic Pop at
Madonna and Beyoncé – there’s Pocketmags, iTunes and Google
an underlying fragility about her Play. Enjoy the issue!
which we perhaps find particularly
appealing on these shores. Steve Harnell, Editor
Part of her enduring success
may be explained by her down-to-
earth, girl-next-door appeal. It’s
just now next door is a multi-million-
pound mansion complete with a
glitterball dancefloor.
And how bizarre to think that Follow me on Twitter:
30 years’ worth of albums, singles @AnthemEditor

S U B S C R I B E

With our unique mix of features, interviews


and reviews, Classic Pop is unmissable.
Get yours delivered to your door – and
save yourself some cash – by subscribing.
@ClassicPopMag Turn to pages 102-103 for details.

CP40.Welcome.print.indd 3 13/04/2018 12:54


CLASSIC RI
NC
E SS O
F

THE P

PO
P
N

RY
A
NI
V E R SA
CONTENTS
24
40
36 48 50
Follow us F E A T U R E S Hurley counts down his choice of the orchestral retrospective of reworked
KYLIE MINOGUE 24 best 15 sophisti-pop albums tracks titled The Song Diaries
From Ramsay Street to new album, LOWDOWN: PREFAB SPROUT 50 THE PRODUCERS 78
Golden, Mark Lindores traces how Matt Phillips reflects on the career Andy Jones meets Phil Harding, the
@ClassicPopMag the princess of pop has continually of the County Durham collective man behind hits for acts like East 17,
reinvented herself to stay on top of the KIM APPLEBY 54 911 and Boyzone
charts for the past 30 years Darren Scott looks back to a time when DAVE WAKELING 82
CLASSIC ALBUM 36 “anything was possible” for Kim Appleby The original singer of The Beat tells
We take an in-depth look at Kylie Minogue’s POP ART: AREA 60 Douglas McPherson about his new
eighth studio album, the mega-selling, Fever Andrew Dineley reviews the portfolio album Here We Go Love!
GREEN GARTSIDE 42 of Area with founder Richard Smith COMPETITION 109
Jonathan Wright meets the genius behind DAPHNE & CELESTE 66 Win a Braven Bluetooth speaker
Scritti Politti and discusses the highs and The Ooh Stick You and U.G.L.Y.
lows of the pop music industry hitmakers are back to save the world N E W S
TOP 15: SOPHISTI-POP 48 SOPHIE ELLIS-BEXTOR 72 POP-UP 08
Featuring Curiosity Killed The Cat, Talk Talk, Ian Peel talks to the ever-evolving Our news round-up featuring Culture Club,
Deacon Blue, Kate Bush and ABC, Oliver Sophie Ellis-Bextor about her new George Michael, Pet Shop Boys and more...

CP40.Contents.print.indd 4 13/04/2018 10:39


60
66
82
54
94
91

72 ONE HIT WONDER


Black Slate’s No.9 hit Amigo
10 Joy Division, Terence Trent D’Arby,
Peter Gabriel, Dire Straits and more
101
NEW ALBUMS
Featuring Sting & Shaggy, Chvrches,
89 Subscribe
110
Subscribe to Classic
Pop, save some cash
BURIED TREASURES 12 POPARAZZI 41 Alison Moyet and many more
Includes Erasure, Lloyd Cole and Kim Wilde Our readers with some of the REISSUES 94 (UK readers only)
LOST & FOUND 14 biggest names on planet pop Includes John Foxx, New York Dolls, Pages 102-103
Hot Chocolate’s eighth studio album, TOP 10: 26 MAY 1984 70 Brian Eno and The Human League

42
Love Shot Featuring Duran Duran, Wham!, Queen, COMPILATIONS 99
GODFATHERS OF POP 17 Deniece Williams, The Pointer Sisters, Including Revamp: Reimagining The Songs
With Foreigner’s Mick Jones Phil Collins, Kenny Loggins and more Of Elton John & Bernie Taupin
GODFATHERS OF POP 19 CLASSIC POP MOMENT 114 LONG LIVE VINYL 100
We meet Hue And Cry’s Pat Kane Paul Weller unveils The Style Council A Record Store Day vinyl swag bag
BOOKS 104
R E G U L A R S R E V I E W S Featuring Jake Shears’ Boys Keep
A TO Z OF POP 21 SINGLES 88 Swinging: A Memoir
S is for... Slap & Pop Matthew Rudd on the latest releases LIVE 110
THIS MONTH IN POP 22 from Kylie Minogue, James Bay, Kim Wilde, With Erasure, Morrissey, Lloyd Cole
News from May featuring Paul Hardcastle, Craig David and more and Paul Weller

CP40.Contents.print.indd 5 13/04/2018 10:11


CLASSIC
Anthem Publishing
Suite 6, Piccadilly House,
London Road, Bath, BA1 6PL

WHO’S WHO 40 Tel +44 (0)1225 489984


www.classicpopmag.com

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE KYLIE MINOGUE SONG? SOUNDBITES


*1 “A watershed moment in Kylie’s career
EDITOR Johnny Black
artistically. Includes drum samples of jazz
Steve Harnell Right Here, Right Now legend Jimmy Smith covering Barry White.”
steve.harnell@anthem-publishing.com Darren Scott *2 “She looks absolutely adorable in the
Confide In Me *1 What Do I Have To Do accompanying video. Red suits you if you’re
Andrew Dineley reading Kylie!”
ART EDITOR Alex Duce GBI (German Bold Italic) *3 “Strings and high drama – a great Bond
alex.duce@anthem-publishing.com Andy Jones theme that never was.”
Kids Can’t Get You Out Of My Head *4 “As smooth, sensual, sexy – and just a little
Jonathan Wright bit naughty – as the confectionery of the title.”
PRODUCTION EDITOR Dan Biggane Where The Wild Roses Grow *5 “Written with the Scissor Sisters, this
dan.biggane@anthem-publishing.com Douglas McPherson banger of a dancefloor stomp is something
Some Kind Of Bliss *2 Chocolate *4 of a lost Kylie classic – find it on Showgirl
Oliver Hurley Homecoming Live.”
SENIOR ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE Sam Willis White Diamond *5 *6 “Kylie’s second Deconstruction single
sam.willis@anthem-publishing.com Rudy Bolly shamefully stalled at No.11, despite the
Barbarella-inspired video with a zero
Cowboy Style Put Yourself In My Place *6
gravity striptease.”
Matt Phillips
*7 “Gorgeous acoustic rendering of the Paddy
FOUNDER, EDITOR-AT-LARGE Ian Peel If You Don’t Love Me *7 McAloon classic. I didn’t think she had it in her.”
ian.peel@anthem-publishing.com Richard Purden *8 “The tenderest of love songs and NOTHING
Put Yourself In My Place Spinning Around to do with the zero-gravity video.”
Matthew Rudd *9 “Kylie crashed back into our consciousness
CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jenny Cook Wouldn’t Change A Thing and established herself as an even bigger star
jenny.cook@anthem-publishing.com Ian Penman for the new millennium.”
Can’t Get You Out Of My Head Wow
Tom Hocknell
MARKETING MANAGER Gemma Bailey Put Yourself In My Place *8 All content copyright Anthem Publishing Ltd 2018, all rights reserved.
While we make every effort to ensure that the factual content of
gemma.bailey@anthem-publishing.com Classic Pop magazine is correct, we cannot take any responsibility nor be
Where The Wild Roses Grow CEO held accountable for any factual errors printed. Please make every effort
to check quoted prices and product specifications with manufacturers prior
Jon Bickley to purchase. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a
retrieval system or resold without prior consent of Anthem Publishing Ltd.
CONTRIBUTORS jon.bickley@anthem-publishing.com Classic Pop magazine recognises all copyrights contained within the
Mark Lindores Spinning Around *9 issue. Where possible, we acknowledge the copyright holder.
Confide In Me
Wyndham Wallace MANAGING DIRECTOR
Can’t Get You Out Of My Head Simon Lewis
Ian Gittins simon.lewis@anthem-publishing.com
Confide In Me *3 Can’t Get You Out Of My Head

O U R C O N T R I B U T O R S
Ian Gittins is a music writer Mark Lindores grew up Darren Scott has
for the Guardian, formerly of during the golden age of a career based on
Melody Maker and Q. He is pop mags, devouring variations of the words
the co-writer of the best-selling Smash Hits and Number “a bit like Smash Hits“
autobiographies of Nikki One. He now writes about and has now written
Sixx, David Essex and Shane the artists he used to read for more magazines,
Filan, among many more, and the author of about for Classic Pop, Total Film and newspapers and websites than he can
A Perfect Dream, an illustrated history of the Mixmag. As well as reviewing the best new shake a fright wig at. This issue, he
40-year career of The Cure, to be published books and DVDs, this month Mark serves tries to decipher a conversation with
this autumn. Classic Pop welcomes Ian to the up our expansive Kylie cover feature and Daphne & Celeste, and is granted a
fold to oversee our reissues section. looks at her classic album, Fever. rare audience with Kim Appleby.

SUBSCRIPTION ENQUIRIES 0844 8560642 (Calls cost 7 pence per minute plus your phone company’s access charge) or +44 (0)1371 853609 shop@anthem-
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E14 5HU Tel +44 (0) 20 378 79001 LICENSING ENQUIRIES Regina Erak Tel +44 (0)7753 811622 regina.erak@googlemail.com

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UP
It’s A Miracle! Boy George & Culture Club announce tour

B
oy George has compared Culture Club’s After originally breaking up in 1986, the band has
on-off relationship as being like the one reformed and toured on numerous occasions. However,
between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. George is still looking forward to revisiting the classics.
Talking on BBC’s The One Show, the “Those hits are a gift at a live show. Karma Chameleon is
flamboyant frontman said: “We’ve broken up so a song you do last so nobody leaves,” he laughed. “We’ve
many times, we’re like Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. done this for a long time and kinda know how to play it.”
Roy [Hay] will say things like, ‘why don’t you sing it more The tour, which kicks off on 9 November in Nottingham,
soulfully like Mick Hucknall’... I do love Mick, but we know will also feature Belinda Carlisle and Thompson Twins’ Tom
how to push each other’s buttons.” Bailey. “We have put together an amazing show that is
The singer was on the show to promote the first leg going to be filled with fabulous memories,” says George.
of their Life Tour and revealed that the band, completed “We know it will be hands down the best night out. To be
by Mikey Craig and Jon Moss, were in the studio working here, 30 years on, to go out on tour, fill venues and have
on a new album. He said: “I’m very excited about this an audience is quite mind-blowing. It’s a lot of work, we’re
record. It’s definitely the best thing we’ve ever done and doing the US, then the UK and, hopefully, the UK leg will
my voice is stronger now... it’s so exciting!” be extended.”

Madonna’s flight of fancy


M
adonna is getting behind the camera again, to
direct two new movies. The Material Girl has
reportedly signed on to helm Taking Flight, the
true story of Michaela DePrince, who grew up
an orphan in war-torn Sierra Leone but rose to
become a world-renowned ballerina.
After her parents died DePrince was adopted by an American
family and went on to appear in videos with Beyoncé. Madonna
is also in talks to direct the Andrew Sean Greer adaptation, The
Impossible Lives Of Greta Wells. The films would be Madonna’s
first directorial projects since 2011’s poorly received W.E.,
which was based on the romance between King Edward VIII and
American divorcée Wallis Simpson. Prior to that she directed 2008
comedy, Filth And Wisdom.
The singer has also been busy of late sharing pictures from
the recording studio promising new music imminently, as well
launching further cosmetics as part of her MDNA range.

CP40.news.print.indd 8 12/04/2018 16:10


WE HAVE PUT
TOGETHER
AN AMAZING
SHOW THAT
IS GOING TO
BE FILLED WITH
FABULOUS
MEMORIES
B O Y G E O R G E

CP40.news.print.indd 9 12/04/2018 17:23


UP

No.40 AMIGO
BLACK SLATE
Black Slate established a huge
reputation as a backing band for
the most highly-rated reggae
singers of the 70s, so there was
ample goodwill when they went
into the studio themselves.
A multi-national sextet formed
in London, they provided the
music for Ken Boothe when he
toured the UK on the back of his
success with Everything I Own,
and later performed with Bob
Marley’s favourite singer Dennis
Brown at the end of the 70s after
the youthful reggae star broke
into the UK mainstream with
Money In My Pocket. In between,
they fitfully recorded their own
material, reaching the specialist
reggae and indie charts.
Amigo, a rallying call to
Rastafarians and a catchy single,
was the title track of their second
album and peaked at No.9 in the
UK in October 1980, just four
weeks after release.
A follow-up, Boom Boom,
missed the Top 40, stalling at
No.51. They continued to gig
and release music throughout the
80s and, though there have been LENNOX HANGS UP HER PEN
long breaks and multiple line-up Annie Lennox hasn’t written a pop song in 10 years and inspiration is unlikely to strike soon.
changes, Black Slate remain “Oh, years ago the muse left me,” she admits, perhaps an unfortunate by-product of finding
together as an entity. Chris happiness with her third husband Dr Mitch Besser. “I don’t know that I had to be unhappy to write,
Hanson (guitar) and Desmond but I often was unhappy and the feelings were predominantly painful, sad and melancholic.
Mahoney (drums) are the original There is a beauty in that, without question.” Lennox recently took to the Sadler’s Wells stage
members still involved. for An Evening of Music and Conversation – her first solo show in London for many years.
They are on the bill to perform For somebody so familiar and ingrained in popular culture she does her best to keep away
at the One Love Festival between from the public eye. Lennox told the Sunday Times magazine: “I tried to avoid red carpets and keep
31 August and 2 September. my head down. This whole world of celebrity they talk about now, it’s completely vacuous.
Matthew Rudd is the host of Forgotten I can’t stand the star bullshit. I’ve realised over the years just how uncomfortable it makes
80s on Absolute 80s me feel.” The star’s solo albums Diva and Medusa were recently reissued on vinyl.

10

CP40.news.print.indd 10 12/04/2018 17:01


Ch-Ch-Changing names George’s secret project
G
eorge Michael was planning a
A petition has been started by David Bowie fans to change the name secret project shortly before he died.
of Aylesbury to “Aylesbowie” in honour of the late star. Legend has The star opened up to Desert Island
it that his Ziggy Stardust persona made his first appearance in the Discs presenter Kirsty Young while
Buckinghamshire town, specifically at the Friars venue in the early they worked on his documentary
70s. David Stopps, who first came up with the idea, insists it isn’t as Freedom in 2016. “He was optimistic and in
outlandish as it first sounds, saying: “Since records began there have the moment.” Young revealed at the TRIC Awards.
been 57 variations of the town’s name.” Buckinghamshire County “He said to me that he felt the thing that he
Council responded dryly: “It’s an interesting idea and perhaps on would do next would be his best thing ever.
25 March we could all think When I spoke to George, the future was in front
Aylesbowie – just for one day!” of him. There was something on the horizon.
The council were referring to a He was talking about something new.”
successful crowd-funding appeal, However, the singer kept his cards close to his
again by Stopps, to build a Bowie chest, right until the end. “George hinted about
statue in the market square. The new projects, but refused to give details,” she
finished article – depicting Bowie added. “I think he was starting to write again.
in full Ziggy regalia amongst other I presumed it was an album, but he did not
famous looks – was vandalised less specify about that or talk about touring.”
than 48 hours after it was unveiled. George passed away at his home in Goring-
The words “feed the homeless first” on-Thames on Christmas Day 2016, aged 53.
had been spray-painted on the Recalling their meeting, Kirsty said: “When we
ground in front of the statue, while had finished recording we went out to his garden
“RIP DB” was painted on the wall and he was talking about his plans for replanting
behind the sculpture. here and how he was going to do a bit there.
“He was chatting and we were having a glass
of wine. I didn’t sense any loneliness. He had
friends around the day I spoke to him. I was
obviously not aware this was going to be the
last interview. With hindsight, it would have
been a different interview.”

11

CP40.news.print.indd 11 12/04/2018 16:11


UP
BURIED TREASURES
1
R
Which single did Kylie co-write ooting around those boxes of “junk” in your loft may turn up more
with James Dean Bradfield on than you bargained for. While many vinyl releases from the 70s, 80s
her Impossible Princess album? and 90s are worth next to nothing (nostalgic value aside, of course),
some could land you a small fortune – should you choose to part with
2 Soft Cell’s Dave Ball formed
which electronic group with
Richard Norris?
them. Here, we take four rare artefacts to the experts at 991.com and
ask them for a valuation. Browse their online store at www.991.com, or tweet
them about your own buried treasure @991dotcom.
3 Name Mel & Kim’s only
1 Some Kind Of Bliss; 2 The Grid; 3. F.L.M; 4 Theaudience; 5 Cupid & Psyche 85; 6 David Sylvian; 7 For Your Eyes Only; 8 Sade; 9 Clark Datchler; 10 The Perfect Kiss; 11 August Darnell; 12 Johnny Marr; 13 Ultravox; 14 Albuquerque; 15 Deacon Blue

studio album KYLIE MINOGUE HEAVENLY ACTION

4 Which indie band was fronted


by Sophie Ellis-Bextor?
KYLIE MINOGUE
This 10-track Dutch pressing of her
ERASURE
Issued by Mute Records in November 1985,

5 The Word Girl appears on 1994 self-titled album (catalogue number this limited edition release was the synth-
which Scritti Politti album? 74321227491), includes the singles Confide pop duo’s second single and only reached
In Me, Put Yourself In My Place and Where No.100 on the UK charts. The two-track
6 Ryuichi Sakamoto teamed up
with which musician for the
song Forbidden Colours?
Is The Feeling? With its glossy picture
sleeve and original picture/credits printed
12” single includes a unique picture sleeve
and features the Yellow Brick Mix and Don’t
inner, a mint condition can fetch £75. Say No [Ruby Red Mix].

7 Sheena Easton sang the theme


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8 Whose albums include Lovers


Rock and Love Deluxe?

9 Name the lead singer of


Johnny Hates Jazz

10 Hollywood film director


Jonathan Demme was behind
which New Order video?

11 What is Kid Creole’s


real name?

12 Whose forthcoming
solo album will be titled
Call The Comet?

13 John Foxx is the former


frontman of which band? DON’T GET WEIRD
ON ME BABE
YOU KEEP ME
HANGIN´ ON
14 Which New Mexico city
appears in Prefab Sprout’s
The King Of Rock ‘N’ Roll?
LLOYD COLE
Reaching No.21 on its release in 1991,
KIM WILDE
This rare, Japanese six-track CD single,
this UK 12-track vinyl LP was recorded in features remixes and extended versions of
15 Lorraine McIntosh is a
member of which Scottish
sophisti-pop group?
two parts: one side follows the rock of his
first solo album, while the other features
Another Step (Closer to You), Rage To Love,
Say You Really Want Me, The Second Time
a session orchestra. It includes illustrated and The Touch. It comes with picture sleeve,
credits on the inner sleeve. fold-out Japanese insert and obi-strip.
VALUE £30 VALUE £50

HOW DID YOU DO?


13-15 You´re the Best
10-12 Ain’t No Stoppin´ Us Now
6-9 Rip It Up
0-5 Beat It

12

CP40.news.print.indd 12 12/04/2018 17:07


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Do They Know
It’s a comedy?
Midge Ure and Bob Geldof became the unwitting
stars of a new TV comedy recently. Neil Forsyth’s
film titled Backstage At Live Aid aired in April as
part of Sky Arts’ latest series of Urban Myth shorts,
and focused on the tensions behind the scenes on
that famous day at Wembley Stadium in July 1985.
“This was inspired by the multiple music industry
urban myths about Live Aid I’ve heard and read
over the years, and was a chance to bring them
all together,” Forsyth told The Courier. “I also
wanted to show how impressive Bob Geldof’s
achievement was in putting on the show and
the myriad issues he faced on the day, including
Elton John being furious with Noel Edmonds for
landing his helicopter in his garden and ruining
his begonias.”
In The Line Of Duty’s Martin Compston landed
the role of Midge Ure because of his uncanny
resemblance to the Ultravox singer. Forsyth added,
“When I was flicking through old pictures of Midge,
I came across one that I actually thought was a
picture of Martin Compston slipped in by mistake. selling? bring your mint items to monthly Kent or London buying days
Martin’s an old pal, even though we had never or other times by appointment. free appraisals given - check the site
worked with each other. I sent him the pic as he
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to play the role.” Freddie Mercury, Elton John and
even Sade pop up in the Sky show, which is still buying and collecting? fill the gaps in your collection with 15% off
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Meanwhile, the real Midge Ure is backing a at 991.com - use code CPSUMMER15 at the checkout.
new campaign to scrap VAT on safety products in
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and services including fire alarms, gas safety
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CP40.news.print.indd 13 12/04/2018 16:11


UP
L OS T Music for Eno fans
N
ew, rare and previously unreleased
& F O U N D
music will feature on a vast boxset
by Brian Eno. Due on 4 May, Music
For Installations is a 6CD and 9LP
set containing work Eno has produced for
various events and audio-visual installations from 1986 right up
to the current day. Eno worked with long-time collaborator Nick Robertson to create various
formats including a limited edition numbered package containing a 64-page Plexiglas bound
book with rare and unseen exhibition photos along with a typically enlightening new essay
written by Eno himself.
Eno recently opened Bloom: Open Space in Amsterdam – an art and music installation
using 3D technology. “I want to be able to be inside the music, to walk around and examine
it from different places,” he told the New York Times. “I don’t feel this is a replacement for
other musical experiences. I feel it’s an easy thing to add.”

No.40
LOVE SHOT
● Music For Installations is reviewed on page 96.

HOT CHOCOLATE
Hot Chocolate were a classic
example of the music snob’s
contempt for an act that was far
from cool but massively popular.
Love Shot, the band’s eighth
studio album, was as modestly
received as the rest of their
catalogue. However, with their
slick melodies, adaptation of
numerous musical fashions and an
instantly recognisable lead singer,
Hot Chocolate were fantastic.
That they had an entry in the
UK singles chart every year from
1970 to 1984 says a lot, and this
affable album brings that glorious
run to its conclusion.
Love Shot followed the Hot
Chocolate formula of exceptional
lyrics on amiable melodies, all
harnessed by Errol Brown’s
charisma. Three singles came from
it, including the jolly I Gave You
My Heart (Didn’t I), which earnt
them their last original Top 20 hit,
and the more maudlin Tears On

Tennant sets the barre high


The Telephone.
Sentimentality works thanks
to Brown’s charm on mid-tempo
tracks Jeannie and Let’s Try In a parallel universe Neil Tennant is a ballet dancer. The Pet Shop Boys
Again, while Friend Of Mine hints vocalist witnessed the Royal Ballet performing Giselle in Newcastle as a
at darker stuff related to a love child with his brother and they were so enamoured he borrowed a Teach
triangle. The bouncy Touch The Yourself Ballet book from his local library. “We used the radiator as a barre,”
Night is a standout track – the Tennant told the New York Times. “I moved on and decided I wanted to be
soulful chorus befitting their an actor. And then I thought I might have the potential for being a pop star.”
disco-influenced 70s heyday. Tennant did, of course, eventually fulfil some ballet ambition with his
Love Shot was released on production, The Most Incredible Thing, which earned rave reviews during
the Rak label and was scorned its Sadler’s Wells Theatre run in London during 2011. The production was
or shunned by critics. The band too expensive to tour but a scaled down version ran at the Knight Theater in
disbanded afterwards and Brown North Carolina earlier this year. The cost and commitment hasn’t put the Pet
went on alone as a solo artist. Shop Boys off doing another ballet one day, but Neil Tennant admitted: “It’s
Matthew Rudd not like three-act narrative ballets come along every day of the week.”

14

CP40.news.print.indd 14 12/04/2018 17:01


N E W S

OMD IN THE PINK


Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark might
be enjoying a second wind in the United States,
but it wasn’t until the mid-80s that the band hit
their stride overseas thanks to John Hughes and
his movie Pretty In Pink. “We met him, Molly
Ringwald and Jon Cryer,” recalls Andy McCluskey.
“He needed a song for the final prom scene and
we gave him one. He said that he loved it, but had
changed the ending and asked if we could write
another. We were about to start touring, but went
into a Hollywood studio and had finished one
by 4am. We had it delivered to him for 9am.”
The song OMD delivered was If You Leave and
it became their biggest hit in the US, but they were
never satisfied with the finished product. “It could
have been better if we had more time. It’s a good
track from a period when we were writing a lot
of songs quickly out of necessity. ”
Despite chart success OMD didn’t reap the riches
many other British invasion acts enjoyed. “For
all the millions of records we sold, we never made
the money that Depeche [Mode] did, because
we signed a terrible contract,” McCluskey tells
the Chicago Tribune. “We sold 20 million singles
and 12 million albums, but we owed Virgin
£12 million, and not because we bought castles
and yachts. We were on a schedule where we
had six weeks to write a record, because
we needed the money.”

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PLENTY | IT COULD BE HOME Ossicles.
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founder members Brian Hulse and David K Jones re-recorded JORDSJØ | JORD
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15

CP40.news.print.indd 15 12/04/2018 17:01


UP

Ladytron return
to The Circus
Electroclash kids Ladytron are
back and they have a synth legend
on their side. The quartet who
enjoyed cult status at the start of
the century released The Animals,
their first song in seven years in
March, backed by a remix from
Erasure’s Vince Clarke. “We have
always wanted to work with
Vince in some way, he’s obviously
a legend in our sphere,” says
Ladytron’s Daniel Hunt.
Vocalist Helen Marnie, who has
released two solo albums since
the band’s hiatus, added: “The
Animals was the first new song
we had and we immediately went
A ‘psychedelic puzzle’ for Cure‘s Robert
R
into the studio with Jim Abbiss.
He’s the producer who has really obert Smith has unveiled the first round of names due to perform at
understood us the most.” his Meltdown Festival this summer. The Cure man has the honour of
Ladytron will be on tour curating the 25th edition of the event at London’s Southbank Centre
throughout the year. with highlights including sets by The Church, Kristin Hersh, Mogwai, My
Bloody Valentine, Nine Inch Nails, Placebo, The Notwist, The Psychedelic
Furs and Manic Street Preachers. Smith remarked: “Curating this 25th Meltdown
festival is a dream come true, a fantastic experience... albeit getting 60 wonderful
artists, including many of my all-time favourites, to come together for 10 days in
June is not without its challenges – as one of my predecessors noted, it is akin
to figuring out a giant psychedelic puzzle. But as each invitee confirms, as each
shimmering piece falls into place, I pinch myself – this is really happening. And
the complete picture will undoubtedly be out of this world!”
The concert series takes place across multiple venues between 15-24 June.
The Cure themselves follow the event with a huge gig at BST Hyde Park in
London on 7 July.

Luxury Gap
‘still relevant’
Heaven 17 are hitting the road to PA L O M A’ S A C L A S S A C T
toast an old classic. Glenn Gregory Paloma Faith fears the working class is being forced out of
and Martyn Ware celebrate the pop music. The star believes that opportunities are drying up
35th anniversary of their 1983 for those less well off or connected. “The greatest music
masterpiece, The Luxury Gap, in Britain has come from that [working class],” she
with a 10-date winter tour. said. “But creative industries are now geared towards
Ware promises “spectacular” making no money and if you come from no money you
performances of H17’s post- can’t do that. The Prince’s Trust helped me when I felt
modern critique of society adding: like I couldn’t live up to my full potential because of
“The themes of the songs are more financial problems. They help young people do that,
relevant than ever before.” now it’s important the cycle continues.”
It kicks off at Northampton’s Paloma also got a leg up by telling a little white lie.
Roadmender on 9 November and “I was lucky because I had management willing to invest
wraps up with a homecoming date in me,” she told the Daily Star. “I was supporting my
at Sheffield O2 Academy on sister and had to work, but they said we’ll match what you
8 December. Visit heaven17.com earn. So I lied and said I earned more than I did and got myself
for more information. a pay rise from working in a knicker shop.”

16

CP40.news.print.indd 16 12/04/2018 17:01


GODFATHERS
of

M I C K J O N E S

B
ritish guitar-slinger Mick Jones the years leading up to starting the band.

© Babs Marks
cut his musical teeth in the band I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted
of Johnny Hallyday, the ‘French to start from and aspirations as to where
Elvis’, in the 60s. Returning to we’d end up.
England, he joined Spooky It required me to be a bit of a taskmaster
Tooth before winding up in New in certain areas at certain times. Sometimes
York in the mid-70s, where he I had to have confrontations but I had to
formed Foreigner with ex-King accept that it was all part of keeping the
Crimson multi-instrumentalist Ian integrity of the sound and direction.
McDonald and US singer Lou Gramm. I felt that I was the captain of the ship
The transatlantic rockers went on to sell and had to get everybody to share my
80 million records and scored No.1 hits vision with me.
with the ballads Waiting For A Girl Like
You and I Want To Know What Love Is. Looking back, do you have a
favourite period of the band?
You have a new album, Foreigner Just the year leading up to the first release,
With The 21st Century Symphony 1977’s Foreigner. Putting the songs and
Orchestra & Chorus. How did that band together. Locked away in this little
come about? studio just off Broadway in New York,
We were looking at the tour schedule for doing the auditions and the excitement.
last year and I noticed we had a couple It was a really important time in my life.
of extra days in Lucerne, Switzerland. I figured I’d paid my dues in other
I was then told that they liked the idea of with a cut-down orchestra between our people’s bands and this time it was
us going down to play a concert with the normal shows this summer. We haven’t something I was responsible for. There
orchestra at their new concert hall. got anything set for England yet, which was just some magic about the way it
We decided it may not be a bad idea surprised me, because we’re playing the came together.
and before I knew it, I was in New York Albert Hall on 16 May and I thought that I remember, at the end of it, laying down
preparing orchestrations with Dave Egger, would have been a good opportunity one night and listening to the whole album
who I chose to be the arranger. We packed to do one. Someone asked me if we’re for the first time on headphones.
ourselves off to Lucerne for a week to changing our direction and I said: “No, no, My eyes started dripping. I couldn’t
rehearse with the orchestra – it was quite this isn’t going to be the new Foreigner.” believe it, because it was finally real and
an event. The recording was really part of our I thought: “Is this what we’ve been doing
40th anniversary year, when we wanted over the past year?. Wow”... It really
Did you feel the pressure of making to do a few special things for the fans. moved me.
a live album and DVD with so We’ve also been playing with members
many musicians? of the original line-up, including Lou What’s next for Foreigner?
Definitely. It was okay when we were Gramm. I wouldn’t have believed that if Lou and I have started listening to some
rehearsing and everybody was relaxed, but you’d told me last year, but we did a thing old tapes that I hadn’t heard for 12 or
when the curtain rises, it’s a different thing! in New York where Lou and four of the 15 years, and there’s a good possibility
But it felt great. It was wonderful having original guys got up with us and tore the that we might try to bring those to light.
passages where the orchestra is very house down. So we’re going to do a few There are a couple of cool songs that
powerful and strident and others where it’s more of those during the summer, featuring might be the nucleus of an EP perhaps.
very tender and emotional. Some of my Lou and our current singer, Kelly Hansen. So hopefully there may be a little ‘new-old’
favourite bits are the interludes between Foreigner on the way.
songs. The overture came off really well. Having led the band through Douglas McPherson
We were very happy with that. four decades and many line-up
changes, what are the main things ● Foreigner With The 21st Century
Will you be playing the orchestral you’ve learned? Symphony Orchestra & Chorus
versions on tour? That it’s not for the faint-hearted! I guess is released via earMusic and is
We’re doing eight or nine concerts it’s down to the vision that I developed in reviewed on page 92.

17

CP40.Godfather_MJ.print.indd 17 10/04/2018 13:18


Video Tech
THREE PROMO VIDEO
NUGGETS FROM THE
SOPHISTI-POP LOCKER

TALK TALK
TALK TALK, 1982
The fantastic Talk Talk in full-on
angsty mode. Perhaps sponsored
by Colgate, Mark Hollis and

Take That hit


keyboardist Simon Brenner compete
to see who can bare the most teeth
while they’re trapped in a glass case
of emotion. A UK chart placing of just
the West End
T
No.52 hardly did the track justice.
bit.ly/2Cnwbk1 ake That are bringing
their hit musical The Band
to London. The show,
which has been touring
the UK, will open at
the Theatre Royal Haymarket
on 1 December for a six-week
run. Accompanying the 50-show
residency will be a new greatest
hits package, which will feature
JOHNNY HATES JAZZ re-imagined versions of their
TURN BACK THE CLOCK, 1987 best-loved songs. Gary Barlow
Relocating the boys to a leafy tells Classic Pop: “The timing
autumnal location in the US, there’s is purely coincidental because
a Spielbergian/Stranger Things vibe we’ve been wanting to put the
to the video for this wistful ode to Greatest Hits together for a
the simplicities of childhood and the while. We are spending
director makes the most of frontman a bit of time finding the right
Clark Datchler’s leading man looks. arrangements and planning
bit.ly/1b7UkwR a tour as well.
“I feel we’re worth more
than just a run-of-the-mill
compilation of old songs.
It’s an interesting process
reworking them and we are
thoroughly enjoying it. We
got all the old multi-track
tapes and digitised them.
There’s a few that we’ve
CURIOSITY KILLED re-imagined from scratch.”
THE CAT Mark Owen adds: “The
ORDINARY DAY, 1987 songs mean a lot to us so
On a set that looks like it’s been we want to do things without
equipped by The White Company, losing them completely.”
drummer Migi Drummond plays traffic As for The Band, that must
cones and dustbin lids in the garage go on as well. Mark reveals:
while guitarist Julian Brookhouse gets “We are talking about taking
wheeled under a car with axe still it to Germany, Canada and
attached. Ben Volpeliere-Pierrot is on Australia, it deserves to be
good form with his loose-limbed wonky seen... Broadway would be
dancing. bit.ly/2EwDDLI amazing, too.”

18

CP40.news.print.indd 18 12/04/2018 17:01


GODFATHERS
of

P A T K A N E

P
at Kane formed the jazz-infused adolescent state of mind where everything
Hue And Cry with his brother was extreme. We had our disputes, but
Greg in the mid-80s. Hailing they were mostly hormonal rather than
from Coatbridge, near Glasgow, anything that really mattered, and now
the duo scored their biggest hit we’re literally the best of friends.
in 1987 when Labour Of Love
reached No.6 in the UK charts. Why did you decide to reform the
Further success followed with duo on the TV show Hit Me Baby
the singles Looking For Linda, One More Time in 2005?
Ordinary Angel and the Violently EP. By One factor is that I’m the Liza Minnelli
the end of the 90s the pair decided to of the partnership and Greg is the Kurt
concentrate on their solo projects, before Cobain. I’m always up for a bit of showbiz
reconvening in 2005 for the ITV1 show Hit and he’s up for living in the studio and
Me Baby One More Time. They released making records. So, I wanted to do it
their latest album, Pocketful Of Stones, because I thought it would be a lot of fun,
at the end of last year and are about to which it was. Secondly, around that time,
embark on a tour with The Christians. YouTube was kicking off and we discovered
that there had been 100,000 views of old
In 2015, you released an album videos of us on Top Of The Pops. I said to
of Frank Sinatra material called Gregory that this could be a great way to
September Songs. Was Ol’ Blue reconnect with the community of fans that
Eyes a big influence on you? were evidently still out there and then, using
Inescapably... almost neurologically. What withdraw my labour of love – and I thought all this new digital technology and social
I mean by that is my father used to sing nobody would get the hook. I thought the media, maybe find a way of putting albums
me to sleep as a baby by crooning Sinatra beat was too complicated and that nobody out in our own way without being beholden
songs straight into my temple. It was the would be able to dance to it. I thought it to any corporate entity. It’s been a very
only thing that would quieten me down. would be a terrible mistake. As a result, interesting ride this past 10 or 11 years.
That’s how deep me and Frank go! nobody has ever listened to me since, when
it comes to what singles should be released Your most recent album, Pocketful
Was it obvious growing up that off a record – and who could blame them? Of Stones, includes a duet with
you and Greg would form a I’m incredibly proud of the song, though, your daughter on Let Her Go –
musical partnership? and that’s the thing about our relationship a song about her leaving home
Gregory was heavily involved in the with our back catalogue. We were listening to start drama school. Are you
punk and post-punk scene. He was to our idols like Steely Dan, Scritti Politti happy to see her following you
always forming or joining bands, playing and Elvis Costello and we tried to reach into the entertainment business?
saxophone and keyboards. One day we those heights. It’s in the ear of the beholder I am. I have a theory that in the next 20
all started to play in our mum’s front room. whether we did so or not, but we can go to 30 years most routine jobs are going
I think the song was Start!, by The Jam, back to our songs from 30 years ago and to be done by algorithms or robots, so
and it sounded like my voice would work still be delighted to sing them because they the roles they can’t do will be the things
in a group context. Eventually we decided were the best that we could make them. that you should push your children into.
that we should form a band that was just There’s a line in the song about triple threat
a partnership. That was 1985 or ‘86, and A lot of sibling acts have fallen performers – they dance, act and sing –
it all went crazy from there. out badly. How have you and and that’s what Eleanor is. She’s just scored
Greg managed to stay together? a lead part in the Young Vic’s new musical,
Did you think Labour Of Love We’ve kept it together because we admire Fun Home. So, she’s on her way.
would be your big breakthrough each other’s musical talents and instincts. Douglas McPherson
when you wrote it? There’s nothing more exciting than when
I argued that it shouldn’t come out as a a bit of telepathy happens between two ● Hue And Cry are about to tour
single. I said: “This is too complex for the brothers making music. We did some the UK with The Christians. Visit
mainstream.” It’s an industrial metaphor – growing up in public and we were in that hueandcry.co.uk for details.

19

CP40.Godfather_PK.print.indd 19 09/04/2018 16:27


© Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
UP

Tiffany laments
magical malls
Tiffany famously made her name
performing at US shopping malls
in the 80s, so it’s no surprise she’s
concerned that so many of those
shops are closing down. There’s
been a huge decline in retail sales
thanks to internet shopping. The
star says: “I think it’s a shame.
Malls were destinations and there
was something magical about
them. Yes, online shopping is really
convenient, and I’m all for small
business. But we’re missing out on
some of those activities that were
just fun and connected people.”
During the 80s, the I Think
We’re Alone Now singer was
often pitted against chart nemesis
Debbie Gibson. However, talking
to Tampabay.com, Tiffany said:
“I love her [Gibson], she’s one
of my dearest friends.
“The rivalry thing was never
really from us, but we’ve had
fun with it over the years. We’ve
learned to really respect each
other’s working form. And as
friends, we talk as girls. We
don’t have a problem.”

Tune in again
Freak Power, the 90s funkateers,
are back minus their most familiar
face, Norman ‘Fatboy Slim’
Cook. The band recently issued Reinvigorated Ryuichi’s creative revival
A
a brand new EP titled, United mbient master Ryuichi Sakamoto has been making up
State marking their first music for lost time following health problems. The Academy
since 1999. Now they are hitting Award-winning Japanese musician is enjoying a creative
the road again much to vocalist revival after recovering from throat cancer with numerous
and trombonist Ashley Slater’s projects. Async Remodels, a set of remixes based on his
delight: “I’m terrifically excited 2017 album Async, has reinvigorated the star and encouraged further
to be writing and releasing new work with young up-and-coming producers involved like Arca and
material, and a little depressed Oneohtrix Point Never.
that my socio-politically slanted Async was Sakamoto’s first solo album in seven years and perhaps
lyrics are still as relevant today reflects his status as an elder statesman of electronica. “I was aware
as they ever were.” of that theme of mortality in my music since around 2009,” he told
Freak Power enjoyed a huge The Guardian. “The decaying and the disappearance of the piano
hit with Turn On, Tune In, Cop sound is very much symbolic of life and mortality. It’s not sad. I just
Out at the second time of asking meditate about it. I have a longing for violin or organ. Is it too simple
in 1995, thanks to its use in a to say those sustaining sounds symbolise immortality?”
jeans commercial. Cook left shortly Among Sakamoto’s other arts events is the Ultima Festival,
afterwards to create Fatboy Slim installations for museums in Paris and Kyoto combining art and
and redefine the term DJ. science, and work on of two new soundtracks for Korean films.

20

CP40.news.print.indd 20 12/04/2018 17:02


IAN PEEL’S A TO Z
of

S IS FOR... SLAP & POP

DOES SLAP BASS HAVE A PLACE IN POP, OR IS IT


A RARE ASTEROID HITTING OUR UNIVERSE FROM PLANET FUNK?
I WOULD ARGUE ITS IMPORTANCE, AS THE BEATING HEART
OF EVERYTHING FROM POST-PUNK TO SYNTH-POP.

1
984 was as epochal in the eyes Or from Heaven 17’s Play To Win to
of pop fans as it was in those of Murray Head’s One Night in Bangkok.
George Orwell, we all know that. Slap & pop’s the only thing any of these
And one of the iconic moments records could possibly have in common!
of the year was Chaka Khan’s It’s in The Blue Nile’s Tinseltown
breakthrough, Prince-penned In The Rain, too, adding a level of
No.1 single. While most people sophistication that you can hear across
remember the two main lines of the unholy trinity of S is for Sophisti-pop:
the chorus – “I feel for you, I think Sade, The Style Council and Simply Red.
I love you” – it’s the third, a descending No real surprises there, but you might
slap & pop bassline, that did it for me. raise an eyebrow at some of the other
Does such playing have a place in songs in which I’ve noticed it appear,
pop, or is it a rare asteroid hitting our down in the rocky end of the spectrum.
universe from planet funk? I’d argue Have you noticed it on Billy Idol’s
that, more than having a place, slap & Flesh for Fantasy, Dire Straits’ One
pop can be found at pivotal moments in World from Brothers in Arms and The
every chapter of the classic pop story: Cure’s Let’s Go To Bed?
disco, new wave, post-punk, sophisti-pop My own personal favourite slap & pop
and even synth-pop... tracks, the complete works of Level 42
What is slap & pop exactly? It’s notwithstanding? Top of the list would be
the ultra-funky style of bass playing, pretty much anything by Shriekback who
whose chief exponent is Level 42’s – on albums like Oil & Gold and Big
Mark King. Some people call it thumb Night Music – placed the style in a dark,
bass (Mark even released a record as
“Slap & pop can be found intense post-punk context.
Thunderthumbs). Some call it slap bass at pivotal moments in every Likewise A Certain Ratio, across all
or just slap. But the “pop” is just as chapter of the classic pop their back catalogue. Just start with
important to the sound, in which players Lucinda from 1983’s Sextet on Factory
slap the lower strings with their thumb
story: disco, new wave, Records and take it from there.
and pop out the higher strings with their post-punk, sophisti-pop and I also loved it when Jean-Michel Jarre
first and middle fingers. even synth-pop” used slap & pop to add an organic layer
It’s the popping in particular that to his synthesized worlds on Zoolook
you can hear all over disco tracks. and Zoolookologie.
Like Cher’s Take Me Home or ABBA’s Kajagoogoo who put slap & pop centre And I always recommend perhaps
Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After stage on all the band’s early tracks – the most unsung slap & pop hero of
Midnight), the pops jumping off those Too Shy, Big Apple – and more all, Haircut One Hundred’s Les Nemes
spiralling, Madonna-inspiring strings. experimental pieces like Islands/The who seemed to become a master of the
While Mark King is the figurehead Pump Rooms of Bath. style overnight on their second album,
of slap & pop, an unsung hero is John It’s a style of playing – giving the the Balearic masterpiece that is Paint
Taylor of Duran Duran. Notorious music an indiscernible, absorbing feel – And Paint.
wouldn’t have been the same without that connects the most unlikely artists. Thumbs up, I say. Even on singles that
his bassline, and he’s still slapping and From Bowie’s Ashes to Ashes to Katy are so massive you needn’t mention the
popping, most recently on Pressure Off Perry’s California Gurls. From Nena’s artist name: PYT (Pretty Young Thing),
featuring Janelle Monáe. 99 Red Balloons to Lionel Richie’s Club Tropicana, Fame… Slap & pop is
Another unsung hero is Nick Beggs of Dancing On The Ceiling. the beating heart of them all.

21

CP40.IanPeel.print.indd 21 09/04/2018 16:33


T H I S M O N T H I N...

1985

P
aul Hardcastle, previously best-known as

MaY
keyboardist for the jazz-funk combo Direct
Drive, began experiencing solo success when
his track Rain Forest knocked Madonna off
the top of the US dance chart. “I got signed
to Chrysalis Records on the strength of doing so well
in America,” he has recalled. “When I told Chrysalis
that my next idea was to do a song about the
PAUL HARDCASTLE’S COMMENTARY ON THE Vietnam War, they all thought I was mad.”
AGE OF U.S. SERVICEMEN IN THE VIETNAM Nevertheless, the single was released. “We had
an immense stroke of luck in that 19 came out on the
WAR TOPS THE CHARTS AND JOY DIVISION’S 10th anniversary of the [end of the] Vietnam War,”
IAN CURTIS COMMITS SUICIDE, DURING MAY’S explained Paul. “So when News At Ten was reporting
on that, they tagged a bit on the end saying that a
PIVOTAL MOMENTS IN POP HISTORY young record producer had just released a single
J O H N N Y B L A C K about the war, and they played it on the TV. I was
surprised, but he was totally gobsmacked.”
Two weeks later, 19 went to No.4, then jumped
to No.1. “Something nobody
1980 knew at the time,” reveals
Hardcastle, “was that, when
The first edition Rory Bremner did that send-up
of style mag version, N-N-Nineteen
The Face is Not Out, that was me
published, featuring doing the music, once
Jerry Dammers more against my record
of The Specials company’s wishes.”
on its cover.

1 • 2 • 3 • 4 • 5 • 6 • 7 • 8 • 9 • 10 • 11 • 12 • 13 • 14 • 15 • 16 • 17 • 18 • 19 • 20 •
1980
Dexys Midnight
Runners reach
No.1 in the UK 1980
1982

O
singles chart
with Geno, their n the eve of his band’s departure for a tour of the
homage to 60s Duran Duran United States, Ian Curtis, singer and songwriter
soul star Geno release a new with Joy Division, was found hanged at his home in
Washington. single, Hungry Macclesfield. Press reports at the time depicted him as
Like The Wolf, ‘depressed’ but that single word gave no hint of the
in the UK. complexity of the factors that drove him to take his own life.
Although he hid a great deal of his misery from his bandmates, it
soon became clear the breakdown of his marriage, compounded by
1988 his fear that the worsening of his epilepsy could kill him, and anxiety
Wishing Well by Terence about the upcoming US trip were all factors, not made any more
Trent D’Arby reaches bearable by his dependence on barbiturates.
No.1 in the Billboard Guitarist Bernard Sumner said: “It was the breakdown of his
Top 40 singles chart in relationship, accentuated by the amount of barbiturates he was taking
the United States. to subdue his epilepsy. Barbiturates make you so you’re laughing
one minute, crying the next. He’d had a physical breakdown, a
relationship breakdown, which caused an emotional breakdown.”
The band’s bassist, Peter Hook, and their manager Rob Gretton,
have both recalled Curtis being in good spirits in the days before his
death. According to Gretton: “There was no great depression, no hint
at all. The week before, we went and bought all these new clothes.
He was really happy. A lot of his problems were personal. We could
1981 advise him, but we couldn’t do anything about it.”
His wife, Deborah Curtis, believed that: “He didn’t commit suicide
Sheena Easton
because he had marital problems. He had marital problems because
reaches No.1 in the he wanted to commit suicide.”
Billboard singles chart
in the United States with
Morning Train (9 To 5).

22

CP40.monthinpop.print.indd 22 10/04/2018 15:01


1981
TOP FIVE
Prince plays his first INDIE
ever concert in Europe,
at The Paradiso,
Amsterdam.
ALBUMS
SOUNDS
25 MAY 1985
1 NATIVE SONS

1986 THE LONG RYDERS


Propelled by a
1984 ground-breaking
Wham! release a new animated video,
single, Wake Me Up Peter Gabriel’s
Before You Go-Go, on Sledgehammer
Epic Records in the UK. enters the
Billboard Top 40
singles chart in the
United States on
its way to No.1. 2 BAD INFLUENCE
THE ROBERT CRAY BAND
© Martyn Goddard/REX/Shutterstock

21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 MEAT IS MURDER
3

• • • • • • • • • • THE SMITHS
© Avalon/Photoshot

1990
For the first time ever, the Top 5
positions on the US singles chart
were held by female artists:
Madonna was at No.1 with Vogue,
4 VENGEANCE
followed by Heart, Sinead O’Connor,
Wilson Phillips and Janet Jackson. NEW MODEL ARMY

1982
Madness score their
first UK No.1 when
1985
The Dire Straits album
House Of Fun knocks
Brothers In Arms debuts
Eurovision Song
at No.1 in the UK, and
Contest winner Nicole
will become the UK’s
off the top spot.
biggest-selling LP of
the decade. 5 “HATFUL OF HOLLOW”
THE SMITHS

1988
As Milli Vanilli begin a
European promotional
trek, it is claimed that
uncredited vocalist
Charles Shaw was the
main singer on their
hit single, Girl You All data supplied by
Know It’s True. www.MusicDayz.com

23

CP40.monthinpop.print.indd 23 09/04/2018 17:19


E SS O
INC F
R

THE P

PO
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N

RY
A
NI
V E R SA

S , T O P 1 0 SINGLES
E R 1 4 S T U DIO ALBUM RLDWIDE
AF T W IT H W O
ND
APLENTY A O F M O RE THAN
L E S
RECORD SA O G U E J U ST KEEPS
0 M IL L IO N , KYLIE MIN M RAMSAY
8 E T T E R . F R O
GB SICS AND
ON GETTIN L U B C L A S
R E E T A N D PWL TO C O NOUR THE
S T S W E H
, JOIN US A
N A S H V IL L E
T H E D A N CEFLOOR...
DOYEN MOAF R K L I N D O R E S

t’s hard to believe that it has shocking reminder of the passing of time. make sense. We managed to find this
been 30 years since Kylie We were all set to add Country Kylie to that country inspiration but bring it back into
Minogue first entered our ever-expanding list when the star revealed my world. It was super fun. It felt like it took
consciousness... Maybe we that she was recording her Golden album an eternity to get there. You go through
don’t want to believe it. For in Nashville last year, but it appears we so much experimentation to get to a point
those of us that bunked off may have jumped the gun and Miss where you go: ‘Okay, this is the foundation,
school to watch Scott and Minogue is not vacating the disco and we’re going to build on this’. Once we had
Charlene’s wedding on strapping on her banjo for nights at the those foundations after my two weeks in
Neighbours and have grown Grand Ole Opry any time soon. Nashville, everything I did when I got back
up with Kylie – going through “I was recording synth-pop dance songs to London was coloured by that. But it’s still
our own dance, sex, indie that were more like what people would a ‘Kylie’ album, whatever that is...”
and pop phases, but not in the glare of the expect from me, I suppose,” Kylie recently Whatever indeed. Like much of the
media and had each prefixed to our names told Entertainment Weekly. “Then I went UK, Stock, Aitken nor Waterman had
in order to define us as she has – it is a to Nashville in July, and it all started to heard of Kylie Minogue when they

24

CP40.kylie_30.print.indd 24 12/04/2018 14:21


Kylie Minogue –
refining the art of
pop reinvention
since 1987

“We managed to find this


country inspiration but bring
it back into my world... After
my two weeks in Nashville,
everything I did was
coloured by that. But it’s
still a ‘Kylie’ album,
whatever that is...”
K Y L I E

25

CP40.kylie_30.print.indd 25 12/04/2018 12:37


In the UK
Kylie was the
best-selling
album by a
female artist
in the 80s

© Photoshot
The UK’s love
affair with Kylie
started in 1986
when she first
appeared on our
screens as tomboy
mechanic Charlene
Robinson in
Neighbours

© Photoshot

Both the intensity and the magnitude of I Should Be


So Lucky’s success took everyone by surprise, its ascent
up the chart was so rapid that the video wasn’t even
received a call from Gary Ashley, head of Australia’s finished. For many, their introduction to Kylie as a pop
Mushroom Records in the summer of 1987. Her debut star was a hastily-shot clip for Top Of The Pops featuring
single, a cover of Little Eva’s The Loco-Motion (she led the Kylie being driven around Sydney in an open-top BMW
Neighbours cast in an impromptu singalong at a charity miming to the track. By February 1988, Kylie had
dinner) released under the title Locomotion, had spent scored her first British No.1 hit. Spotting a talent and
seven weeks at No.1 there and he was desperate for star quality in their latest protégé, SAW realised they
her to record a follow-up. Agreeing to write something had some making up to do to keep Kylie. Accepting
for her, Pete booked the singer in for a recording session Mike’s apology and offer of a deal with PWL, she spent
before promptly forgetting all about her. With no song an afternoon away from Neighbours recording Got
Released by
for Kylie when she turned up at the studio, I Should Be PWL on 4 July To Be Certain and Turn It Into Love before flying back
So Lucky was written on the spot and she had recorded 1988, Kylie to London the following month to record her album. It
her vocals within an hour. featured four was to be the way Kylie’s relationship with SAW would
Top 5 hits
“We treated Kylie so badly that first time we met her,” including function. As Australia’s biggest TV star, free time was
recalls Mike Stock. “Not deliberately, but to the extent the No.1 smash scarce and SAW’s production-line set-up was perfect.
that I had to fly to Melbourne and apologise. Nobody I Should Be “That way of recording worked for both of us at that
So Lucky
had told me she was in London and we were booked in time,” Kylie says. “I’d get off the plane from
to work with her. As usual, Matt and I were in the studio Australia and go straight to the studio. It was
working on half a dozen acts all screaming for songs – like I imagine it must have been like at Motown
the last thing we needed was another.” or a Hollywood set-up. You just had to be very
Just as Kylie hadn’t been regarded as a priority to adaptable. I’d get to the studio, they’d say:
SAW when approached to write a song for her, she ‘OK, this is what we’re working on today and
wasn’t seen as a viable prospect to record labels when this is what it goes like’, then play me the song
they were looking for a label to release her single. a couple of times, then I’d go into the studio
and record it. That was the beginning and the
THE HIT FACTORY end of my involvement in those songs.”
“Every single label we went to passed on Kylie,” Kylie’s debut album was released in July
adds Pete Waterman. “No one ever said 1988 and, having already spawned three huge
anything bad about her or the song, hits, topped the UK album chart for four weeks
it was the fact that she was a TV star. (it returned to No.1 later in the year). Going on
Everybody said you couldn’t turn a TV star to sell over five million copies worldwide (two
into a pop star, they flat-out refused. We million of those in the UK – a first for a female
offered …Lucky to Simon Cowell for £500 artist), it beat the likes of Madonna, Whitney
and he turned us down! That’s why we had and Cyndi to become the UK’s best-selling
to start our PWL label – to put the records out.” album of the decade by a female artist.

26

CP40.kylie_30.print.indd 26 12/04/2018 12:37


Throug
h
career, out her K Y L I E
Kylie h
been k as
reinven nown for
ting he
and is rself
fashion a bona fide
icon, w
two bo riting
oks La
and Ky La L
lie Fash a
ion

As the hits kept coming, the pull between


Neighbours and her pop career began to take its
toll and she quit the soap to pursue a life in music.
“People forget how big she was at that time,”
SCREEN QUEEN says Waterman. “You have all these girls now,
the likes of Rihanna and Taylor Swift and she was
Before pop stardom beckoned, Kylie’s career
bigger than them all. The music industry was vastly
looked certain to be in acting. One of Australia’s
different to what it is today. People heard the songs
most popular child actresses, she appeared in
on the radio, saw her on Top Of The Pops or the
series such as Skyways, The Henderson Kids
Saturday morning TV shows and had to physically go
and The Sullivans before landing the role that
to a record shop and buy the singles. There was no
would change her life – as Charlene Robinson
streaming or social media – those shows were like
in Neighbours.
the Twitter of their day.”
Despite scoring a string of hits and a mega-
As the 90s dawned, the musical landscape
selling album, she was unsure her success would
had shifted immeasurably with the advent of club
be long-term and fully intended to fall back on
culture and Kylie herself was growing up. She
her acting career. At the peak of her SAW success
had shot her first film, a 50s-set teen romance
in 1989, she made her big-screen debut in the
called The Delinquents, and set out to silence
charming teen-romance The Delinquents, which
her critics by hitting the road for the first time
revealed her to be a great actress and, due to Kylie’s
on the Disco In Dreams Tour of the Far East, before
legions of fans, a box office smash.
headlining SAW’s Hitman Roadshow in the UK. It was
In 1994 we were introduced to Kickass Kylie as
whilst in the Far East that Kylie began a relationship with
she became an unlikely action star opposite Jean Claude
Michael Hutchence, a man whom would prove to make
Van Damme in Street Fighter. Subsequent roles included
a significant impact on her.
Hollywood flops such as Bio-Dome and San Andreas (her
blink-and-you’ll-miss-her appearance opposite Dwayne
THE SEX FACTOR
Johnson) and indie flicks such as Sample People, Cut and
“I met him at a point in my life when I was ready to
Holy Motors. Kylie herself has admitted being embarrassed at
look at the world and it was like he just took my blinkers
some of the movies on her CV, but is immensely proud of her
off,” she told Michael Parkinson in 2002. “I was at an
cameo as The Green Fairy in Moulin Rouge! and new film
impressionable age and was happy to be guided by
Swinging Safari, a 70s-set comedy which sees her reunited
him – in a nurturing way. He never said: ‘This is how
with former Neighbours co-star Guy Pearce.
I think you should perform’ or ‘these are the decisions
Much more successful has been her return to the small
you should be making’, he just had absolute belief in me
screen, where she has guested in Dr Who, The Vicar Of
at a time when it really wasn’t de rigueur to do so and
Dibley and, best of all, cult Aussie comedy Kath & Kim,
that gave me confidence in myself.”
in which she got married in a wedding not too dissimilar
Kylie’s relationship with the INXS star coincided with
to that one…
a radical image overhaul. Her transformation from

27

CP40.kylie_30.print.indd 27 12/04/2018 12:37


K Y L I E

girl-next-door to sex kitten was pounced upon by she gave interviews that were uncharacteristically
the press who, spurred on by comments Hutchence prickly, defensive and dismissive of her previous
playfully made in an interview claiming his hobby was work – she later explained her attitude at the time as
“corrupting Kylie”, christened her ‘Sex Kylie’. “childish rebellion”.
Taking a page from Madonna’s book (to whom she Given that the album was being heralded as an
was often unfavourably compared to at the time), Kylie artistic breakthrough following her emancipation
amped up the sex factor. Positively tame by today’s from the SAW stable, one major disappointment
standards, her “raunchy” videos became headline news was how little her own input was – a sole writing
for a number of reasons including a topless clinch with credit on one track. After following the album with
a dancer (Better The Devil You Know), speculation as to Where The Wild Roses Grow, an unexpected duet
whether she had undergone a boob job (Give Me Just with Nick Cave, Kylie once again found herself in
A Little More Time) and seemingly playing the role of a limbo, her only certainty being that her next musical
prostitute (Word Is Out). Kylie later explained her image statement would come entirely from her.
change had been a result of her frustration at the lack of The result was Kylie’s most misunderstood
control she had over her music. Though that, too, had and divisive album, Impossible Princess
taken on a trendier, more adult feel, it had nothing to do (1997). Dubbed ‘Indie Kylie’ by the
with Kylie’s personal life, contrary to popular belief. press, the record was perceived as
“The story that Better The Devil You Know was a a trend-chasing attempt to jump on
direct result of Kylie’s awakened sexuality with Michael the Britpop bandwagon, when in fact
Hutchence was complete nonsense!” says Mike Stock. the core of Impossible Princess is a set
“Matt Aitken and I had it planned all along – we knew of electronic-backed introspection that
we had to grow her up and we didn’t even know about was way ahead of its time (leading the
her relationship with Hutchence. We had discussed how album with the rocky Some Kind Of Bliss,
we could subtly change the emphasis both musically and a co-write with Manic Street Preachers’
lyrically. We went from I Should Be So Lucky to Shocked James Dean Bradfield, proved to be a
and Better The Devil You Know in about 18 months.” major misstep and a misrepresentation of the
album). Having co-written every track on the
TAKING THE STEERING WHEEL album herself, it also revealed Kylie to be an
Having taken control of her image, Kylie also began to incredible lyricist.
take a more active role in her music. On 1990’s Rhythm
Of Love, she went to the US to record a handful of tracks
without SAW for the first time, and the following year’s
Let’s Get To It saw her writing with Mike Stock and Pete
Waterman. Feeling more in control of her career, Kylie
ended her association with SAW in 1992 with the
release of a greatest hits album.
Featuring 19 Top 20 hits, it marked the end of a
hugely successful chapter in her career. The girl once
dubbed “The Singing Budgie” by her critics now felt STYLE
compelled to flee the gilded cage of the PWL Hit Factory
As someone often held up as an example
for cooler climes.
of bad 80s fashion thanks to her bubble
Though her signing with achingly hip dance label
perm and ra-ra skirts, Kylie has more than
Deconstruction Records promised the ‘re-engineering
redeemed herself in the style stakes since,
of Kylie’, it’s questionable in hindsight whether her time
emerging as a bona fide fashion icon, having
there lived up to that promise, or whether it was a case
exhibited her costumes at London’s prestigious
of style over substance. Having won a bidding war to
V&A Museum to prove it.
sign Kylie, it soon became clear that Deconstruction had
From the 60s-inspired looks of her ‘Sex Kylie’
no idea what to do with her.
years (immortalised in one of her greatest videos,
Released in September 1994, Kylie’s self-titled album,
What Do I Have To Do?), to the sci-fi siren of
was a collection of house and swingbeat tracks written
Fever, not to mention the Bardot-esque aesthetic
and produced by Brothers In Rhythm, Heller
of Body Language, celestial goddess of Aphrodite
and Farley, Jimmy Harry and M People.
and edgy ingénue of Impossible Princess, it is little
Though her time at Deconstruction got off
wonder that the world’s top fashion houses vie to get their
to a great start with two of
designs on her.
her finest singles, Confide
After the Spinning Around video elevated her bottom
In Me and Put Yourself In
to national treasure status, she capitalised on it by riding
My Place, the rest of the
a velvet bucking bronco in a sexy ad for Agent Provocateur
album failed to live up to
underwear before launching her own range – Love Kylie.
their epic grandeur.
Following the hugely successful V&A exhibition (the first of
Kylie Minogue was a
its kind), Kylie’s outfits were donated to the Melbourne Arts
moderate commercial success
Centre where they are displayed when not touring the world.
and established Minogue in
Like Madonna, reinvention has been key to Kylie’s
the circles she wanted to be in
longevity, a fact she embraces, and while she says she would
at that time. Instead of touring,
never want to write an autobiography, she has published
she played PA’s in clubs and at
La La La and Kylie Fashion, books which detail the creative
festivals for the first time. She was
process that goes into her tours, videos and photoshoots.
also celebrated in style bibles
such as The Face, i-D, Dazed &
Confused and Sky, in which
© Photoshot

28

CP40.kylie_30.print.indd 28 12/04/2018 14:22


From girl-next-door to sex
kitten, Mike Stock says that
Kylie ”went from I Should
Be So Lucky to Shocked and
Better The Devil You Know
in about 18 months”

“The story that Better The


Devil You Know was as
a direct result of Kylie’s
awakened sexuality with
Michael Hutchence was
complete nonsense!
Matt Aitken and I knew we
had to grow her up”
K Y L I E

29

CP40.kylie_30.print.indd 29 12/04/2018 14:26


Preserved for
posterior-ity!
Directed by
Dawn Shadforth,
the Spinning
Around video is
famed for Kylie’s
bottom and those
50p gold lamé
hotpants

“I fee
ls
a sen uch
s
achie e of
v
havin ement
g
going a song
to
these No.1
becau days
s
what e I know
a stru
g
it is” gle

THE COLLABORATIONS

NICK CAVE & THE PET SHOP BOYS JASON DONOVAN HURTS TOWA TEI
BAD SEEDS IN DENIAL ESPECIALLY FOR YOU DEVOTION G.B.I. (GERMAN
WHERE THE WILD An epic melodrama Blurring the lines Kylie added her vocals BOLD ITALIC)
ROSES GROW from Pet Shop Boys’ between reality and to this track on Hurts’ G.B.I. is Kylie at her
Superb duet from Nick’s 1999 album Nightlife. fiction, Kylie and her synth-pop debut in 2010 experimental best on
1995 album Murder It’s a sensitive dialogue onscreen Neighbours because she loved the Deee-Lite’s Towa Tei’s
Ballads. Kylie is perfect between a homosexual, husband teamed up song when it was sent sparse house track.
as the captivating Eliza middle-aged, man and for the endearingly to her. Describing his Featuring a memorable
Day who meets a grisly his daughter – played saccharine classic. Much “life-long illicit love” video in which Kylie
end. Stalling at No.11 in here by Minogue. Kylie maligned at the time, it for her, singer Theo is a geisha girl, she
the UK chart, the NME went on to perform the has sold over a million Hutchcraft described included this 1997 song
listed it in the 100 Best song on her Showgirl copies and topped the her contribution as the as an interlude on her
Songs Of The 90s. Tour in 2004. UK charts. “saviour of the album”. KylieFever2002 Tour.

30

CP40.kylie_30.print.indd 30 12/04/2018 12:39


K Y L I E

However, after a postponed European release some joy that I borrowed from back in the day” and
following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales and “Did I forget to mention that I found a new direction
a string of negative reviews, sales were disappointing, and it leads back to me?” perfectly encapsulated her
leaving her feeling creatively unfulfilled. “I was really signing to Parlophone on the basis that she return to
unlucky with that album,” she said. “There are lots of pop music.
reasons why it wasn’t a commercial success but I think With labelmates Robbie Williams and Pet Shop Boys
the main reason it didn’t work was that it wasn’t indicative of the kind of music she wanted to make, Kylie
a cohesive album – it was a bit all over the place, went into the studio with both as well as pop maestros
and that was because I made it over a two-year Guy Chambers, Biffco and Steve Anderson.
period, with four different producers. There are Working with keywords ‘sunshine, beach,
still parts of it that I really like and I value the glamour, disco, cocktails and fun’, the
experience, even though at the time I was result was Light Years, a glittering,
frustrated and really felt like there was modern take on disco, Europop and,
no one there to help me.” having finally embraced her pure pop
The failure of the album in the UK past, even the occasional nod to her
signalled the end of her time with SAW days. Fuelled by a video that would
Deconstruction but left Kylie with a achieve infamy due to Kylie’s 50p
feeling of liberation. She returned gold hotpants (and trigger a national
to Australia, where the album had obsession with her pert posterior),
been a success, for her Intimate & Spinning Around gave Kylie her first
Live Tour of small venues. Though No.1 single in a decade. After the
the setlist showcased Impossible rocky road she’d been down with
Princess, she thanked her loyal Deconstruction, the success meant
fanbase by including a handful of old more to her than ever.
hits as well as two covers, The Clash’s “I feel such a sense of achievement
Should I Stay Or Should I Go? and having a song going to No.1 these
Abba’s Dancing Queen. It was the days because I know what a
performance of the latter, during which struggle it is,” she said. “In the early
she donned an embellished corset and days, when every single reached
feather headdress, that proved to be an No.1 or No.2, I just thought that’s the
epiphany for Kylie. The highlight of the way it was, but now, having realised how difficult it is to
show on every stop of the tour, she realised where her get a song in the charts at all, I’m always panicking once
strengths lay as a performer and cultivated her showgirl a song is released to see where it’s going to go.”
stage persona. As she performed Dancing Queen With a platinum-selling album, four hit singles, a sold-
during the final night of the tour at London’s Shepherd’s out tour, cameo appearance in Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin
Bush Empire in July 1998, no-one could have predicted Rouge! and a performance at the closing ceremony
that two years later she’d be performing it for a global of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, the success of
audience of four billion people at the Sydney Olympics. the Light Years was affirmation that her return to pop
If ever a lyric captured the point at which an artist had been the right decision. After the frustration of her
was at in their career, it was Kylie’s comeback single “wilderness years”, Kylie was keen to get back into the
Spinning Around in 2000: “Traded in my sorrow for studio as soon as possible to work on the follow-up.

GIORGIO ROBBIE WILLIAMS DANNII MINOGUE COLDPLAY KEITH


MORODER KIDS 100 DEGREES LHUNA WASHINGTON
RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW One of the first songs Christmas is a time for Originally recorded IF YOU WERE WITH
Kylie teamed up with written for Kylie’s Light family and Kylie teamed during sessions for ME NOW
the Godfather of disco Years album, Kids was up with sister Dannii Coldplay’s Viva La Vida Lifted from her Let's Get
for his Déjà Vu album in one of the biggest hits for 100 Degrees, a Or Death And All His To It album, the duet
2014. After performing of 2000, selling over fun disco song for her Friends album, frontman with US R&B singer
the song with Giorgio on 200,000 copies in the Kylie Christmas album Chris Martin described Washington is one of
her Kiss Me Once Tour, UK. An altered version, in 2015. An alternate it as “too sexy” and it Kylie’s most overlooked
Kylie realised a lifelong which featured a rap by version was released never made the final cut. singles. Reaching No.4
dream by covering Williams, was included in April 2016, entitled It was later released as in 1991, it is Minogue’s
Donna Summer’s I Feel on his Sing When You're 100 Degrees (Still a charity single to mark first hit to feature her as
Love with him. Winning album. Disco To Me). World Aids Day. a co-writer.

31

CP40.kylie_30.print.indd 31 12/04/2018 12:40


With its futuristic
stylings, Kylie’s
Can’t Get You Out
Of My Head video
saw the singer she went into hiding, as the pressure of her career
strike various led to what she described as “a mini breakdown”.
poses in bright
The experience caused her to rethink her work
crimson lipstick
and a revealing strategy and she vowed to take more breaks.
hooded white Her next album, 2003’s Body Language
jumpsuit was a concerted effort to distance
herself from the parade of identikit
Kylie clones that were inhabiting CD:UK
every Saturday morning as the likes of
Rachel Stevens, Holly Valance and Sarah
Whatmore all performed songs she had
refused the offer of recording (she had
also turned down Toxic before it went
to Britney Spears).
Drawing its influences from early 80s
If Light Years had been the public’s reintroduction to pop that a teenage Kylie had adored, such
Kylie, Fever was the rekindling of a teenage romance. as Prince, Scritti Politti and Jam & Lewis and
The pristine pop sheen of Can’t Get You Out Of My blending them with the current sounds of R&B
Head was cool enough to lure back the fans that had and electroclash, Body Language was a much
grown up to a soundtrack of hits such as Hand On Your more diverse album than its predecessors
Heart and Better The Devil You Know, and garner her an and a riskier one, at points harking back to her
entire new audience. The runaway success of the single mid-90s experimentalism. Fearing burnout from
set the stage for Kylie’s most successful album to date. touring again so soon, Kylie had taken a much
A progression of the dance-pop sound, Fever toned more relaxed approach to promoting the
down the overt disco influence of Light Years in favour album, a decision which led to
of a streamlined, electro influence and struck the disappointing sales.
perfect balance between cutting-edge and commercial. A career-spanning
While her mid-90s quest for credibility had at times retrospective, Ultimate Kylie was
seemed forced, by finally accepting herself and being released, bringing together
comfortable in her own skin, on Fever she exuded an her PWL, Deconstruction
effortless cool. With six million copies sold worldwide and Parlophone material
and yielding mammoth hits in Love At First Sight and for the first time and
In Your Eyes, Fever was an unstoppable, hit-packed while promoting it on her
colossus unlike anything she had experienced before, Showgirl: The Greatest Hits
and elevated her to a level of fame that she wasn’t Tour in 2005, Kylie received
comfortable with. the devastating diagnosis
Following a hectic two-year whirlwind of live that she was suffering from
appearances, promo duties and her biggest tour to date, breast cancer.
Kylie was exhausted and overwhelmed by the level of Arriving in Australia,
fame she had achieved. Retreating home to Australia, she was given the

Live Tour she had already shown amazing growth as a


live performer, but it was in the 2000s, on the back of her
career rejuvenation with Light Years, that she really came
into her own.
The On A Night Like This Tour in 2001 was a romp
through her career, camp and kitsch, much like the
ON STAGE album itself. In 2002, blessed with a big budget, the sci-fi
spectacle that was KylieFever2002 was a huge turning
Despite suffering a serious knock to her confidence at point, transforming her from idol to icon, and signalling
the beginning of her career when she was dubbed “The a series of ground-breaking pop shows ranging from the
Singing Budgie” and mocked for her voice, Kylie’s innovative KylieX2008 to the theatrical Showgirl
journey from performing over backing extravaganzas – Vegas-on-the-road grandeur
tracks on the Hitman Roadshow to her of Aphrodite: Les Folies to stripped-back-
enduring reputation as one of pop’s again Kiss Me Once Tour.
most entertaining live acts, has been However, as Kylie proved with her
nothing short of spectacular. Anti Tour in 2012 – which featured
From her first full-scale tours, the singer playing rare B-sides and
Enjoy Yourself (1990) and Let’s Get album tracks – even when stripped
To It (1991), both of which were of elaborate sets, dancers and
accomplished pop shows for the costumes, her remarkable stage
time (even though the latter was presence and charisma was more
slated in the press for Kylie’s risqué than enough to make the show a
outfits), to 1998’s Intimate And spectacular success.

32

CP40.kylie_30.print.indd 32 12/04/2018 14:23


K Y L I E

“In the early days, when


every single reached No.1
or No.2, I just thought that’s
the way it was... having
realised how difficult it is
to get a song in the charts,
I’m always panicking once
a song is released.”
K Y L I E

33

CP40.kylie_30.print.indd 33 12/04/2018 12:40


Kylie enjoyed stripping back some of her
poppier tracks and revealing a different side to
them (and to herself) with The Abbey Road Sessions
in 2012. Featuring orchestral reworkings of some
of her biggest hits. PWL tracks such as ...Lucky and
Never Too Late were revelatory as heart-wrenching
odes to love lost or unrequited, while Can’t Get You
Out Of My Head’s tortured angst comes through in
the Abbey Road arrangement.
“It still amazes me that how you translate a song
makes such a difference,” she says. “Pop just seduces
you in such a way that you bounce along singing
these lyrics being fooled that you are having a
great time.”
Which brings us to Golden. While many
songs on the album appear instantly
upbeat and joyous, closer inspection
reveals a deep melancholy (first single
2012’s The Dancing for example deals with the
Abbey Road
Sessions subject of mortality). Described as Kylie’s
features 16 most personal album to date, she co-wrote
tracks, all every song on the record, a process she
radically
reworked,
described as “cathartic” as she recovered
with a full from a nervous breakdown and devastation
orchestra over the end of her engagement to actor Joshua
Sasse, a period she has revealed was one of the
most difficult of her life.
news and was forced to postpone the Australian dates It was also a time of great uncertainty after she
while she received treatment. While spending the next dealt with another separation – that from her record
year recuperating in Paris, supported by family, friends label Parlophone. Having enjoyed great success
and boyfriend Olivier Martinez, Kylie’s focus was with them in the early 2000s, their relationship
making a full recovery and completing her tour. had become stagnant and, after her last two
Arriving on stage in Sydney in November 2006 to studio albums, Aphrodite and Kiss Me Once,
a rapturous welcome, Kylie jokingly apologised for underperformed due to mismanagement and
being “fashionably late”. circumstances beyond Kylie’s control – most
notably the bizarre choices of singles (Better Than
GOLDEN YEARS Today and I Was Gonna Cancel respectively are
With a career now spanning three decades, Kylie is the bottom tier on both albums), she left Parlophone
first to credit her incredibly loyal fanbase for sticking by for pastures new.
her through the good and bad times and, more so than Now signed to BMG, she is overjoyed at the
many other artists, not only listens to their opinions, but reception to the first two singles Dancing
actually takes them into account. and Stop Me From Falling, and
When fans voiced their disappointment that X, her first the album itself, and is looking
album after recovering from cancer made barely a single forward to taking the LP on the
reference to what she had been through, she explained road in September for the
that though she had written tracks about her experience, Golden Tour, which, if last
they didn’t fit into her record company’s vision for her month’s intimate shows
album. She compensated by performing some of the (which included a cover
unreleased songs on her KylieX2008 Tour. of her current inspiration
“It would have been great to have songs that I’d Dolly Parton’s Islands In The
written about that dark period in my life on the album,” Stream)) are anything to go
she later said in an interview with Popjustice. “Maybe by, promises to be as grand
I wasn’t strong enough to fight for them at the time, but a spectacle as we’ve come
I went with what I thought was the better judgement of to expect from pop’s
others. I fully understand that a fan or someone who sent ultimate showgirl. “The
out positive vibes to me throughout that period would Golden Tour’s the next
have wanted to hear something about that time and not truly exciting step,” she
just ‘hey I saw you across the dancefloor’.” says. “I’m really looking
Which is not to be dismissive of those songs intended forward to getting into
solely for the dancefloor – over the past 30 years Kylie rehearsals with my band
has delivered more than her fair share. From I Should Be and giving a different life
So Lucky to I Believe In You, On A Night Like This to All to these songs. I’m curious
The Lovers, this is a woman whose unofficial anthem is to see how many of
a song called Your Disco Needs You (she recently told the songs have a
Radio 2 that it was the song she most wishes had been big production,
a single and anyone who has seen her perform it live how many are
will understand why), though she is far more than a going to be
dance diva and many of those songs have deeper stripped back –
meaning, often going unnoticed. I can’t wait!”

34

CP40.kylie_30.print.indd 34 12/04/2018 14:24


K Y L I E

“It still amazes me that


how you translate a song
makes such a difference...
Pop just seduces you in
such a way that you bounce
along singing these lyrics
being fooled that you are
having a great time.”
K Y L I E
Golden, Kylie’s 14th
studio album, was
described by the
singer as being “Dolly
Parton standing on
a dancefloor”

35

CP40.kylie_30.print.indd 35 12/04/2018 12:44


C L A S S I C

ALBUM
FEVER
K Y L I E M I N O G U E
HAVING MADE HER TRIUMPHANT RETURN TO POP WITH 2000’S
SHIMMERING DISCO OPUS LIGHT YEARS, KYLIE CAPPED HER COMEBACK
THE FOLLOWING YEAR WITH A STREAMLINED NEW SOUND AND A COOL
NEW IMAGE, WHICH SAW HER POPULARITY REACH FEVER PITCH
M A R K L I N D O R E S

36

CP40.Classic_Album_Fever.print.indd 36 09/04/2018 16:25


F E V E R C L A S S I C A L B U M

I
t’s hard to imagine now,

© Charles Sykes/Rex/Shutterstock
but when Kylie Minogue,
mid-way through a concert
at Manchester’s Apollo
Theatre in March 2001,
introduced the song that would
be her next single, it was met
with sheer ambivalence by the
crowd – trips to the bar or toilet
and polite nods – none of us
there that night had the foresight
to imagine the effect Can’t Get
You Out Of My Head would
have when it was unleashed
onto an unsuspecting public a
few months later.
At the time riding the
wave of success that was her
comeback album Light Years,
her first UK No.1 single since
1989’s Tears On My Pillow,
Spinning Around, a No.2 duet
with pop’s golden boy Robbie
Williams and a show-stopping
performance at the closing
ceremony of the 2000 Sydney
Olympic Games, Kylie capped
her remarkable comeback with
the On A Night Like This Tour.
Having experienced pitfalls
and frustration towards the end
of her time on Deconstruction
Records, the singer’s career
rejuvenation tasted that much
In the UK, Fever entered the album
sweeter and she was desperate chart at No.1 and would go on to
to maintain momentum, already
THE
be certified five-times platinum

PLAYERS
laying down the groundwork with shipments of 1.5 million units
for her next album before
touring her current one. is going to record it?’ I just
The genesis of the Fever KYLIE MINOGUE wanted to get in the studio
album came towards the end Kylie signed to record label PWL in 1987 while still starring and record it as soon as
of 2000 while Kylie and her as Charlene in Aussie soap opera Neighbours. Her first UK possible, I was so excited.”
label Parlophone were at single, I Should Be So Lucky, topped the UK charts as did her Written by Cathy Dennis
debut album a year later. The hits kept coming and every
loggerheads deciding what and Rob Davis, the song had
single she released in the 80s went Top 10. Her unprecedented chart
to release as a fifth single from success continued throughout the 90s and 2000s. In April 2018, 30 years
already been rejected by
Light Years (it had boundless on from Kylie, the singer released her 14th studio album, Golden. S Club 7 and Sophie Ellis-
possibilities). The Goddess of Bextor before Kylie’s A&R man
Pop wanted to release Your BIFFCO Jamie Nelson heard it and
Disco Needs You, a rallying Having co-written and produced some of the Spice Girls said it was the perfect song for
call to arms inspired by the and Five’s biggest hits, the Biffco team of Richard Stannard, the progression Minogue was
Village People’s Go West as a Julian Gallagher and Ash Howes were the perfect choice looking to make musically.
thank you to her gay audience to work with Kylie on her return to pop music on 2000’s “Even though Kylie wasn’t
for supporting her during her Light Years. For Fever, they co-wrote two of its biggest hits, Love At First the first artist to be offered the
career lull, the label felt that Sight and In Your Eyes. song, I don’t believe it was
the campy disco track would meant to go to anyone other
push Kylie further into niche act STEVE ANDERSON than her, and I don’t believe
territory rather than broaden Having remixed Finer Feelings for Kylie in 1992, Steve anyone else would have done
her audience. has continued working with her for over 25 years. As well the incredible job she did
To indicate the kind of as writing and producing, he has been Kylie’s musical director with it,” Cathy Dennis told
on all of her tours since 1998.
direction they envisaged for M Magazine. “It was a very
her, they played her a demo natural and fluid process, the
of Can’t Get You Out Of My ROB DAVIS whole thing was written in
Guitarist with 70s glam rockers Mud turned pop songwriter,
Head. “From the very first time about three-and-a-half hours.
Rob wrote Spiller’s monster hit Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love)
it was played to me I absolutely before joining Cathy Dennis at the suggestion of Simon Fuller “We had the ‘can’t get you
loved it,” Kylie said. “It was to pen hits for some of pop’s biggest names. As well as Can’t out of my head’ bit and we
exactly what I was looking Get You Out Of My Head and Come Into My World with Cathy for Fever, had the bridge, but it needed
for – cool, edgy, simple. Then he also wrote and produced Fragile. another hook. We knew it didn’t
I started panicking: ‘Are you need another lyric, so I just went
sure we’ve got it? No-one else ‘la, la, la…’”

37

CP40.Classic_Album_Fever.print.indd 37 11/04/2018 14:37


C L A S S I C A L B U M F E V E R Featuring as a sample of New
Order’s Blue Monday, Kylie
performs a show-stopping
Can’t Get You Out Of My
Head at The BRITs 2002

THE
SONGS
© Richard Young/REX/Shutterstock

1 MORE MORE MORE 5 GIVE IT TO ME also notable for self-referencing,


Fun, frothy and flirty, More More Fever’s weakest song, Give It To with Kylie imploring: “Is the
More sets the agenda for the rest Me’s hard electro-funk sounds world still Spinning Around?” The
of the album. Spiritual brethren out of place on the album and album’s second single, it reached
of the dirty disco of Andrea True could have been replaced No.3 in the UK and No.1 in
Connection’s risqué track of the with some of the strong tracks Australia where it was also
same name, the house-inflected relegated to B-side/bonus track released as her first DVD single.
opener, written and produced by status such as Tightrope (a
Tommy D, sees Kylie at her most hidden gem of her discography), 9 DANCEFLOOR
alluring. Very much capturing the Good Like That or Boy. Heavily Written by Cathy Dennis and
carefree abandon of disco in its treated with chopped-up vocals long-time Kylie collaborator
lyrics, the production gives it a and an annoying recurrent Steve Anderson, Dancefloor is
modern twist. telephone ringing, the song is an the song that sounds most like a
experiment that didn’t quite hit continuation of the classic disco
2 LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT the mark. sound of Light Years. A breakup
Co-written by Kylie, Love At track on which Kylie berates an
First Sight is a standout on the 6 FRAGILE ex for not treating her as well as
album, one of her personal After the sonic chaos of Give she deserved and getting over
favourites and a regular highlight It To Me, the soothing Fragile him by hitting the dancefloor, the
of live shows. A breezy ode to is a beautiful mid-tempo track song’s message is fairly universal.
the feeling of being in a new with a dreamy vocal from Kylie
relationship, the song is elevated perfectly capturing the essence of 10 LOVE AFFAIR
by its state-of-the-art dance the song which details the feeling If Fever had produced a fifth
production which evoked recent of vulnerability in a relationship, single, Love Affair would almost
hits from Daft Punk, Modjo and singing: “’Cause I’m fragile certainly have been the main
Stardust’s Music Sounds Better when I hear your name/ Fragile contender for release. A perfectly
With You. Released as the third when you call/ This could be the crafted slice of dance-pop with
single from Fever, Love At First nearest thing to love/ And I’m Kylie at her seductive best, Love
Sight reached No.2 and became fragile when I hear you speak/ Affair is a continuation of the
her third ever US hit. Fragile feeling small/ This could narrative from In Your Eyes with
be the closest thing to love,” over a similar clubby style with trance-
3 CAN’T GET YOU
a hypnotic soundscape. like inflections. An undeniable
OUT OF MY HEAD album highlight.
7 COME INTO
Thirteen years into her pop career
and Kylie scored her biggest hit. MY WORLD 11 YOUR LOVE
The track saw Minogue embraced A last-minute addition to Fever Winding down the album,
by the dance world, not only for and another triumph from Rob Your Love is another stunning
the song in its minimal electro Davis and Cathy Dennis, Come mid-tempo number. Similar to
form, but in various remixes – the Into My World treads a similar Fragile, a lilting guitar lends the
most popular of which was Erol sonic path to Can’t Get You Out song a blissed-out Balearic feel.
Alkan’s mash-up of the vocal over Of My Head. The fourth and The sole track on the LP from
the backing track of New Order’s final single from the album, it Pascal Gabriel and Paul Statham,
Blue Monday, which was a staple was re-recorded for the album’s Your Love is from the same sonic The song informed the
of his sets at celebrated club deluxe edition and single release palette as some of the other tracks direction of Kylie’s next album
night Trash. Kylie took the mix (apparently as Cathy Dennis’ on the album which, had they and, feeling inspired, she
mainstream when she performed backing vocal was too prominent been recorded by other artists headed into the studio to begin
it at the BRITs in 2002. Stuart on the original) though Kylie’s with a lesser identity than Kylie, work on the album, collating
Crichton created an official remix breathy vocal sounds flimsy in risked sounded same-y rather writers, producers and ideas
of the track for the B-side of Love contrast to the stronger original. than succeeding as a cohesive
before she went on tour. As well
At First Sight. In 2004, Kylie won her first body of work.
Grammy for this song for Best as asking Cathy and Rob to
4 FEVER Dance Recording. Come Into 12 BURNING UP submit more songs, she teamed
Written by Greg Fitzgerald and My World was also the basis for An anomaly to close the album, up with writers that she’d
Tom Nichols, Fever’s title track one of Kylie’s best ever remixes Burning Up was again penned worked with on Light Years,
is a departure from the dance- when it was given an electroclash by Greg Fitzgerald and Tom Steve Anderson and Biffco
pop sound that dominates much reworking by Fischerspooner. Nichols who with this, along [Richard Stannard], Ash Howes
of the album, instead being an with the title track, provided two and Julian Gallagher as well as
updated electro track inspired by 8 IN YOUR EYES of the record’s best moments. several new writers/producers
the New Romantic sound of the A dance anthem, In Your Eyes Burning Up’s unusual teaming who had submitted tracks.
early 80s. Lyrically, the song’s is a sultry ode to lust across of an acoustic verse with an
Work on the album resumed
tongue-in-cheek flirtation between a crowded nightclub with an upbeat, dance-y chorus has been
a ‘lovesick’ Kylie and her doctor aggressive beat and infectious revived recently by Kylie who after Kylie completed her On
gives it an air of ‘Carry On chorus and the perfect follow- has deployed a similar structure A Night Like This Tour in May
Kylie’, a narrative brought to up to Can’t Get You Out Of to her recent hit Dancing. With in Australia. She flew straight
life on ITV’s An Audience With My Head. However, despite its its gentle, hazy chorus bursting to the US to work with Mark
Kylie, in which she performed it release being pushed back by a into a bassline and chorus Picchiotti in Chicago before
in a campy doctors and nurses month due to the endurance of its reminiscent of Nile Rodgers’ best returning to the UK to finish
scenario before an audience of predecessor, In Your Eyes was still work, Burning Up was a standout the album at London’s Olympic
bemused-looking celebs. somewhat overshadowed. It was performance of her Fever Tour. Studios and Biffco’s studios
in Dublin.

38

CP40.Classic_Album_Fever.print.indd 38 11/04/2018 14:37


Throughout the summer, she
recorded around 25 tracks, With the video wrapped,
including a pair of Greg album finished and artwork
Fitzgerald/Tom Nichols cuts completed, Fever was set for
(one of which became the title release on 1 October 2001,
track) and two more tracks with Can’t Get You Out Of
from Cathy Dennis and Rob My Head proceeding on
Davis. After repeated playbacks 8 September. As the record
to what she had recorded, company began arranging
Kylie and her label began Kylie’s promo schedule, they
formulating a cohesive direction Fashion photographer stylist William Baker, was asked were dealt a blow when it
for the album. Vincent Peters, who had if she had ideas, as she had was revealed that the release
“What we set out to do shot Kylie for her Light Years similar points of reference to of Can’t Get You Out Of My
with Fever was to make it a cover as well as an editorial what William and Kylie were Head embroiled her in a chart
culmination of everything I’ve in Vogue magazine, shot the looking for. When the singer battle with Victoria Beckham’s
learned and everything I’ve singer against a plain white visited Fee’s studio, she spotted debut solo single Not Such An
done,” said Kylie. “Everything background wearing a white a hooded jumpsuit and asked Innocent Girl.
I’ve done well, and also t-shirt, knickers and heels to try it on. “I did ring my manager as
everything that I’ve done holding a microphone for the “Kylie’s half my size, a soon as I heard and asked
terribly in the past! I just feel album cover – it is a new take fragile little bird and I’m this whether we should change
like the album has the best on Jean-Paul Goude’s iconic big clumsy oaf,” says the six- it,” Kylie said. “In the end, the
of both worlds – Light Years photograph of Grace Jones feet-tall Fee. “It was laughable cards had been dealt and
and Impossible Princess, it’s a from the Island Life cover. because it drowned her but she I just had to play the game.
summation of the two. I feel like When it came to shooting the knew what she wanted. We If it hadn’t been Victoria I would
I’m starting to develop a style video for Can’t Get You Out pinned it up and even then, we have just been in competition
that’s my own and though it’s Of My Head, Jones’ influence could see it was going to look with someone else.”
very challenging, I’m enjoying remained prevalent. amazing. Her grandmother was The extra publicity generated
it immensely.” Fashion designer and DJ a seamstress so we discussed from the ‘chart battle’ helped
Having decided on a more Fee Doran, a friend of Kylie’s how we were going to tweak it” both records and, when it was
stripped-back version of dance- revealed in the midweek charts
pop than the OTT opulence of that Minogue’s single had sold
Light Years, Fever’s foundation 125,000 copies in its first three
was in electro rather than “What we set out to do with Fever was to make days, the face-off was already
disco and that also informed it a culmination of everything I’ve learned and won. Nevertheless, Kylie was
the aesthetic of the album. overwhelmed when she found
While Light Years had conjured everything I’ve done... I feel like I’m starting to out the final chart position.
up images of Studio 54 and develop a style that’s my own” “It was one of those movie
poolside parties, Fever’s points K Y L I E M I N O G U E moments,” she said.
of reference were sci-fi and “My record company has
minimalist modernity. a number that you call that

39

CP40.Classic_Album_Fever.print.indd 39 11/04/2018 14:37


C L A S S I C A L B U M F E V E R

© Alstiar Grant/AP/Rex/Shutterstock
THE BIG
PICTURE
T H E V I D E O S

CAN’T GET YOU OUT OF MY HEAD


Filmed in July 2001, Dawn Shadforth’s iconic video featured Kylie in a
series of slick sci-fi scenarios, the most striking of which was the dance
sequence featuring Minogue, swathed in a slashed-to-flash hooded
jumpsuit, surrounded by a troupe
of dancers dressed in Kraftwerk’s
Man Machine uniforms of red
shirts and black ties. Later in
the clip, hi-fi meets sci-fi as
she performs in front of a
Metropolis-style backdrop,
with the lights of the buildings
taking on the effect of an old
graphic equalizer.
youtu.be/YPwtJ89jes4w

IN YOUR EYES
Set in a bank of LED lights and neon lasers, In Your Eyes is a Kylie took home two of the most
straightforward performance-led promo from Shadforth. Stylist William coveted British music awards in 2002
Baker described Kylie’s style in the video as “hip-hop chic meets sci-fi when she won Best International
lunacy” with Kylie teaming her multi-coloured ribbon dress (the work Female Solo Artist and Best
of designer Fee Doran) with International Album at The BRITs
items of jewellery from her
collaboration with Johnny Rocket.
The range was inspired by the “The voice on the phone said: ‘Kylie is
Fever album artwork – and
incorporated key artefacts from No.1 with sales of 306,000 copies’. I was
it – a microphone, headphones, absolutely flabbergasted. I just thought, ‘that
a stiletto shoe and the ‘K’-star
logo, and was available to fans can’t be right’.””
on Kylie’s website. K Y L I E M I N O G U E
youtu.be/OjETibEMbJY

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT


A continuation of the sci-fi theme, Love At First Sight (directed by Johan gives the week’s chart result. due to the enduring success of
Renck) sees Minogue in a futuristic maze with backup dancers, all shot The voice on the phone said: Can’t Get You Out Of My Head
in single take motions – the dancers would later join her onstage for the ‘Kylie is No.1 with sales (the label were at one point
‘Silvanemesis’ section of the Fever of 306,000 copies’. I was considering deleting the single
Tour. While the set and Kylie’s absolutely flabbergasted. I just in order to continue Fever’s
outfit are all neutral colours, shots thought, ‘that can’t be right’.” release strategy).
of neon are accentuated by her
The single spent four weeks When Kylie performed it as
shoes, jewellery and make-up
giving her a cohesion with the at No.1 and she did the double a mash-up with New Order’s
dancers. The performance of the when Fever entered the album Blue Monday at The BRITs the
video is overlapped as diagrams, chart at No.1. Internationally, following February, it was still in
graphics and set pieces are both the single and the album the charts. As well as delivering
drawn around her. fared just as well. Can’t Get an iconic performance,
youtu.be/wf421JsG004 You Out Of My Head topped she picked up awards for
the charts in 40 countries while International Female Solo Artist
COME INTO MY WORLD Fever went on to sell six million, and International Album.
One of Kylie’s most ambitious videos and also one of her most technically the most successful album of Living up to those
demanding, Come Into My World featured a cast of 50 extras. Kylie Kylie’s career. international plaudits, Kylie was
walked through the streets of Paris in a loop, and every time she reached The critics universally praised forced to sacrifice 10 days of
her starting point, the number Kylie’s mature take on dance- her tour rehearsals to fly to the
of Kylies multiplied giving the infused pop and an arena tour US where Can’t Get You Out
finished video the stunning was announced, beginning the Of My Head topped the dance
effect of multiple identical
following April. Underestimating chart and landed the singer
Kylies walking through Paris.
Director Michel Gondry had
the demand, KylieFever2002 with her first Top 10 hit since
experimented with the concept sold out within minutes and the The Loco-Motion. With Fever
of duplicity earlier in his career initial number of dates doubled. following it into the US Top 10,
with his video for Neneh Cherry’s The success continued into she had conquered the final
Feel It in 1997. the new year. Plans for In Your market where success had so
youtu.be/63vqob-MljQ Eyes, Fever’s second single, had far eluded her. Kylie-mania had
to be postponed by a month reached its zenith.

40

CP40.Classic_Album_Fever.print.indd 40 09/04/2018 16:25


P P
(

READERS SHARE THEIR FAVOURITE PHOTOS AS


THEY GET UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH
SOME OF THE BIGGEST NAMES IN PLANET POP
Send your Poparazzi pics now to steve.harnell@anthem-publishing.com

MIDGE URE
W I T H C R A I G S TA R K
”This is Midge and I at
his acoustic set in Perth,
Australia, in April 2015.
I reminded Midge that
I first met him in 1985 in
Edinburgh on his solo tour
for The Gift where he had
more hair and I was a
skinny teenager – it made
him laugh!”

C A P TA I N S E N S I B L E
WITH LUCIA AND
MARTIN GÄRTNER SUGGS
”I had my photo taken with WITH AD
RIAN KE
the Captain in Bratislava in “Here is a EBLE
picture of m
2013. The Damned were frontman, S yself with M
uggs, after adness
supported by our friend’s one-man sh his I’m A K
ow in Basin ing Cnut
goth band The Last Days He was a tr gstoke this
ue gent with year.
Of Jesus at their first gig waited for all those w
him. He sig ho had
in Slovakia. What an allowed ph ned memora
otos and en bilia and
excellent show and had someth sured that e
ing before veryone
afterparty! Captain celebrities he left. Wh
be this nice y can’t all
was very friendly hilarious. C ? The show
atch it if yo itself was
and complimented u can.”
me on my ‘lovely
hair’. The
smaller photo
of Martin
was taken in
Prague in 2004
at the PunkAid
Festival.”

JONA LEWIE
WITH MICHAEL
MCLAUGHLIN
”Here I am with Jona
Lewie after the Let’s
Rock Xmas show at
the O2 in London
last December.
After arriving at the
aftershow party,
he chatted and
signed autographs
for everyone who
was there. An
absolute legend.”

41

CP40.Poparazzi.print.indd 41 10/04/2018 15:18


Th e
en t a l
p
acc id
o
P St a r
n the great pantheon of unlikely recognition that there would be a kind
GREEN GARTSIDE, pop stars during the 80s, of which of ‘playing the pop person’ as well.”
THE CREATIVE FORCE let’s face it there were many, Green To understand why Gartside might have
Gartside stood out. It wasn’t that made such a decision, it helps to go back
BEHIND SCRITTI POLITTI, he didn’t have the good looks or to 1980 and a Scritti gig supporting Gang
DISCUSSES THE HIGHS musical chops, he most certainly
did, but it was more that his songs
Of Four. Gartside hadn’t been looking after
himself physically – “I was never very good
AND LOWS OF THE were so fiercely, unapologetically at that and I’m still absolutely rubbish,” he
clever. Here was a musician whose says – and he collapsed after the show.
MUSIC INDUSTRY AND Scritti Politti project was originally run as He returned to his childhood home in
REVEALS HOW HE a kind of collective and played improvised Wales to convalesce and began to rethink
live shows. A lapsed Marxist whose band his approach to music. Out was the idea
OVERCAME CRIPPLING name was mangled Italian for “political of “getting away as far as possible from
writing” and who named a song Jacques song structure, melody and all the rest of
ANXIETY TO FALL BACK Derrida after the French philosopher. it”. In was the idea that Michael Jackson
IN LOVE WITH POP Yet for a while, following the release could be considered to be as radical as,
of their second album say, Captain Beefheart,
J O N A T H A N W R I G H T
Cupid & Psyche 85 in a rebellion against the
1985, Scritti Politti were idea of “pop music
bona fide mainstream being thought of as
pop stars around the secondary, derivative,
world. “It’s a period inauthentic, inexpressive,
I remember with absolute commodified, inessential
dread and fondness,” he – all that stuff.”
says, before bursting out
with laughter. TO BE WITH POP
In truth, as becomes Scritti’s debut, Songs
clear during Classic To Remember (1982),
Pop’s two-hour reflected both this shift
conversation, Gartside is a man subject and a wider shift in the UK’s musical
to bouts of self-doubt and anxiety. It is not culture. The post-punk angularities of
unreasonable to suggest that he really Scritti’s early output was replaced by the
wasn’t cut out to be a pop star, a status “feeble little graspings” at funk and dub,
he found to be a kind of “exquisite which anticipated the band’s new pop
agony”. But, as Gartside himself phase. Released by Rough Trade, it made
acknowledges, it was a fame a creditable No.12 in the UK album
he courted, albeit indirectly. charts and the song that most endures is,
“It was not the success that I was arguably, The “Sweetest Girl”.
going for, it was an attempt to While Gartside describes the album
make a certain kind of music today as “an utter mess”, it had set Scritti’s
that interested me,” he says. future direction. By 1983, he was ready to
“I liked the idea of pop music. move on. “There’s the Gilbert and George
Along with that came an obvious quote: ‘To be with art is all we ask’,”

42

CP40.green_Gartside.print.indd 42 12/04/2018 09:46


Playing the pop person:
Green Gartside, the enigmatic
frontman of Scritti Politti, tells
Classic Pop why making pop music
“didn’t mean selling out principles
or dumbing down”

“IT WAS N
OT THE SU
THAT I WA CCESS
S GOING
IT WAS AN FOR,
ATTEMPT T
A CERTAIN O MAKE
KIND OF M
THAT INTER USIC
ESTED ME”
© Tom Sheehan

G r e en Ga r ts
id e

43

CP40.green_Gartside.print.indd 43 12/04/2018 09:46


© LFI/Photoshot
G R E E N G A R T S I D E

Ro ug hT
r
The
ad e
THE THREE ALBUMS SCRITTI POLITTI
MADE FOR VIRGIN RECORDS ARE
re-releases
SOON TO BE RE-RELEASED BY ROUGH TRADE ON VINYL,
INCLUDING ANOMIE & BONHOMIE FOR THE FIRST TIME.
EXPANDED VERSIONS OF THE ALBUMS WILL FOLLOW.
SO, WHICH SHOULD YOU INVEST IN?
CUPID & PSYCHE 85 (1985) Despite the myriad dramas that surrounded its recording, this
is the album where Gartside and cohorts got – in the end – just about everything right. An album
that consciously used pop music itself to deconstruct pop music but did it so slyly that the surface
sheen of the records sounded perfect on the radio.

PROVISION (1988) More of the same, except more is less here and there’s the sense of
a band caught in a trap of their own making. In the year that Public Enemy unleashed It Takes
A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, Happy Mondays were Bummed and Pixies ripped at the
heart of fey indie with Surfer Rosa, Scritti mostly sounded stuck in the past.

ANOMIE & BONHOMIE (1999) An album that’s ripe for reassessment. While it tries to cover
too many bases there are still some terrific songs here. True, some of the rapping sounds weirdly like
an afterthought (especially given Gartside’s self-professed love of hip-hop), but it is a pleasure to hear
a man rediscovering his own muse.

“You’d go out he says by way of explaining the change of managed by Bob Last of Fast Product fame,
to the clubs of approach he made. “There was part of me the man who released the first singles by
New York and
do whatever... that did feel: ‘To be with pop is all I ask’. The Human League and Gang Of Four.
but during the You can only sing with the language that “Bob Last was just one of those kinds of
whole time makes itself available to you – the language individuals who says: ‘Well why not? Give
there was a
huge sense of
that made itself available to me was the me a phone’,” says Gartside. “Sometimes
inadequacy” – one of pop songs and French theorists.” you just meet people who can do that,
Green Gartside they’re confident and I had never really
on recording ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK met anybody quite like that before. So,
Cupid & Psyche
85 in the US To play the music that was beginning as a consequence of his bravado and the
to rattle around his head and that musical nous of Gamson and Maher, I was
would form Cupid & Psyche 85, soon in these New York studios, with some
Gartside needed new cohorts. of the best R&B and funk players around,
He found them in New York making a record – which is where some
where he hooked up with of the terror and dread starts.”
keyboardist/programmer At this point Gartside laughs again,
David Gamson and drummer but his anxiety and depression was real.
Fred Maher. In Gartside’s “Week after week I sang these songs
words: “They were very smart, exactly the same way, 80 times or more,”
sophisticated New Yorkers who he says. He was indulged, he suspects,
were passionate about music.” partly because his fellow musicians wanted
A third key figure was Arif to please Mardin. “Arif was a great
Mardin, the renowned Turkish- gentleman and treated all the musicians
American producer associated with the utmost respect.
with Atlantic Records who had “We used to go to his palatial Central
worked with Aretha Franklin, Dusty Park apartment at the end of recording
Springfield, Average White Band and in these enormously expensive New York
the Bee Gees. studios and he would make us these
Left to his own devices, Gartside Martinis, or ‘Mardinis’ as he called them.
would never have approached such It was fascinating and thrilling. You’d
a figure, but Green was now go out to the clubs of New York and do

44

CP40.green_Gartside.print.indd 44 12/04/2018 09:47


“ALTHOUG
H I WOULD
LIKED TO H HAVE
AVE BEEN
WITH RAPP WORKING
ERS MUCH
AT THE TIM MORE
E, WE DIDN
WE JUST B ’T, SO
ASICALLY P
ON DOING LOUGHED
THE SAME
THAT WE’D THING
DONE WIT
H CUPID
& PSYCHE
85.”
G r e en Ga r ts
id e

person. These are words being spoken


by a humorous, bearded, bear of a man
dressed down in denim and a sweatshirt...
not the 80s pop star Gartside. Now in
his early 60s, he looks a little like Rupert
Everett, but built from a Tom Jones blueprint.
“Perhaps I’ve stressed too much the
difficulty,” he says of his life during the
80s. “I mean there’s nothing worse than
a musician whanging on about how
difficult making records is. I was incredibly
fortunate and I was living well. I had money
and whatever else.” Besides, he adds,
Provision enabled him to work with, among
others, Roger Troutman, a “genius” funk
Early Scritti multi-instrumentalist.
featuring Green Nonetheless, a breakdown lay ahead.
Gartside with
whatever... but during the whole time there manager/
While he’s reluctant to go into details, in
was a huge sense of inadequacy.” keyboardist the wake of Provision, which reached the
When recording the vocals on a song Matthew Kay UK Top 10 and spawned a hit in Oh Patti
such as Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha and drummer (Don’t Feel Sorry For Loverboy), Gartside
Tom Morley
Franklin), he reveals how doubt would retreated to South Wales for much of
set in and, at huge expense, Gartside the 90s. “I lost the plot completely and,
insisted on leaving New York to work When Classic Pop suggests that maybe after a spell in hospital, I left everybody
on his own in London. this was because Gartside didn’t, as at and everything. I went to live on my own
“But it did work,” Green admits. “There previous key moments in the Scritti story, go in Wales,” he says. “At that point my
is something about the mix of sensibilities, away and write a manifesto for what might management were quite keen to part
principally between David Gamson and come next, he doesn’t entirely disagree. company with me. I think they thought:
I, that made it work.” “We didn’t stop to reconsider the brief ‘Christ he’s lost it’, and I was just happy
As the results of these sessions made their so it was still: ‘Let’s make pop music’,” to run away.”
way into the world, Green finally became he says. Yet pop music was no longer as Having been on an “extraordinary”
a pop star. Both Wood Beez... and The important to the band, who had become journey with Scritti, Gartside was burnt out.
Word Girl made the UK Top 10 and much more interested in hip-hop. Yet this “I didn’t want anything to do with music,”
Gartside, never shy with a quote, became isn’t reflected in the album. Were the band he says. “I had all my musical
even more of a fixture in the music papers. worried about accusations of equipment in a room and the
In the US, Perfect Way climbed to No.11 cultural appropriation? door was firmly shut. If you
in the charts. So, having worked so hard “That was the argument opened it, there was that
to be a pop star, was it what Gartside and, although I would smell that musical equipment
wanted when he got there? have liked to have been has, the smell of guitar cases
“It wasn’t, no,” he replies immediately. working with rappers and synths, and it would fill
Not confident enough to play the songs much more at the time, we me with dread – again.”
live, Scritti found themselves going around didn’t, so we just basically Gradually, he came
the world doing, “shit interviews with ploughed on doing the back to making music.
morons and terrible lip-synching things.” same thing that we’d Even in the darkest
It was so dispiriting for Gartside who done with Cupid & times, he remained
started to believe that Scritti would not Psyche 85.” fascinated by hip-hop.
record a follow-up. However, the trio “That sustained me
reconvened to make Provision (1988). BURN OUT along with the Welsh
“I don’t think enough recovery time or If Gartside pubs and countryside,” he
planning went into Provision,” he says. sometimes says. “I was particularly in
“I think it shows and you can hear it. It’s a sounds like love with the production of DJ
strangely empty record. It’s like the bones he’s being Premier [half of the duo Gang
of a record, I don’t know what it is. I can precious, that’s not Starr], and I wanted to know
remember vividly making it. It was difficult.” how he comes across in what it was like to sample stuff

45

CP40.green_Gartside.print.indd 45 12/04/2018 09:48


G R E E N G A R T S I D E

Blu e In G r een...
HANGING WITH JAZZ LEGEND MILES DAVIS
The iconic Miles Davis covered Scritti Politti’s Perfect Way in 1986. So began an unlikely friendship
that saw Gartside asking Davis to play trumpet on Oh Patti (Don’t Feel Sorry For Loverboy). “He came
to the studio for a day, and it was just David [Gamson], Miles and I there. Miles didn’t bring anyone else
with him, which I thought he would. I filmed a lot of that day, and nobody has seen it, but it’s interesting.
Miles was quite nervous almost in a way, cautious, he spent quite a lot of time going over the changes
at the piano, and then going back to the trumpet and back to the piano, figuring things out.”
Subsequently, Gartside used to visit Davis in his New York apartment. “People would say he was
kind of bonkers, but he wasn’t, and it was a privilege to go to his apartment. He had a wall
of tapes of him playing live shows and would go through them, and say: ‘Listen to this,’ and pull out
Munich in 1970-whatever to listen to. And then he showed me all of his paintings.”
A picture of the duo exists, showing them touching hands. Gartside says: “I’m wearing sunglasses in the picture because I have
a hangover, which was not uncommon during those very hedonistic times...”

and make beats. So that’s what I started Trade, got in touch with Gartside to invite
doing in Wales. I was just playing around him back to the label and he relocated
and that was the first foray back into putting permanently to the capital.
any sort of music together.”
He moved back to London when his ON THE ROAD AGAIN
sister asked him to rent her house. “That’s In 2006, he made a Scritti album for
when I felt revived and alive again to make Rough Trade, White Bread Black Beer, that
music,” he says. He got back in touch with garnered a Mercury nomination, allowed
Gamson and took demos to Virgin. “I made in bubblegum pop influences and was
Anomie & Bonhomie in New York and Los as clever as anything he’s ever recorded,
Angeles. That was a record that began to but somehow much more relaxed about
admit some of the hip-hop influences, but its cleverness.
also some guitar-y stuff.” “It was just me being happy at home,
Unlike the Scritti albums of the 80s, and finally finding a home to be happy in,”
which were assembled “part by part, he says. “I loved moving to Dalston. I found Nominated for the 2006
Mercury Music Prize,
piece by piece” as exercises in “sonic the possibility of me playing live [to be] real White Bread Black Beer
engineering,” Gartside put together again, in my local pub, making friends and would see Gartside
“a tight little band.” The band that recorded having a sense of community.” return to the stage and
perform his first gigs in
on Anomie & Bonhomie included Prince While Gartside has yet to complete a almost 25 years
guitarist Wendy Melvoin and Abe Laboriel follow-up – and when we meet he’s worried
Jr, who now drums with Paul McCartney. that thanks to a computer software issue,
“Everybody knew what the songs were he can’t access the material he’s amassed
and how they went – it was unbelievable!” in the years since then and which might
says Gartside. “It was a bit more traditional eventually make “a very good record,
in that respect and I had just the best time maybe the best” – he’s been consistently
making it. I was happy and I had nice as busy as you’d imagine he needs to be.
places to stay in New York and LA. I was Despite recurring problems with stage
friends with David again, which mattered fright, he’s toured semi-regularly, both as
hugely to me. I was very upset that we’d Scritti Politti and on one-off projects that
not seen each other after the break-up... have piqued his curiosity, such as dates
breakdown thing. in tribute to the late Sandy Denny
“People say it was a very strange record, of Fairport Convention in 2012, the
an odd record that only a mother could intersection with the folk world further
love or whatever.” confirmation that he’s over pop.
As Gartside hints, the album wasn’t Or perhaps not entirely over it. Late last
a hit and received mixed reviews. Despite year, Gartside went out on the road with
jumping all over the place stylistically, Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip and played Scritti
from rock to jangly pop to hip-hop and hits as part of the show.
even a hint of show tune on Brushed With “I never thought those Scritti songs
© Tom Sheehan

Oil, Dusted With Powder, it has aged from the 80s would be played live.
surprisingly well, helped by the abiding I never thought I could sing them.
strength of Gartside’s melodies. But you can and they’re great fun
More to the point, Gartside was back to play... it’s an incredible pleasure
in the world of music and musicians in after all those years to actually make
earnest. Geoff Travis, founder of Rough that music.”

46

CP40.green_Gartside.print.indd 46 12/04/2018 11:48


“I NEVER T
HOUGHT T
SCRITTI SO HOSE
NGS FROM
80s WOUL THE
D BE PLAYE
I NEVER TH D LIVE.
OUGHT I C
SING THEM OULD
. BUT YOU
AND THEY CAN
’RE GREAT
TO PLAY... IT FUN
’S AN INC
PLEASURE A REDIBLE
FTER ALL
THOSE YEA
RS TO ACT
MAKE THA UALLY
T MUSIC”
G r e en Ga r ts
id e

47

CP40.green_Gartside.print.indd 47 12/04/2018 09:48


Top
p
15
o p
Sop hi st i -
al b u m s
BY MIXING ELEMENTS
OF JAZZ, R&B AND SOUL,
15
CURIOSITY KILLED
14
TALK TALK
13
SCRITTI POLITTI
A NEW WAVE OF ARTIST
THE CAT THE PARTY’S OVER (1982) CUPID & PSYCHE 85 (1985)
EMERGED DURING THE KEEP YOUR DISTANCE (1987) Thanks to its emphatic synth Despite a name that
MID-80S, BRINGING The opening one-two combo riff and simple chorus, it’s suggests they’d do a
of the singles Misfit (which impossible not to be swept along convincing turn as post-punk
WITH THEM A CERTAIN would reach No.7) and Down by opening track Talk Talk. The noisemongers, Scritti’s second
CULTURED ELEGANCE To Earth (No.3), immediately rest of the group’s debut similarly long-player is a forward-looking
takes you back to Curiosity’s hurtles along, bringing together collection of Quincy Jones-
TO THE CHARTS.
1986-87 heyday. For a brief classic synth-pop with considered influenced synth-pop. While the
HERE IS OUR PICK OF moment, their accessible blend lyrics. Indeed, Mark Hollis’ reggae-tinged The Word Girl was
THE SOPHISTI-POPS of pop, soul and funk, and boy captivating vocals are a high the album’s most successful single
band looks, made them very much point of the record, and every reaching No.6 in the UK charts,
O L I V E R H U R L E Y in vogue: on its release in April track – whether it’s Today, with far stronger are songs such as
1987, Keep Your Distance spent its chant-along chorus, or the the Prince-esque Small Talk, and
two weeks at No.1. It remains rhythmic new wave of Hate – ultra-slick Wood Beez (Pray Like
an intriguing time capsule. is packed with hooks. Aretha Franklin).

“AZTEC CAMERA’S LOVE IS SO POLISHED


YOU COULD SEE YOUR REFLECTION IN IT”

O8
AZTEC CAMERA
O7
JOHNNY HATES JAZZ
O6
EVERYTHING
O5
SWING OUT SISTER
LOVE (1987) TURN BACK THE BUT THE GIRL IT’S BETTER TO TRAVEL (1987)
Aztec Camera’s third album CLOCK (1988) IDLEWILD (1988) Swing Out Sister’s debut is,
is so polished you could see If sophisti-pop is all There’s a real easy-listening at its heart, a radio-friendly
your reflection in it. In a conscious super-slick production, vibe to the Hull duo’s fourth electronic album – albeit one that
move away from his indie roots, introspective lyrics and rich album. You can’t help but be takes its cue from 60s pop, jazz
Roddy Frame employed more instrumentation (not to mention captivated, though, by Tracey and early house. The songs are
than 20 session musicians to dapper suits), then Johnny Hates Thorn’s beautiful voice. Their given added layers of warmth
make the record. The hugely Jazz’s debut album is surely cover of I Don’t Want To Talk and depth thanks to Corinne
catchy Somewhere In My Heart one of the genre’s classics. The About It (originally recorded Drewery’s distinctive vocals and
reached No.3 in June 1988 but three-piece were clearly on to by Crazy Horse) reached No.3 the shrewd use of a horn section
is actually atypical of the rest of something: four singles went Top and is a heartbreaking piece of and real strings. The upbeat single
the album, and the best songs 20 and the album itself debuted acoustic pop, while songs such Breakout remains their most
here, such as How Men Are, are at No.1. Even 30 years on, lead as Blue Moon Rose and Love Is recognisable moment but there’s
prime examples of moody yet single Shattered Dreams is as Here Where I Live create an an almost cinematic feel to many
oh-so-glossy soul-pop. much of an earworm as ever. unmistakable sense of yearning. of the numbers here.

48

CP40.Top15_SP.print.indd 48 10/04/2018 15:56


T O P 1 5 S O P H I S T I - P O P A L B U M S

12
HUE AND CRY
11
THE BLOW MONKEYS
1O
THE STYLE COUNCIL
O9
DEACON BLUE
SEDUCED AND ANIMAL MAGIC (1986) CAFÉ BLEU (1984) WHEN THE WORLD KNOWS
ABANDONED (1987) This is adventurous pop After he disbanded The Jam YOUR NAME (1989)
This was the first album to music of substance – there’s at the end of 1982, Paul On its release in April 1989,
be released by the Scottish more to the album than the group’s Weller formed The Style Council When The World Knows
duo. For the most part, this is a best-known hit Digging Your with keyboardist Mick Talbot to Your Name entered the charts at
relentlessly jaunty collection driven Scene. Take, for instance, the title explore his interest in soul, jazz, No.1 and cemented the Scottish
by a rich array of funk bass, jazz track, with its sweeping strings, R&B and more. The 13 tracks band’s status as consummate
guitars and horns – of which the blasts of sax and tempo changes, here cover everything from a purveyors of insistent melodies and
infectious Labour Of Love is a or the R&B of Wicked Ways, boogie-woogie instrumental captivating harmonies. In contrast
prime example. The orchestral which isn’t that far from what The (Mick’s Blessings) to ill-advised to the melancholic sound of their
album closer Truth, all strings and Rolling Stones were doing at the rapping (A Gospel). But, in debut, 1987’s Raintown, songs
piano, gives vocalist Pat Kane the time. Burn The Rich even has a between such curios, this record such as Fergus Sings The Blues and
chance to unleash his full country twang to it. Despite its is full of poignant moments, Real Gone Kid have an energetic
Sinatra-esque croon and is a eclectic influences, Animal Magic including the No.5 single immediacy while also embracing
pleasant change of pace. is both coherent and compelling. My Ever Changing Moods. blue-eyed soul and Celtic music.

“THE LEXICON OF LOVE IS ONE OF THE


DEFINITIVE ALBUMS OF THE 80S...”

O4
PREFAB SPROUT
O3
SADE
O2
KATE BUSH
O1
ABC
STEVE MCQUEEN (1985) DIAMOND LIFE (1984) HOUNDS OF LOVE (1985) THE LEXICON
If ever an opening track With their monstrously When a record’s opening OF LOVE (1982)
was there to wrongfoot the successful debut, Sade triumvirate is Running Up This is one of the definitive
listener, the rockabilly-infused created a timeless amalgamation That Hill (A Deal With God), albums of the 80s and
Faron Young is surely it. But the rest of smooth jazz and R&B. Across Hounds Of Love and The Big Sky, among the finest British debuts
of Steve McQueen (Two Wheels the nine confident and unrushed you know it’s something special. ever. Sure, it’s over-the-top –
Good in the US) is an enduring tracks (the majority are around But then, after the more accessible Martin Fry’s vocals wouldn’t be out
example of this County Durham the five-minute mark), Sade Adu’s tracks of its first half, side two of of place in musical theatre – but
quartet’s stylish jazz-pop. Thomas soulful yet understated voice is Kate Bush’s self-produced fifth you can’t argue with the likes
Dolby’s understated production impeccably complemented by an album comprises a conceptual of The Look Of Love and Poison
gives it a less saccharine flavour unshowy backing of saxes, pianos, song cycle. With its extensive use Arrow, while Date Stamp invents
than some other records on this list. keyboards and wah-wah guitars. of the revolutionary Fairlight CMI Frankie Goes To Hollywood. But
With its complex arrangements Sure, the whole thing screams synthesizer/sampler, this is packed the highlight is All Of My Heart,
and poetic lyrics, this is an album 80s dinner party soundtrack... with sonic flourishes and remains a perfect realisation of what
that rewards repeated listens. but what a soundtrack it is. her masterpiece. sophisticated pop can achieve.

49

CP40.Top15_SP.print.indd 49 09/04/2018 16:32


T H E L O W

DOWN
© LFI/Photoshot

P R E FA B S P R O U T

T
FROM THEIR he Prefab Sprout story is one of Protest Songs, recorded in 1985 but not
family, faith, bereavement, serious issued until 1989, saw the band explore
QUIRKY ROOTS illness and partial pop stardom. their Northern roots and cover topics such
TO COMMERCIAL Emerging from County Durham in as unemployment, mortality, childhood and
BREAKTHROUGH, THE the early 80s, brothers Paddy (vocals, Princess Diana...
guitar and keyboards) and Martin Sandwiched between these two releases
COUNTY DURHAM McAloon (bass), were joined by was 1988’s smash album From Langley
COLLECTIVE FORMED Paddy’s one-time girlfriend Wendy Park To Memphis, which features notable
Smith (vocals) and Neil Conti (drums), appearances from Stevie Wonder and
BY THE BROTHERS before signing to local independent Pete Townshend. The landmark album,
MCALOON HAVE label Kitchenware. The group quickly established Prefab Sprout as one of
COMBINED CLASSIC built a reputation for smart lyrics and Europe’s biggest draws.
elaborate musicianship, echoing their Jordan: The Comeback was a remarkable
SONGWRITING peers Lloyd Cole, Green Gartside, Edwyn follow-up and another artistic triumph. A
WITH A MASTERY Collins and Roddy Frame. successful greatest hits collection titled A Life
OF MELODY TO Their debut album Swoon was a wonderful Of Surprises came two years later and marked
mix of the band’s eclectic early influences, Prefab’s commercial zenith, but then there was
CREATE ONE OF THE which included Television, Stravinsky, Simon & five years of silence during which both Conti
MOST IMPRESSIVE Garfunkel and T. Rex. Released in 1984, and Smith moved on to other projects. Paddy
BODIES OF WORK it was an immediate cult hit, reaching No.22 returned in 1997 with Andromeda Heights,
in the UK album charts. It ushered in a golden the long-awaited and well-received studio
IN BRITISH POP. period for the band where their output was comeback. Since then, Paddy has continued to
M A T T P H I L L I P S virtually flawless. The classic, Thomas Dolby- produce arresting and deeply personal music,
produced Steve McQueen was released a including three Prefab Sprout albums and one
month before Live Aid in June 1985 and official solo release.

50

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P R E F A B S P R O U T T H E L O W D O W N

T H E M U S T- H AV E A L B U M S

STEVE MCQUEEN FROM LANGLEY PARK PROTEST SONGS JORDAN: THE


1985 TO MEMPHIS 1989 COMEBACK
Sophomore special 1988 Why the wait? 1990
Prefab’s pure pop album Comeback kings
Thomas Dolby was, of course, Speedily recorded and mixed
a bona fide – if somewhat When Thomas Dolby couldn’t at Lynx Studios in Newcastle, The pressure was on Paddy after
reluctant – pop star himself when commit to the whole project, Protest Songs was intended the band’s pop breakthrough with
he got the train up to County Paddy briefly contemplated using to be the quick follow-up to From Langley Park To Memphis
Durham in 1984 to hear 40 of a different producer for each Steve McQueen. Showcasing and he didn’t disappoint on
Paddy’s new songs. With a view song. In the end, he plumped the band’s live sound, it was a album number five. Featuring
to producing the Sprouts, Dolby for three. Dolby helmed the lo-fi affair. However, it was held 19 spookily-assured and
quickly selected his favourites for band’s biggest hit The King Of back until 1989, a year after spiritually-uplifting new
the LP that was to become their Rock’n’Roll and three other tracks. the release of From Langley Park compositions, Paul Lester in the
calling card. Steve McQueen – Paddy would co-produce the rest To Memphis. But the album was Melody Maker described the
renamed Two Wheels Good in with Deacon Blue/Kate Bush worth the wait – it is a moving, album as: “Walt Disney themes
the US – reached No.21 in the man Jon Kelly and ZTT protégé razor-sharp suite of songs dealing produced by Trevor Horn.”
UK and No.4 in NME’s albums Andy Richards. with life and death in the North The band had truly found their
of the year poll in 1985. While the singles Hey East and the social mores of the George Martin in Thomas Dolby
The album spawned four Manhattan!, The Golden Calf, Thatcher years, with detours via who once again impressed with
singles including Faron Young, Cars And Girls and Nightingales Dublin and Princess Diana. a variety of textures and grooves,
Appetite, Goodbye Lucille #1 all missed the Top 40, the quality Protest Songs featured arguably while McAloon’s colourful lyrics
(or Johnny Johnny as it was threshold was exceptionally Paddy’s strongest and most dealt with Elvis, Jesse James,
renamed) and lead single When high. Even ‘filler’ tracks Knock impassioned lyrics to date – the Agnetha Fältskog, God and
Love Breaks Down, which would On Wood, Nancy (Let Your Hair only thing tongue-in-cheek about Lucifer. There was even room for
be reissued in 1985. There was Down For Me) and The Venus the album was its title. These a Jenny Agutter cameo on the
a remarkable consistency of tone Of The Soup Kitchen were easy were not protests against nuclear sublime Wild Horses.
throughout, from the affecting, on the ear and impressively power or war, but rather against Jordan: The Comeback was
J.D. Salingeresque Moving The ambitious. From Langley Park To ordinary life in the mid-80s. another strong-selling record and
River to the musically ambitious Memphis reached No.5 in the UK It peaked at No.18 on the was nominated for the best album
Horsin’ Around. and is their best-selling album. UK album chart. award at the BRITs.

AND THE REST...


SWOON ANDROMEDA THE GUNMAN CRIMSON/RED
1984 HEIGHTS AND OTHER 2013
Recorded in super-quick 1997 STORIES The most recent
time at Edinburgh’s The departure of 2001 Prefab Sprout release,
Palladium Studios, Prefab Sprout’s drummer Neil Conti gave Paddy the Paddy’s one and only album for EMI Crimson/Red was originally borne
debut was co-produced with David opportunity to write and produce saw him teaming up with producer out of a contractual obligation, when
Brewis from Kitchenware labelmates what was for all intents and purposes Tony Visconti, as well as a host of Paddy realised that he owed music
The Kane Gang. a solo album, though he was joined well-respected session players such investment company Icebreaker an
According to Martin McAloon: by his brother Martin on bass and as Carlos Alomar, Jeff Pevar and album... and soon. “The springboard
“We recorded all the backing tracks Wendy Smith on occasional vocals. Jordan Rudess. was panic that I would be sued.
in one day. Bass, drums, guitar, some Engineered by Blue Nile By now, Paddy’s country and So, I did it all in a hurry.”
keyboards, guide vocals, the lot.” collaborator Calum Malcolm and Americana influences were coming Playing all the instruments and
The album was an immediate cult named after Paddy’s new home through loud and clear, particularly recording at home, Paddy worked
hit, reaching No.22 in the UK, and studio, Andromeda Heights is on The Streets Of Laredo, Cornfield fast, an approach that sometimes
Paddy was unrepentant about its probably McAloon’s most tuneful Ablaze, Cowboy Dreams and the rankled with him: “I wish I was more
quirkiness: “There’s lots of odd chords album. The singles, Electric Guitars epic The Gunman, a song first hi-tech. Sometimes I do ache to make
and angles and strange things going and A Prisoner Of The Past, were recorded by pop diva Cher on her a beautiful-sounding Steely Dan-style
on. Really, it was our first time in musically light and lyrically pithy, 1995 album It’s A Man’s World. record like in the old days. But it’s
a studio, and I was into being as while Life’s A Miracle, Anne Marie Beautifully recorded and not everything. So, I then cut my
intensely yourself as you could be. and Swans were mini-masterpieces performed, The Gunman And Other cloth accordingly.”
“We thought that for all the of melody. Stories is typically likeable but lacks Despite its lo-fi credentials,
intricate twists and turns of the music, Andromeda Heights matched the edge of Paddy’s best work. Crimson/Red was chock-a-block
even a record like Swoon would be Jordan: The Comeback’s very healthy It reached a disappointing No.60 with memorable songs such as
as big as Thriller .” No.7 placing in the UK chart. in the UK album chart. Adolescence and Billy.

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T H E L O W D O W N P R E F A B S P R O U T

THE ESSENTIAL SINGLES

WHEN LOVE CARS AND GIRLS HEY MANHATTAN! THE KING OF


BREAKS DOWN 1988 1988 ROCK’N’ROLL
1984 + 1985 (REISSUE) Berating The Boss Taking a bite out of The Big Apple 1988
First Top 40 entry The big hitter!
Co-produced by Paddy and Hey Manhattan! was an ironic
Produced by future Johnny Jon Kelly, McAloon claims that statement on celebrity tourism and “It’s a simple pop song about
Hates Jazz member and Torn he came up with the opening the cult of the Big Apple. Paddy an old pop singer,” said Paddy.
songwriter Phil Thornalley, Springsteen-referencing line was apparently ill with flu on the “I always try to find some
the band’s trademark single “Brucie dreams life’s a highway” day his brother Martin asked The opposite point of view from the
was written by Paddy on completely spontaneously. The Who guitarist Pete Townshend to last thing I did, just because I
16 June 1984: “I remember song became a deconstruction of play on the song. He said: “Our think it would be fun. So after
wanting to write something rock’s clichés: “It’s part homage, Martin walked past this room and Steve McQueen I did King Of
simple. Sometimes it takes time part spoof – a completely Prefab Pete had this Ovation acoustic Rock‘n’Roll. Paul McCartney was
to create melodies and songs, Sprout thing to do,” as Paddy and he was shaking it over his apparently a fan of the song,
but this came in the blink of an put it. head violently. Martin thought: telling the songwriter: “You got
eye. It’s about passionate love The first single lifted from ‘God, he even does it in private!’ the young ‘uns and the oldies
but wasn’t written from my own From Langley Park To Memphis, But then it turned out he’d lost with that!” It reached a very
experience alone.” Thomas Dolby was originally his plectrum inside it, like a mere sprightly No.7 in the UK, but not
When Love Breaks Down slated to produce but was mortal. He was trying to shake it everyone enjoyed the band’s
limped to No.25 in the UK nonplussed by the demo. out... It’s just a straightforward, new pop status: “We actually
singles chart on its re-release in Cars And Girls reached but beautiful, rhythm guitar with get letters from people that say:
early 1985, but provided the No.44 in the UK singles chart in strange chords going on.” ‘We like you hovering around
band with its first US singles February 1988 and spent five Hey Manhattan! would reach the 40 mark...’” Paddy said at
chart entry. weeks on the chart. No.72 in the UK. the time.

ONLY FOR THE BRAVE


I TRAWL THE LET’S CHANGE
MEGAHERTZ THE WORLD
2003 WITH MUSIC
A very personal 2009
response to Paddy’s period of ill- The album was intended for the
health during which he temporarily full four-piece line-up but ended
lost much of his sight. The almost up being a solo project for Paddy.
hour-long piece is beautifully Unfortunately, it sounds sorely in
realised but remains a challenge. need of some band input.

THE SOUND OF CRYING A PRISONER


OF THE PAST

NEED TO KNOW
1992
Sign of the times 1997
Echoes of Mozzer S H H H
The band hooked up with
producer Stephen Lipson for a The Phil Spector-style lead
track that mused on the possibility single from Andromeda Heights,
of an interventionist god amid A Prisoner... reached No.30 in ● Why has the band got such weren’t pumping gas or
world disasters. the UK chart. a silly name? It is a question tinkering under bonnets,
It’s a heartfelt lyric but all the Paddy said: “I intended it to that has always haunted the they were jamming and
more ironic for featuring the sound like Spector when I was McAloon brothers. Paddy writing songs. “We are
band’s funkiest music to date. writing it, with the sort of volume claims it’s a gentle dig at the literally a garage band,”
The song was actually intended and richness of The Righteous progressive bands of the said Paddy...
for a completely different album Brothers or Scott Walker. I wanted early 70s that the ‘cool kids’
that Paddy was writing about to make my own River Deep – liked at school. ● Paddy’s songs have been
Michael Jackson. Mountain High.” covered by a range of artists
But he added new lyrics in Lyrically, it’s a somewhat dark ● The McAloon brothers learnt including Cher, The Zombies,
April 1991 as a response to tale of unrequited love and an their musical trade between Lisa Stansfield, Jimmy Nail,
the Gulf War. Sadly, as relevant interesting companion piece to 1978 and 1981 while Snow Patrol and even Kylie.
today as it was in 1992, The Morrissey’s The More You Ignore working at their dad’s petrol He also contributed the theme
Sound Of Crying reached No.23. Me, The Closer I Get. station in Witton Gilbert, song for the ITV series Where
County Durham. When they The Heart Is.

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T H E M U S T- WAT C H V I D E O S
APPETITE THE KING OF THE GOLDEN CALF ELECTRIC GUITARS
During a 1988 interview, Paddy ROCK’N’ROLL The Golden Calf was From The second single from
named Appetite as one of his Prefab embraced their newfound Langley Park To Memphis’ oldest Andromeda Heights was given
two all-time favourite Prefab pop status and had some fun song but the fifth and final single a gently satirical video to suit the
Sprout videos (alongside Cars with it. Acclaimed director to be released from the album. somewhat ironic lyrics. While
And Girls). It’s essentially a band Andy Morahan (Pet Shop Boys, On 17 March 1988, Prefab Paddy’s recitation of the song is
performance of the song shot on Wham!, Tina Turner) had by now Sprout did a signing session at fairly standard and sober, during
a ship with its bow doors open become their go-to guy, and he the HMV megastore in Oxford the choruses there are regular
to the elements. ramps up the glamour to produce Street. Fans attending were then intrusions from actor Phil Cornwell
According to Paddy: “You can the band’s most distinctive video. invited along to the video shoot as a succession of rock icons:
see the sky change from daylight Paddy portrays a louche, gold- that evening at Fulham Studios on Slash, Pete Townshend, Jimi
to night with absolutely no regard suited lounge lizard sitting around Farm Lane, West London, where Hendrix, Slade’s Dave Hill.
for continuity, and I like that!” the proverbial pool with the band, they were duly transformed into A record player, plate of beans
The video is notable for featuring all served drinks by a dancing a frantic crowd gathering to see on toast and paperback copy of
tour keyboard player Michael frog butler. Neil Conti is decked the band play at a nightclub. Look Back In Anger get blown to
Graves, who never recorded with out in garish Gingham cap and The video is essentially a band smithereens, the latter possibly
the band but performed live with shorts in a curious prefiguring of performance of the song, mainly a nod to Paddy’s newfound
them throughout 1985. ‘chav’ couture. A Brylcreemed, notable for featuring Wendy romantic ‘realism’, or maybe just
There’s some fairly elaborate tanned, 50s-style teen idol cavorts Smith brandishing a Fender an acknowledgement that he’s not
facial hair from Paddy and the around, too, possibly a homage Telecaster; Paddy has half- an angry young man any more.
video begins with some home to a similar scene in the Elvis seriously claimed that she does Footage of classic Beatlemania
movie-style clowning on the ship’s movie Blue Hawaii. play guitar on some Prefab Sprout fan mayhem is intercut, too, and
deck. There’s also an interlude Then there are the famous records. However, a decent video then there’s the final shot of an
featuring the band riding the dancing hot dogs... didn’t do much for the single – exploding analogue radio –
same motorbike that adorned the The video wasn’t subtle but it released in February 1989, quite probably the songwriter’s
cover of Steve McQueen – did the trick, helping the band to The Golden Calf only reached comment on the state of pop
a TR6C Triumph Trophy. their biggest hit single to date. a disappointing No.82. music at the tail end of the 90s.
youtu.be/NS0hpiN_z3g youtu.be/4T6e3GJCjow youtu.be/0SvzhKltoAU youtu.be/z-KIHpU2Ly8

“Pete Townshend had this Ovation acoustic and


LISTEN UP! 10 Cruel
he was shaking it over his head violently. Martin Paddy has a habit of surfacing Bacharach-inspired bossa-nova.
when we least expect him, so it’s
thought: ‘God, he even does it in private!’... it possible that his recent collaboration 11 A Prisoner Of The Past

turned out he’d lost his plectrum inside it” with Spike Lee will spark a new
Prefab Sprout album in 2018. Until
A majestic melody meets pithy lyrics.

P A D D Y M C A L O O N then, here are 20 tracks of prime 12 Adolescence


Paddy to delight your eardrums. “Adolescence – what’s it like? It’s
a psychedelic motorbike...”
1 When Love Breaks Down

WHAT’S NEXT?
A song of love, loss and longing. 13 Moving The River
A great novel condensed into
2 One Of The Broken four minutes.
God speaks to us through Paddy!
14 Nightingales
3Don’t Sing Stephen Sondheim meets ZTT.
Despite the success of and YouTube channels of Where it all began.
2013’s Crimson/Red, Keith Armstrong, his manager 15 Cars And Girls

there’s little chance of the and former label boss.


4Hey Manhattan! A gentle nudge in the ribs for Brucie.
Sumptuous slice of ironic pop.
classic line-up Released with no 16 If You Don’t Love Me
reforming. Wendy accompanying 5The World Awake Kylie covered this mid-career corker.
Smith is now a publicity, it Does what it says on the tin.
respected music ON 3 MARCH became the
6 The Sound Of Crying
17 Diana
There’s nothing else in pop quite
therapist; Neil subject
Conti owns
2017, PADDY POSTED of much Heartfelt and affecting lyrics over like this Princess Di ‘tribute’.
their funkiest groove.
a recording A VIDEO OF HIMSELF SINGING discussion on 18 Talking Scarlet
studio in A NEW SONG ENTITLED social media. 7We Let The Stars Go A perfect marriage of words
France; and In December Gorgeous, lilting nostalgia-pop. and music.
Martin is a AMERICA 2017, it was
8 Goodbye Lucille #1 19 Faron Young
music teacher. announced
Oooh Johnny, Johnny, Johnny... Many people’s rockin’-good
On 3 March that Paddy had
introduction to Prefab.
2017, Paddy posted provided some music 9 The King Of Rock’n’Roll
a video of himself singing a for the TV series based on Pop hooks aplenty in their biggest 20 Wild Horses
new song entitled America. It Spike Lee’s 1986 film She’s UK hit. Another classic ballad.
appeared on the Instagram Gotta Have It.

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CP40.Lowdown.print.indd 53 09/04/2018 16:37


54

CP40.melandkim.print.indd 54 09/04/2018 17:02


SISTER
K I M A P P L E B Y

AS ONE HALF OF
THE TRULY ICONIC
80s DUO MEL & KIM,
KIM APPLEBY IS A
AK CT im Appleby has been
out of the spotlight for
a while. In fact, it’s been
so long, that she doesn’t
really remember how
long. She chuckles when
she counts back and
figures it out for herself.
“I’m quite a private person and
introduced to the talented
up-and-coming producers Stock
Aitken and Waterman, who go
on to write material specially for
them and their personalities...
“What was great was that Mel
and I had Mike, Matt and Pete all
to ourselves, because they were
so unknown,” she recalls.
PART OF POP ROYALTY. I don’t really crave the limelight,” “They’d done the Divine thing,
NOW SHE’S BACK, she explains. “So it’s not important remixed Dead Or Alive, and Pete had
something to do with Musical Youth’s
for me to keep the profile out there,
HEADING UP A I guess.” But there’s another reason Pass The Dutchie. It wasn’t known as
she’s turned down numerous The Hit Factory then either – just PWL.
BBC FOUR SERIES interviews, television shows and Mel and I were very lucky because all
CALLED THE 80s POP reality programmes. the songs were personalised to us. It
“Sometimes I feel that I’ve said was a great time.”
ROAD MAP WITH enough about the Mel & Kim story, She elaborates further on how
and what went on there. I just feel that their first recording session with SAW
CO-PRESENTER MIDGE sometimes it becomes quite repetitive.” could’ve gone quite differently...
URE. THE PWL LEGEND However, it is a tale that bears “We recorded a track called System,
repeating, because the Mel & Kim which ended up on the album, and
TALKS US THROUGH A story is pop gold: sisters, from then they took us down the pub. We
Hackney in London, record a demo were streetwise Hackney girls with
LIFE IN MUSIC. in 1985 which lands them a deal strong accents and laughs. They were
D A R R E N S C O T T with Supreme Records. They are then asking us tons of questions about

55

CP40.melandkim.print.indd 55 09/04/2018 17:02


K I M A P P L E B Y

“I JUST DON’T FEEL


THAT MEL AND I WERE
PART OF THAT HIT FACTORY.
THAT’S THE GOD’S
HONEST TRUTH.”
where we lived and what we did. We were there with
them for a good hour-and-a-half and the story goes that
Pete went back to the studio and said: ‘scrap that track,
we need something tough for these girls’ and that’s
where Showing Out (Get Fresh At The Weekend) came
in. The rest all followed like that... songs like F.L.M. –
which I think you know doesn’t really stand for Fun, Love
and Money. That’s what I mean when I say that we were
very lucky, we had their undivided attention and those
songs were written around us.”

SPECIAL MEMORIES
Sadly, their time was cruelly cut short when, in January
1990, Mel passed away aged 23 from cancer. But, as
Kim goes on to suggest, they wouldn’t have continued
working with the hitmakers. “I think we were probably
going to do our own thing at that point,” she says.
“We’d discovered that we could do this and
that we were pretty good, too. We enjoyed
the process so much. By that time we would
have gone on to find other producers
because the boys seemed so
preoccupied. I mean, they really
were churning stuff out. They were
just dominating the charts and
there wasn’t a week when

Y
they didn’t have at least one

O U R P RO P E RT
NOT Y
.
with F.L.M
ing new

I’M
so m e th a rn e rs ,”
to do om W
r, th e re are plans im c a talogue fr o w . T h ey’ve
v e K n
Howe
o u g h t th e Mel & te ly e v erything , w hich
ersion s just b abso lu dition
/ o r e x panded v ,
“They’ve C h e rr y Red have g to d o another e
luxe an d t least ls. “ e goin
urs of de e being a she revea , so they’r n
the rumo for the tim rs to e masters xe editio
It see m s th a t
lo a lb u m s a re ,
o w n th e m a st e
s b o u g h t th
n ta st ic .” th e ir 2 010 delu li k e
so l] stil l y plan l be fa fer fro m looks
ppleby’s cord labe re are an I think wil n will dif s? – but it
of Kim A a m . “[The re e d enies the y . n ew versio x se t, perhap
e d re a s sh k a w a w th is s b o
just a pip ,” Kim sa
ys, Brea Ho single ase.
lo album masters to uess – a a CD rele Kim says.
my firt so h o u g h I own the y c a n ’t I find the is a nyone’s g fi n a ll y b e getting a n y remixes,”
a se . “ A lt y in g ‘w h h a e s m ig h t d o so m c o ver all
for a re-r
ele
gs from fa
ns sa master, rare mix used to ack to
fe w th in e c a u se I own the it h it s th e k in th e day you e s o f th e same tr tr e a t. There
I’ve seen
a
a n d that’s b t th e re, once “Bac e , fo ur remix b e in for a
m ’, y train o u I th re g to
ay albu a runawa nice idea
and
“You’d h
ave
guys are
goin
t of day.”
Breakaw kles. “It’s e a really ce it to I think you w the ligh
e c h u c w o u ld b u ld li c e n a s, so t n e v e r sa
ha!” sh uess that e I co are re tha
at’s it. I g at. Mayb mething
to think uff on the
internet th u t re p a c kaging th re . It ’s so will be st
ught abo out th e
have tho uld put it
R e d a n d they co
Cherr y the line.”
her down
about furt

Aside from the dancefloor


hits, Mel & Kim were
celebrated for their style
which combined urban street
wear with high fashion

56

CP40.melandkim.print.indd 56 11/04/2018 13:08


y,
t-t-t-tay-ta
tay, tay,
Tay, tay, or le av e the
take
tay, tay – was an
pectable
video, Res t which took 87
Mel
ib le hi 19
irresist M ar ch
No.1 in
and Kim to

She still has a lot of memorabilia hidden away,


including “gold, platinum and triple platinum discs”,
gloves, hats, jackets and magazine covers. “People ask
‘why the discs aren’t hanging on the walls?’” Kim says.
“It’s just not me, to be honest with you. For me, it’s my
little secret. It’s Mel and I’s little thing... and I’d like to
keep it as Mel and I’s little thing... my memories of
what we did. I want to keep it close to her and I.”

A BREAK AWAY
Solo albums, Kim Appleby and Breakaway followed
onour:
In her h in 1990 and 1993 respectively, and then Kim was
Kim’s
Much of
9 9 0 d e but solo rarely to be seen. Until now... “It’s a long time, isn’t it?”
1
atured she considers. “I mean, even for me, I can’t believe
album fe
s co -w ritten
son g
M el that I’ve been gone for such a long time. And it
w it h
was by choice. After Mel passed away, I made
the first solo album in her honour. I put so much
energy into it and wanted to showcase some
of the songs we’d been writing during her
illness. By the time of Breakaway I wasn’t
enjoying it anymore or happy with the
way the music was going. I wanted
to take a rest and collect my thoughts.
I was on a personal quest to show the
world the legacy she had left behind and
didn’t really take any time out to grieve. I found
it quite lonely. Especially on the road travelling
without Melanie. I missed my homelife and decided
that I didn’t want to be in the limelight.”
It’s the creative process, writing in particular, that
track in the Top 10. I think Mel and I also felt that it had Kim says she enjoys most and continues to do so. Being
become very samey and we didn’t want that. We would free of a major label meant she could make her own
never have wanted that for our music because, as I said, decisions, “release the odd little dance track here and
it was a very personalised sound. there” and write for other artists.
“It had all become very formulaic, so I’m pretty sure How then, did she get involved with the British
that Mel and I would have wanted to have gone on to Academy of Songwriters, Composers And Authors?
work with other producers, or at least experimented “In 1991, I was nominated for an Ivor [Novello] in
with another sound. the best contemporary song category for Don’t Worry.
“I don’t feel like Mel and I were really part of the I lost to Adamski’s Killer, and rightly so because it’s just
Hit Factory. That all came about a year or so later. an amazing track. Because BASCA do the Ivor Novello’s
I don’t associate Mel and I with it and that’s the I started to get involved and that’s what I did for a
God’s honest truth.” number of years, about 15 years, in fact.”

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CP40.melandkim.print.indd 57 09/04/2018 17:03


Stints in soap operas such as Doctors and
The Dream Team followed, along with her
own internet radio (“one of the first actually”)
ry
and travelling abroad. “So I kind of did I were ve
“Mel and all the Stock
everything that kept me away from being ause
lucky bec an
nd Waterm d
a pop star basically,” she laughs. Aitken a se
s w er e personali
“Then, 10 years ago, my mum was song im Appleby
s” – K
to u
diagnosed with an illness and I took time out
to care for her. I dedicated a lot of time to
looking after my mum, but she sadly passed
away in October last year. So, it has all been
a bit of a journey, to be honest with you.” don’t want to say it’s longer because I’ll feel old!
It reminded me how much I loved performing and
RESPECTING THE PAST I didn’t realise how much I missed it.”
Last year she returned to the stage, performing at The bug must have bitten her, because she’s
the Rewind Festival, something she repeatedly refers making more festivals appearances this year,
to as “huge”. “It was a really big deal, because I’d performing a full set of Mel & Kim numbers.
never performed Mel & Kim songs solo,” she says There’s even new music. Sort of... Fans will
thoughtfully. I’d been asked many, many times to do no doubt be well aware that a ‘new’ Mel &
that. I’ve been offered silly money but always turned Kim song has recently surfaced. Where Is Love
them down. I performed Respectable for the first is available to download via the usual outlets,
time in 25 years... I think it might even with physical editions from PledgeMusic.
be longer, but I really “It was a track that Mel and I did before we
were famous,” Kim explains. “I think it was the
demo that got us the deal with Supreme Records,

T H E
and we recorded it in a kitchen. It was such a

T ’
THA IS S
long time ago!”
In fact, it was so long ago that when the people
behind the Mel & Kim website [Krisztian and Iain]

WAY IT
sent her the track, she couldn’t believe it was them.
“I didn’t recognise it at all. But when they came back
with the full story, I remembered recording the vocals
ing part and feeling terrified. Melanie was always a lot more
u g h o ri g inally be & Kim knew
altho , Mel confident than me. We recorded it and then Steve
tion that, it Factory udio was
m o n m isconcep k n o w n as The H e re th e st Rowland, who was the American producer who kind
It’s a co m
r becom e e were th Rick
u ld la te w h e n w P W L. “I think of discovered us, said that he was going to take it to
of w h a t w o tr u th is , rd in g a t u rn s. Pete
o f th e a cts. “The of their time reco y w e m et Pete B er him this label that had the artist Princess and who’d recently
many says Obviousl ound. I rememb
mpty,” Kim s of tea! had
usually e d to make us cup ed You Spin Me R t my face, and I had a huge hit with Say I’m Your Number One... the
y ] u se re m ix k in g a o u t
[Astle y had was loo ing ab rest is history.”
a s th e re when the
s it to o k , and he e d o u t h e was talk t my nose
w job turn to g e
w many about. It ad taken
asking ho t he was talking m a n y jobs it h over, because sh
e FRESH START
id e a w h a g m e h o w e la n ie d le r, and
n o in M d
o se . H e was ask m e m b e r calling d io li k e a wild to d sh e For the vocals on Where Is Love to be extracted
my n did. I re e stu
around th e had a nose job ” She
!’ An properly, technology had to catch up. It now comes
lo o k th e way it ru n n in g v .’
to and thinks I’ nose
buzzing inks! He my mum’s cent with a host of contemporary mixes, as well as ones
was just ss w hat he th n a h , she’s got th a t lovely ac
u e h , ’ in that boast the iconic original Mel & Kim sound.
saying: ‘g im and says: ‘na e was like ‘eff off
to h dh n’t Does this mean there are more unearthed gems
goes up round an they were em
He turned er – and
laughs. “ .” recall o n e o th
ut we ’d se e th out there somewhere?
that he h
ad
ts , K im can only a n a ra m a there, b lie, Jason and “No, I think that would be it,” Kim says matter-
er a c w Ba n eK y
As for oth dio... “I never sa t studio. By the tim cancer, and we of-factly. “I think that there’s nothing else out there
stu uie w ith
eve n in th e
y a very , v e ry q
en diag n o se d where did
a s re a ll e l h a d b e in k in g: ‘wow, featuring the two of us together.”
out. It w th e re M t h o m e th
It’s a whole other story for solo material...
else was e were a
everyone ctators to it all. W In 2016 the single, What’s Not To Love, was
e sp e
becam om?’”
t come fr due to kickstart things once again. “I wrote
all this lo

58

CP40.melandkim.print.indd 58 09/04/2018 17:03


“I’M GOING TO SOUND
OLD NOW, BUT I THINK
THE 80S WAS AN
INCREDIBLE TIME FOR
CREATIVITY ACROSS
THE BOARD – FROM
MUSIC TO FASHION...”
British invasion and it was an incredible time. You just
felt that it was all there for the taking. Anything was
possible if you had the talent and you were creative.
It was all there and a really great time.”
She says she’s enjoyed the experience of working
with BBC Four so much that she’d love to do more.
“I love music and I know my music. My father
16 tracks with Dominic came here in the 50s on the Windrush and
King in the Pyrenees, and then I had brought his music with him. I kind of grew up
a few remixes done of it, because with original ska. So, by the time it got to The
I wanted to make it sound more Beat and The Selecter, it wasn’t a new sound to
contemporary. But then my mum was me. What was new to me was the set-up. It was
ill and I put everything on hold and racially diverse and that is what was new to me.
I haven’t gone back to it – it’s still Then my mum loved Al Green and there was
sitting there and I’m looking for John Holt and Helen Reddy. I’m very eclectic
a producer. with my music taste!”
“From a songwriting point of view So a less reluctant television presenter then?
there are some really great tracks. But “Yeah, well, I love talking about music!” she
I guess I’m still a little bit of a reluctant chuckles. “I still love music, I’ve always
pop star as well.” loved music. It’s part of my DNA. I never
Why, you may ask, has a reluctant want that to change. You got me with
pop star agreed to front a new show on BBC the reluctant pop star, haven’t you? It’s
Four? “Because it’s music and it’s about the what Tony Swain, from Swain & Jolley,
80s,” she replies without hesitation. “I think used to call me. At the time I didn’t really
the subject matter is just incredible. I’m going understand what he meant by being
to sound old now, but I think the 80s was reluctant. But obviously he saw something
an incredible time for creativity right across in me that I didn’t – years later I understand
the board – from music to fashion. what he means.”
“You’d go out and you’d customise your It seems she’s not as opposed to the idea
clothes to try to be different. It was a time of embracing a dancing nation once more.
when everyone tried to be different and “I’m sure I will release music, but I want it to
image was everything. It was certainly very be right,” she says. “I’m a bit of a perfectionist,
close to my heart when I was young.” Where Is Love and I’m quite hard on myself so I don’t want to
The show, The 80s Pop Road Map, sees Kim and is available to send just anything out there.”
download via the
Midge Ure travelling across Britain to interview other usual outlets,
But as well as the fans, there’s someone else she wants
pop stars about why certain sounds came from different with physical to get things right for. “I want to do something that I
parts of the country. editions from think Melanie would be proud of, too,” she explains.
PledgeMusic “Because Melanie’s always at the forefront for me. I
“We visit every area of the country to chart the
change in the British music scene and discover musical really want to get it right for her at these shows this year.
influences. You had electro coming out of Sheffield, the I’m giving back to my sister. She has probably been
ska movement in the Midlands, this hybrid country sound saying for the last 30 years: ‘why haven’t you gone out
coming out of Scotland, dance culture in London and there and celebrated us?’”
psychedelia coming out of Liverpool. So, contrary to what Kim might believe, there’s still
“It was the days before streaming services and the plenty of life, love and tales to be told in the Mel & Kim
ability to hold your entire music library in your pocket. story yet.
A time when UK artists were releasing records and
having hits on both sides of the Atlantic. Today Adele, ● The 80s Pop Road Map is set to be
Ed Sheeran and Coldplay, they’re the hardcore ones broadcast on BBC Four in early July. Visit
flying the flag for Britain. Back then, there really was a www.melandkim.com for further information.

59

CP40.melandkim.print.indd 59 12/04/2018 09:22


A R E A

RICHARD SMITH’S CREATIVE OUTPUT INCLUDES


A DIVERSE RANGE OF CLIENTS AND
STELLAR COLLABORATIONS. AS HALF OF s
uild
THE DESIGN DUO, AREA, THE GRAPHIC it y & G For
n
a C Desig rd
DESIGNER’S IMPRESSIVE POP PORTFOLIO er o
Aft rse in uildf e,
g
G d
cou t at Colle igne
WAS HUGELY INFLUENTIAL IN THE 90s. n
Pri nical mith at
s
h
Tec ard S a HND lege
A N D R E W D I N E L E Y h l
Ric to do n Co then
o
up Lond g, he ith tes
n
the rinti job w ssocia
P
of ded a ille A

H
v
ow did you get arranged a meeting. On the day of lan er Sa
Pet
involved with my interview I waited several hours
design and was for him to arrive (I later realised this
it always your was ‘normal’ for him) and at the end
intention to work of our very interesting conversation,
in the field of sleeve art? I was offered a job.
When I was finishing my last year
of school in Guildford I spent much What was the first sleeve
of my free time at the local record design commission for you
store or working on a fanzine called after the formation of your
Catcrap with a friend. This became own design studio, Area, at
the gateway to the rest of my career. the end of the 80s?
I was on the verge of leaving It was Personal Jesus, the first single
school and looking to go to college, from Depeche Mode’s 1990 album,
but had no clue what I wanted to Violator. For Personal Jesus, Anton
do. Fortuitously, my school career Corbijn created the entire cover
guidance counsellor said: “If you sleeve as a square painting, which uth
,
like fanzines why don’t you do this we photographed. This approach O f Tr the
icy d
se ight’
graphic design course at Guildford became challenging when the Pol tili l
For ard u inted had
h e
Technical College?” Within a few record company asked for a cassette Ric e ‘pa ect h n
f
sam to ef Anto hey ue
months, I enrolled on a City & version or a rectangular in-store h
pho d wit hen t talog
a
Guilds course in Design For Print. I poster... anything that wasn’t square. use bijn w n a c igner
s
was infatuated by the work of Peter For the follow-up single Enjoy The Cor ked o n de
r o
wo fashi no
Saville and his work married my Silence, I asked Anton to break it u
for i Tats
j
obsession with Joy Division and New down into components that I could Ko
Order with my emerging design move around, colourise, edit and
sensibilities. At the end of the course, so on. Most of the ideas came from
I signed up to do a HND at the Anton, but, the more I worked with
London College of Printing. Then, him, the more we discussed ideas.
once I had graduated, I had to start At the beginning of every new
looking for a job. album he usually had a very clear
A friend of my older brother idea about what he wanted to do.
worked at Pentagram and I started However, as I gained his trust, he
a brief internship there. My brother’s leaned on me increasingly to do
friend gave me a list of agencies more of the design.
that Pentagram worked with to
help me search for a job. One of For Depeche singles Policy
those agencies was Peter Saville Of Truth and World In My
Associates (PSA). When I called Eyes, you moved away from
them, Peter answered the phone the naturalistic forms and
and, within a few minutes, I had dominant darkness, to

60

CP40.popart.print.indd 60 10/04/2018 16:39


A R E A P O P A R T

e
rst ter h
s fi f
h a rd’ on, a as lator
i
Ric miss rea, w s Vio

com ed A Mode ding
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A nto ussed ad a ed hi
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m e fr we d usual as I g esign.
e a s ca more um he ever, the d
id the lb w of
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o n d
M ost d with ever y ed to to do

ork
e of ant gly
I w inning t he w reasin
a c
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beg ut wh me in
o
ab ed on
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any oll a
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s g
had rner p’ pa orkin
o
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i
– R h Dep 61
wit

CP40.popart.print.indd 61 09/04/2018 17:24


For
cam the 1
the paign 997 U
A G singl , incl ltra
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and ard i o Go seles
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ter r t
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r
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es on ed l
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“Fo
cov r the
wa er, th Ultra
s e
ste mad lett album
n e
on cil ch e by p ring
pap to ph aract rojec
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gle or m
s” ost
of

62

CP40.popart.print.indd 62 09/04/2018 17:24


A R E A P O P A R T

embrace more vivid colours For the Ultra campaign idea of riffing off corporate graphic
and portraiture. in 1997, you incorporated language. They really liked that
Before Policy Of Truth I’d worked a range of source material industrial aesthetic so I think that’s
with Anton on a catalogue for into the designs – from where it started.
a fashion designer called Koji drawings and photographs
Tatsuno. He’d just started shooting to iconography… In 1991, you worked with
colour photography after years of For the cover of Barrel Of A Gun, ABC on the sleeve of their
black and white. The imagery in Anton allowed me to do whatever album Abracadabra and
that fashion catalogue utilised the I wanted with his photos and I fully its singles, Love Conquers
same ‘painted light’ photo style capitalised on that. I was really into All and Say It. The album
as Policy Of Truth. The process this fake handmade aesthetic at the cover shared some visual
exaggerated the film time, using the computer to create themes with Enjoy The
colour, so you ended a low-fi, scrappy design style, where Silence – an organic element
up with super- I composed scans of my handwriting against a Yves Klein-esque
saturated or bright and drawings. Anton mentioned blue background.
images. World In something about how Dave Gahan There was no conscious decision
My Eyes happened fades away in the image and how on my part to do something similar.
quickly. I think Anton symbolic it was – I think that was Many bands came to Area following
shot some photos of because of what was going on with the success of Violator, and because
the band around New Gahan personally. There was a lot Depeche Mode had been able to
York and that became of uncertainty about the future of the turn a corner away from their ‘pop’
the imagery for band at that time and the music also past. We had a few different ideas
the sleeve. had an aggressive edge. I think the for ABC, but landed on the idea of
sleeve design reflected that. Mute using Lewis Mulatero’s photographs
boss, Daniel Miller, told me that he of seashells, seahorses and starfish.
thought it was the best sleeve Area I think the overarching narrative was
had designed. based on the fact the band had a
For the Ultra album cover, new style, so there were definitely
the lettering was made by aspects of the past they wanted us to
projecting stencil characters on help lose. At the time, Peter Saville
to photographic paper. It was a and Trevor Key had been doing
really interesting technique. There all this cool dichromat imagery for
is an odd aesthetic for most New Order, and Nick Knight had
Aft been experimenting with colour
er
Are suc
of the singles (Home,
wit a we cess w Useless and It’s processing. I think their developing
n
Bad h Nick t on ith D No Good) styles got picked up across the
t M
Dre Seed Cave o wo ,
art am), s (He & Th k
r from that musical landscape.
i i n e
(As st Ni ndus ry’s campaign.
t t
(Ab Is EP zer E rial
)
Con racad and b
b They seem to go In 1991, you went on to work
que abr ABC from the intense with Trevor Key, creating
rs a
All , Love
and to the bizarre to the several sleeve designs for
Say
It) juvenile. For each OMD. What was that like?
single, Anton gave us I’d always dreamed of working with
all the pieces and we my favourite bands and musicians.
put the cover I managed to do that with OMD and
designs it really was an honour. With OMD,
together we had sent our book to Virgin
from those. Records and the art department
arranged a meeting for us with Andy
As well McCluskey. We were able to trade
as Depeche ‘war stories’ about working with
Mode, Mute Peter Saville and we bonded over
Records our memories. The image for Sugar
commissioned Tax was based on an invitation we
you to work with created for a London art gallery
Nick Cave and show. The artist used oil in his work
Nitzer Ebb. to create striking images and Andy
I did a couple of different loved it. There was no one else
projects for Nick Cave. I knew who could shoot the image
I think the Henry’s Dream other than Trevor and that final shot
material came first, which was used dish detergent on plexi-glass.
another Anton collaboration.
He came up with the idea of The sleeves you worked
using a billboard and I created the on for OMD varied in style,
supporting graphics. It was this Pulp particularly the glamorous
Fiction reference. As Is for Nitzer follow-up album, Liberator.
Ebb was a one-off. They were really It was all about an expression of
into skateboarding, and liked the the song or what the song was

63

CP40.popart.print.indd 63 09/04/2018 17:25


P O P A R T A R E A

about. I think that was the reason


why all the sleeves were all
so different. Usually the
first single, album, and
maybe the second single, all
had a similar feel. The story
behind the sleeve for Liberator
is a little more interesting than
some of the others we did. The
original sleeve was banned by
Woolworths because it was too
raunchy. Andy McCluskey
really liked an image
we found by
Stéphane
Sednaoui, which
was originally
created for The Face
magazine. Andy
wanted his own version,
so we commissioned
Stéphane
to shoot a
similar series
of images. Our
model was wearing
a Jean-Paul Gaultier
body suit – with fake
nipples and hair – so
she looked nude. It was
more provocative than the
original, but it made its way
through the entire process It was a lot like Matisse’s
and it was only when Woolworths work, simple collage cut-outs,
complained that we had to come up and I think, because of the
with an alternative. So, we reverted earthy spiritual quality of David’s
to Stéphane’s original shoot for The work and the title of the album, d
ure
Face. They were less provocative, Elemental, there was a vague h ono on
as MD
but still worked. Andy was still connection there. Roland d w h O tor,
i c har k wit ibera g
thrilled that he’d had something was definitely on a spiritual R r L kin
wo x,
to ar Ta l, Wal ay,
banned by Woolworths. journey, so I think much of that Sug versa ilky W s For e
i r h
For OMD’s 1996 album, came through in the cover design. Un The M s Tea al), T g)
t n
On ell a men mera Of
Universal, Peter Saville had shown w e s
as rs (El (Boo (Song ive)
s L
Andy something similar to the In the mid-90s you worked Live sleeve. Because of Fea ature gain tion
Cre DM a Devo
final cover image. Peter may have with two 80s icons, Kim its pure typography and and h An
d
t
even created something that we Wilde and Adam Ant. Was atmospheric photography, Fai
repurposed or redrew. But we there any pressure for the I’d say another favourite is
didn’t actually work with him on design work to reference their Boomerang by The Creatures.
I’ve somehow stumbled into something I love!”

the sleeve design beyond that. I commercially successful past? I’ve always felt really lucky
think he just got a credit because I forget how Kim Wilde came throughout my career and I’m proud
career and I’m proud that, despite having
“I’ve always felt really lucky throughout my

no clue what I wanted to do with my life,

it was his original idea and we about. I remember we were on that, despite having no clue what
liked the association. The images vacation and somehow, I managed I wanted to do with my life, I’ve
were created in a 3D modelling to orchestrate a shoot. I remember somehow stumbled into something
programme and we developed she came across as being very I love!
variations for different purposes: self-conscious about her looks at More recently, I’ve held the
posters, inner sleeves, the Walking the actual shoot. But there was position of creative director at
On The Milky Way single etc. no request to relive the past. Sullivan brand engagement agency
Adam was another person Corbijn in New York City.
Your work for Tears For put us in contact with. Adam didn’t The work I do now is a far cry
Fears was predominantly get involved in the design and we from those early days, but I still
photographic. Was this a only met him a few times – we apply the same principles and
conscious decision with the mostly worked with Marco Pirroni. I’m still driven by the same
band now being a solo subversive attitude.
vehicle for Roland Orzabal? Are there any sleeve designs Record cover design is relatively
We had been working with an artist you’ve worked on that you easy. There’s something about
called David Austen on a gallery remain particularly proud of? what I do today that feels more
project and showed Roland some Barrel Of A Gun, but I also really satisfying, more challenging, if not
of his work. like the Songs Of Faith And Devotion as important culturally.

64

CP40.popart.print.indd 64 10/04/2018 17:06


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CP40.Spring_House_Advert.print.indd 65 10/04/2018 09:44


r lsJu St
D A P H N E &

i
C E L E S T E

G a
w H F
a nn ave u n!

The last time we saw Daphne


& Celeste they were performing
under a hail of bottles, food
and goodness knows what else
at Reading Festival 2000... now
the bubbly pop duo are back to
save the world!

66

CP40.Daphne+Celeste.print.indd 66 10/04/2018 17:10


!
aphne
and Ce
save th leste are
e world back to
HAD , bu
M A Y H AV E that be
achieve t how can
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SHO R T CAN r... And a lot of
B U T AMERI The pa we mea
n
SS, STE Karen D ir – Celeste Cru a lot!
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A MARK
Univers
DUO D al, who et at an auditio aka Daphne
I N L Y LEFT A P.
Three s
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were lo
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C E R TA R L D OF PO the duo les and an alb g to create a
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iends e
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AT K giggling ver sinc la te
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ITS LI FOR
WITH H . G . L . Y. , I S As we c tious. ur and
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URPRIS Karen, . “So, y ith my re ste Save
NOW H A S it will p ou if ge al name
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BACK! F O R ONE O Celeste 035... m o re
NDER LBUMS de or may on Anti
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turns to
their
R E N
D A R

67

CP40.Daphne+Celeste.print.indd 67 11/04/2018 11:09


D A P H N E & C E L E S T E

latest comeback. “Celeste is like a little sister


to me. We’ve been in each other’s lives ever
since we met. But I don’t think we necessarily
ever thought we were going to do this again.”
Before we get to ‘this’, we need to go back
to the beginning...

POWERPUFF GIRLS
“We were kid actors,” Daphne explains. “So
that’s how we got the audition. We got a deal
with Universal who already had two songs written –
Ooh Stick You and U.G.L.Y. – I’m convinced that
the only reason we got it is because we looked like
Anime characters.”
Celeste elaborates: “They were just going to use
cartoons. That was very popular at the time – to not
have an artist and just have a cartoon do it. Do you
remember Gorillaz? So, something like that.”
What they thought was just going to be a free trip
to London soon turned into a job that they discovered
people took quite seriously.
“Once we got to the UK, we realised pop was very
serious. Which was hilarious to us,” Celeste says. There’s
a very long pause when asking if they took it seriously.
“Ummm, no,” Daphne eventually responds before
bursting out laughing. “We definitely didn’t take
it seriously. How could we? It was all so hilarious.”
“They pitched our voices up, we sounded like
chipmunks!” Celeste chimes in. “We were basically
actors. Even the audition itself was a weird audition
to get. My agent was like: ‘OK, so they need two girls
for a pop group’. You don’t really process what that
means when you’re a young performer... you think you
work really hard, find a producer, record an album.
You don’t think you meet these two guys and they’re
like: ‘here are your songs’,” she howls with laughter. of raw meat and a wheelchair. “It really makes
Joining in with the hysterics, Daphne adds: “Also, sense to throw tomatoes,” Celeste considers.
we didn’t realise it at the time, but at that audition “It’s very easy to throw them really far...
we danced to what would become Ooh Stick You. Wheelchairs don’t really go that far.”
So, we were bopping around and afterwards we were Daphne gasps: “Here is something that
like ‘what is that song?’ We were super judgemental I hadn’t thought about until
about it!” now, the tomatoes... they didn’t
Celeste agrees: “We were such bitches, it’s so funny. splatter. Thanks for getting us to
Then we met the woman who wrote our songs and she look back at this!
was amazing. She intended for the songs to be hardcore “I think the bigger thing is
drum and bass.” The pair scream laughing. “So when that wheelchair... did someone
she heard them, that made everything even more give up their mobility because
hilarious for us.” they hated us so much? That’s
Celeste explains that the name change came about interesting to think about. That’s
from the recording session for Ooh Stick You, where real hate... It’s like: ‘I’ll sacrifice.
they played about with different names. “I think at the I won’t see any of the bands
time, somebody wanted to do a Scooby-Doo thing, like I came here to see because
‘Daphne and Velma’. We thought it was just for the song I hate them so much’.”
and didn’t think it was going to stick to this degree.” Celeste thinks for a second and
Celeste starts laughing and the pair are off again... says: “Unless they have a spare
or they’re on crutches now.” Aided by
UNDER ATTACK “I’m thinking that they had another getaway producer Max
Tundra, Save
No interview with Daphne & Celeste would be complete wheelchair waiting,” Daphne suggests. The World
without discussing Reading Festival 2000. It’s written in Now they’ve saved themselves from identified flying sees Daphne
pop history – the duo lied their way into getting a slot, objects, they’re back to save the world with a brand & Celeste
return with
all because Celeste wanted to meet Eminem (who later new record. It’s been a fairly organic process, as you
a delightful
dropped out of performing). They were on a line-up with might expect from a duo that haven’t released an album of
Rage Against The Machine and Slipknot and the stage album in 18 years. modernist
was bombarded with, well, anything the crowd could lay Producer, Max Tundra, originally got in touch with electro-pop,
which features
their hands on. Celeste via Twitter in 2011. The recording of You And a biting
“I have a notebook of everything that was thrown at I Alone followed – either that year or the following, takedown of
us,” Daphne says. “I wrote it right after we got off stage.” they can’t quite recall – and then it sat on the shelf until Ed Sheeran
et al on the
Items included a mirror (pocket version – thankfully – eventually being released in 2015. “We were kind single BB
which they kept), ‘lots of food’ (“food made it far”), packs of just experimenting,” Daphne explains.

68

CP40.Daphne+Celeste.print.indd 68 09/04/2018 16:22


The only way is up for
Daphne & Celeste as they
return with a Max Tundra-
produced sophomore album

Ro&my
aphne and Celeste weren’t exactly embraced
The by the rock community, as seen by their Reading
Festival performance. It seems they managed to

le
ruffle a few other feathers along the way – Daphne

c he
famously mocked Placebo’s Brian Molko in an NME

Mi oF
interview. “I wrote him an apology.” Celeste shrugs.

POP
“We reached out, so I feel like that’s OK.” Daphne nods:
“I think that at some point, we weren’t “We tried to make amends.”
even going to release it,” Celeste ventures. Celeste bursts out laughing. “He didn’t answer the door!”
“I thought it would be really funny to just Daphne considers. “But I feel like we were kinda outsiders
release that one song,” Daphne explains. in all communities. We didn’t really find our group. It’s like

MuSi
“Again, I think there’s something about our when you’re in high school and you just don’t know what
origin as a manufactured pop band – the more table to sit at.” Celeste agrees: “We were just never invited

c
ridiculous the better. So we were just into releasing to anyone’s table, ever.”
Does this make them the Romy and Michele of pop music?
it and seeing what happened. We had such a good
Daphne beams: “That’s actually a brilliant way to put it,
time working with Max that we just felt like we should I think we were the Romy and Michele of pop.
record an album.” “We made some cool friends, but we also were like kinda
“It just feels so right for us that our follow-up album desperate for friends I think at that point, too... I think we
took nearly 20 years,” Celeste smiles. “I think there’s said a lot of things that people didn’t take kindly to –
something deeply satisfying in that for me.” I said that a guy, he was in Five, looked like a muppet.
The positive response to You And I Alone took the girls I thought I was being sweet! But he was really mad
by surprise. “It was the first time that we had not been on and he actually confronted us one day...”
a worst list,” Daphne laughs. “Not being one of the most Celeste laughs. “Because apparently muppet
annoying tracks of the week was huge!” means something else in the UK. It means idiot.”
Celeste tries to put her finger on why album Daphne &
Celeste Save The World works. “What I really like about
the album is it’s an updated mash-up of who we were
when we first came out. It’s a very eclectic album. I like “It definitely isn’t like anything else that was
all the shout-outs to who we were then, they’re peppered on the pop scene at that point,” Daphne agrees.
throughout. Max’s music mixed with Daphne & Celeste “And I would venture to say that this new album is kind
doesn’t really go together, but somehow it does.” of the same... it’s hard to compare it to something else
Daphne agrees: “You can’t really predict where a that’s out right now and we don’t have to worry about
song is going to go next, and that for me is what is really anyone else sounding like us.”
awesome about Max and his work. The longer we kept What’s next then, if this new process has been so
working together, the more we realised how absurd and enjoyable? “I think it’s about 18 years until we have
weird we could push it.” to think about it again,” Celeste replies, and Daphne
Daphne & Celeste Save The World feels nostalgic, but screams with laughter. “Even popstars are taking
also very ‘now’. Out of place, yet ahead of its time. In themselves too seriously now,” Daphne considers. ● Daphne &
many ways, a grown up version of their debut offering... “It’s like, where do we go? I’m going to Max Celeste Save
“I think the thing that’s funny about We Didn’t Say Tundra’s world for a while. That suits me.” The World is
That!, our debut album – it took me a long time to realise Celeste is, as ever, in agreement: “The magical out now on
– it’s got a little bit of everything too,” says Celeste. world of Max Tundra!” all formats.

69

CP40.Daphne+Celeste.print.indd 69 11/04/2018 11:10


The Reflex Automatic
DURAN DURAN (EMI) THE POINTER
So what’s the real story behind Duran Duran’s SISTERS
most successful single? Simon Le Bon has (PLANET)

CP40_Top10.print.indd 70
covered his tracks on occasion by stating the The biggest hit The
lyrics are nonsense and merely the product Pointer Sisters ever
of recording after a couple of bottles of vino had in the UK. It was
destructo, but we think there’s more to it the second song
than that. Fan theories posit that it’s a paean released from their 10th studio album, 1983’s
to masturbation, an oblique celebration of Break Out with Ruth Pointer taking the husky
drug-taking, an exploration into gaining self- lead vocal. Manning the recording console
confidence, or even rather more prosaically were heavyweight pop producers Glenn
a song about keyboard player Nick Rhodes. Ballard and Richard Perry. Look out, too, for
After thorough research, it seems the idea that an extended mix of this track by Madonna
this is an ode on onanism errr stands up best. collaborator John “Jellybean” Benitez. Also
My internet search history now looks shocking included on Break Out was the storming
after trying to write this Neutron Dance track that featured on the
entry. Maybe this will Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack (remember Eddie
remain Duran’s most Murphy hanging on in the back of that open
unknowable song. After truck?) and Jump (For My Love). I’d like to take
all: “Every little thing the this opportunity to thank the Sisters for the freak
reflex does, leaves you funk Pinball Number Count song from Sesame
answered with Street. It’s how I learned to count to 12 without
a question mark.” resorting to taking my shoes and socks off.

Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go Let’s Hear It For The Boy


DENIECE WILLIAMS (CBS)
WHAM! (EPIC)
One of two entries into this Top 10 rundown
You probably know the origin story of
from the movie Footloose. Nominated for
Wham!’s first UK and US No.1 hit, but for
an Oscar for Best Original Song, Williams
the slow ones at the back here it is again.
eventually lost out to former boss Stevie
The title comes from a note that Andrew
Wonder and I Just Called To Say I Love
Ridgeley scribbled to his parents. Meant
You from Woman In Red – in the 70s,
to say ‘wake me up before you go’, he WEEK ENDING 26 MAY 1984 Williams was part of Stevie’s backing band
accidentally wrote ‘up’ twice and added a
Wonderlove. In a previous incarnation as
second ‘go’ on purpose. That’s thinking on OSCAR-NOMINATED SONGS DOMINATE A CHART Deniece Chandler she recorded the Northern
your feet, that is. George took the concept
THAT INCLUDES CLASSICS FROM BOB MARLEY, Soul favourite I’m Walking Away. Let’s Hear
and ran with it, conjuring up a 50s and 60s
It For The Boy peaked at No.2 in the UK’s
pop homage bursting with the usual Wham! WHAM! AND A LYRICALLY OBLIQUE DURAN DURAN
singles chart and features backing vocals
teenage chutzpah. The video, which sees S T E V E H A R N E L L
from George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam,
the band rocking it in Katharine Hamnett-
who would go on to form the duo Boy Meets
designed T-shirts (George’s CHOOSE LIFE tee
Girl – best known for
has become iconic)
their hit Waiting For
was once listed (1) The Reflex A Star To Fall and for
in the NME’s 50 DURAN DURAN (EMI) writing two classics
Worst Music Videos 5TH WEEK ON CHART
1 for Whitney Houston,
countdown. What do
How Will I Know and
they know? Whatever
a

(2) Automatic I Wanna Dance With


happened to the
THE POINTER SISTERS (PLANET) Somebody (Who
NME, by the way? 2 8TH WEEK ON CHART Loves Me).

12/04/2018 13:15
I Want To (8) Let’s Hear It For The Boy One Love /
Break Free DENIECE WILLIAMS (CBS)
People
QUEEN (EMI)
Get Ready
5TH WEEK ON CHART
BOB MARLEY
3

CP40_Top10.print.indd 71
A highlight from the
& THE WAILERS
band’s return-to-form (-) Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go (ISLAND)
album The Works, WHAM! (EPIC) There’s a convoluted
I Want To Break Free 4 1ST WEEK ON CHART back story to one of
was another gem
Bob Marley’s greatest
written by their quiet (4) I Want To Break Free anthems of unity. Marley originally recorded
man bassist, John Deacon. That memorable
QUEEN (EMI) the song in a ska style in 1965, incorporating
solo isn’t a heavily treated Brian May special
7TH WEEK ON CHART snatches of The Impressions’ People Get Ready
by the way, it’s actually played by session 5 written by Curtis Mayfield. As copyright law was
man Fred Mandel on a Roland Jupiter-8 synth.
Equally noteworthy was the promo, which
(5) One Love / People Get Ready not enforced in Jamaica at the time, Mayfield
BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS (ISLAND) went uncredited on the track. Marley revisited
included a Coronation Street parody featuring
6TH WEEK ON CHART it on the 1970 reggae medley All In One but
the quartet dressed in drag. Incredibly, this 6 the most famous version turned up on his Exodus
piece of knockabout fun was deemed too
controversial for audiences in the US and (6) Footloose album of 1977. This was later re-released as
KENNY LOGGINS (CBS) a single to accompany the equally important
was banned by MTV. The song was soon taken
6TH WEEK ON CHART Legend LP – still one of the greatest single artist
on as an anthem in the fight against political 7 compilations of all time. The 1984 video for the
oppression in territories such as South Africa (3) Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now) song featured archive footage of Bob plus Paul
and South America. When Freddie Mercury
PHIL COLLINS (VIRGIN) McCartney, Suggs and Chas Smith, Keren and
performed the song in drag in Rio in 1985 8TH WEEK ON CHART
8 Sara from Bananarama and many more.
before a 325,000-strong crowd, fans pelted
him with stones believing he was belittling (16) Break Dance Party
its importance. Against All Odds
BREAK MACHINE (RECORD SHACK)
9 3RD WEEK ON CHART (Take A Look At Me Now)
PHIL COLLINS (VIRGIN)
Footloose (29) Dancing With Tears In My Eyes I can spot a theme emerging in this Top 10.
KENNY LOGGINS (CBS) ULTRAVOX (CHRYSALIS) Here’s ‘The Collins’ with a further Hollywood
Essentially an updated old school rock’n’roller 10 2ND WEEK ON CHART movie tie-in and yet another Oscar nomination
with a sprinkling of arena rock synths, Loggins for Best Original Song. These nominations are
turns in a punch-the-air anthem that perfectly like buses, aren’t they? Wait for ages, then
encapsulates the situation of the movie’s central three come along at once. Against All Odds...
character, Ren McCormack, played by the Break Dancing was the first of seven US solo No.1s for the
twinkle-toed Kevin Bacon in the days before he Dance Party With Tears Genesis frontman and was originally called
was flogging mobile phone contracts. Like the BREAK MACHINE In My Eyes the rather more sedentary How Can You Just
aforementioned Deniece Williams, Footloose (RECORD SHACK) ULTRAVOX Sit There? (come on, Phil, up your game – that’s
was also nominated for the Best Original Fronted by musician (CHRYSALIS) not sexy enough for Hollywood). The movie
Song at the Oscars of 1985. This year, it and radio DJ Keith The band’s second itself was directed by Mr Helen Mirren, Taylor
was selected for preservation in the National Rodgers, Break biggest hit after Hackford, and starred premier league 80s
Recording Registry by the Library of Congress Machine were the Vienna was influenced saucepot Rachel Ward and Iron Man’s eventual
in the US as being brainchild of producers Jacques Morali and by Midge Ure’s love of the apocalyptic nemesis Jeff Bridges.
“culturally, historically, Henri Belolo, the team behind The Village atmosphere of Bowie’s Five Years from Ziggy Subsequently, Against
or artistically People. The whistling solo in Break Dance Party Stardust... and the novel On The Beach by All Odds was also taken
significant.” To fully is a callback to their other hit, Street Dance, Nevil Shute. Ure poses the question, if you to the top of the UK
cement his 80s movie which made it to No.3 in the UK singles chart had just four minutes to live in the face of singles chart by Mariah
tie-in credentials, in March 1984. The video is best forgotten, impending nuclear destruction, what would Carey and Westlife
Loggins went on to though, and looks like the kind of low-rent you do? Answer: don’t put Led Zeppelin’s in 2000 and X Factor
provide Danger Zone production that The Two Ronnies would have Stairway To Heaven on the stereo, you winner Steve Brookstein
for the Top Gun OST. turned out for a hip-hop parody sketch. won’t make it past the guitar solo. in 2005.

12/04/2018 13:15
S O P H I E E L L I S - B E X T O R

W I T H S T R I N G S

ATTACHED
IT WAS 20 YEARS AGO THIS SUMMER THAT SOPHIE ELLIS-BEXTOR
APPEARED ON THE FRONT OF MELODY MAKER UNDER THE BANNER
“DESPERATELY SEEKING SOPHIE!” AND A HEADLINE THAT DESCRIBED HER
FIRST GROUP AS “THE BEST NEW BAND IN BRITAIN.” IN THE TWO DECADES
THAT HAVE FOLLOWED SHE HAS EMBRACED EURO, DISCO, BAROQUE
AND SYNTH-POP. NOW IT’S TIME TO LOOK BACK…
I A N P E E L

I
didn’t just say: ‘OK, which are the audio memoir than a straight Best Of,
songs that charted the highest?’ The Song Diaries places her voice
I think it’s got to be more about and songwriting front and centre stage,
a shorthand way of saying: ‘these set against a lush backdrop of new
are the songs that tell my story orchestral arrangements.
so far’...” Sophie Ellis-Bextor is But where did the philharmonic idea
explaining the thinking behind come from? Not classical music, as you
which tracks she’s chosen for a new might first think, or even the 80s’ lexicon
greatest hits collection. More of an of pop string arrangements.

72

CP40.Sophie_EB.print.indd 72 10/04/2018 09:41


As Sophie Ellis-Bextor
gets set to release
The Song Diaries,
16 orchestral
reworkings of some
of her favourite
songs, she tells
Classic Pop why these
are the tracks that
tell the story of her
life... so far

IN DISCO,
THE
ORCHESTRA
WOULD BE
FULL-ON...
UNABASHED
EMOTION
© Laura Lewis

S O P H I E
E L L I S - B E X T O R

73

CP40.Sophie_EB.print.indd 73 10/04/2018 09:42


S O P H I E E L L I S - B E X T O R

“I think the disco vibe is probably where


it came from for me,” Sophie explains.
acoustic-based affairs that would set
things up for a disco finale. She would Dear
Diary
“In disco, the orchestra would be full-on still encore with a stripped-back guitar
bells and whistles, all emotion. Like and vocal set, which usually took place
a sweep of everything coming at you off-stage, with the singer popping up in
all at once. Unabashed emotion. the middle of the crowd, on a balcony,
“Pleasure and pain of the heartbreak, or wherever that night’s venue allowed.
all of that. I love it! In fact, it’s kind “It is fun,” she confesses, “and What was that ‘turning point
of what started the beginning I like an element of the moment’ for Sophie, when she
of my solo career. When unexpected. Especially knew she’d broken through to the
I was choosing songs because the last two mainstream? Perhaps reaching
for Read My Lips, records both had No.1 with Spiller or her first solo hit?
I was gigging a slightly different “I think, for me, the one that really
around doing sound, particularly stands out is much more basic,” she
solo club PAs for Wanderlust. explains. “It’s the first time
Groovejet (If This That was much I ever heard anything I’d sung
Ain’t Love), and more folky and played on the radio. It was I Got The
my tour manager left-field. So, in Wherewithal (her debut single as
at the time used a concert, to do lead singer of Theaudience, which
to play Larry lots of Wanderlust reached No.170, no less, in 1997).
Levan’s Live At The at the beginning I liked a lot of the earlier stuff, but I
Paradise Garage of the set, and then think that song really encapsulates
remix album. One go to all the classics – the spirit of the band. I heard it on
track was a seven-minute Take Me Home, Murder Xfm and it was just a moment of:
version of Cher’s Take Me On The Dancefloor and all ‘Oh my goodness, that’s me’. And
Home. So, I said to the label: that stuff – and then to bring it the next moment, that took it up
‘I think I’d like to do a cover of this’. back to something from Wanderlust at another level? “After that, probably
When I did the single version, it was the end was quite nice. I want to do that when Theaudience was on the
a lot more pop and synthy. But when again with the next tour.” cover of Melody Maker, because
I’ve been playing it live more recently In the Wanderlust show we reviewed I used to buy that all the time. Those
I’ve actually got the Larry Levan string in Classic Pop, that encore was a bit of were the two first ‘hits’ that really
arrangement. So, for The Song Diaries a pin-drop moment. made me feel excited.”
I’ve created a hybrid of my single and “They’re not normally that quiet! Over
the Larry Levan version. It has some in Manchester, they could be a bit noisy.
orchestral flourishes and movements
that are absolutely beautiful.”
The Song
Diaries is
DON’T KILL THE GROOVE coming out
Whether it’s the trance of Not Giving Up via Sophie’s
PledgeMusic
On Love, the Italo-flavoured Groovejet or
page in a
the dystopian synths of Starlight, disco variety of
has been at the heart of Sophie’s work, formats
at least for the ‘first chapter’, her quartet with a
number of
of major label albums from 2001 to extra offers
2011. It’s in her roots. “I think people
overlook 70s disco quite a lot because
so much was over-familiar, with so many
big songs. But every once in a while,
I’ll be in the back of a taxi and a track
will come on and you’ll suddenly listen
to it as if you were in the mixing room,
hearing it for the first time. In terms of
musicianship, I consider all musicians
that can play disco to be pretty high-
brow. Their musicality is watertight.
“When I was touring the last record,
Familia, my husband Richard (Jones,
of The Feeling), was playing bass.
On Come With Us, which is a very
disco-based track, he was cautious and
thinking that he didn’t know if he was
able to really play that style. But then,
when he nailed it, it really made him
feel good to know that he could.”
This more recent diversification of
Sophie’s songwriting and sound has seen
her live work become quite a spectacle.
Wanderlust shows in 2014 were rootsy,

74 © Ben Weller

CP40.Sophie_EB.print.indd 74 10/04/2018 09:41


Piece of cake! “Normally, when you walk into
a studio with an orchestra it’s quite
intimidating... but this time I knew probably
three quarters of them when we started”

They just take a while to shut up, really!


I loved it at the Union Chapel in London.
The venue is perfect, because you’ve got
all these pews, so everything’s very neat.
Then you have a balcony for an encore.
You’ve got the acoustics of a church, too.
So when you’re singing it’s not as hard
to project because you’re literally in the
church, whereas some other places it’s
like I have this little tiny voice that I’m
trying to project.”

ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES
All of which paves the way for a new
tour, developing these ideas, with the
arrival of the new orchestral album.
“Ideally, it would be a tour with the
whole orchestra, but that’s not going
to happen!,” she says. “To take an
orchestra on the road would be
amazing, but I think I’ll take eight strings
and maybe a multi-instrumentalist, maybe
two, because each song has its own feel.
“There might be timpani on one
song, flute on another, or woodwind,
brass or harp. There’s only a couple
that have got all the bells and whistles.”
Recording orchestral, even with
a greatest hits, is still a case of an
artist placing themselves in a new
context, working with a ‘new band’,
and unfamiliar faces. It’s certainly

TO TAKE AN a brave departure.


“The recording has been quite

ORCHESTRA intense,” Sophie agrees. “But I think


that’s quite normal for orchestral stuff.
All the sheet music gets done, then it’s
ON THE just a matter of getting the orchestra in
and they’ll play it through.

ROAD WOULD “They might be different to pop or rock


musicians, but we had a nice hybrid for

BE AMAZING
this album.
“Amy Langley, who’s done all the
arrangements, plays cello, her sister
S O P H I E
E L L I S - B E X T O R
Gita plays violin, her other sister Rosie
plays viola. So I already knew three

75

CP40.Sophie_EB.print.indd 75 10/04/2018 09:41


TIMELINE sophie’s choice cuts
F R O M D A R L I N G O F T H E I N D I E P R E S S T O D A N C E F L O O R D I VA
TRIP
T O F U L L - O N O R C H E S T R A L R E - W O R K I N G S O F H E R G R E AT E S T
THE LIGHT
GROOVEJET FANTASTIC
HITS, WE CHART THE CAREER OF SOPHIE ELLIS-BEXTOR

(IF THIS READ MY LIPS Me And My


AIN’T LOVE) Three years after SHOOT FROM Imagination and a
No.1 in both the Theaudience, in the THE HIP sixth Top 10 single,
UK and Australia summer of 2001 – That ‘difficult second Catch You, were
THEAUDIENCE – and No.3 on the and riding off the album’ was a rather the precursors to
The one and Billboard Dance success of Groovejet more intense affair, solo album three,
only album by Chart – and having – Sophie released save for a cover released in May
Theaudience now sold more her debut solo of Olivia Newton- 2007, though its
(although demos than two million album. It reached John’s Physical more memorable
from a follow-up copies, this was No.2, spawning which appeared singles followed after
later surfaced online) the soundtrack of four singles: Take as a hidden track. release: Today The
was released in the summer 2000. It Me Home, Murder Released in October Sun’s On Us and the
summer of 1998 and was also, fact fans, On The Dancefloor, 2003, only two iTunes-only If I Can’t
went to No. 22. Two the first song ever to Music Gets The Best singles were Dance. Sadly a duet
of its four singles – A have been played Of Me and Get released: Mixed Up with the B-52’s Fred
Pessimist Is Never on an iPod when Over You/Move World and I Won’t Schneider on Hype,
Disappointed and Apple tested their This Mountain which Change You, which which sampled
I Know Enough (I new device with an was a double-A- features, by Sophie’s Kraftwerk’s The
Don’t Get Enough) – AAC of the track a side at the singer’s own admission, her Model, remains in
cracked the Top 40. year later. insistence. least favourite lyrics. the vaults.

girls as really close friends, and then “On the first day of recording
there’s loads of other girls on there as we did Heartbreak (Make Me A
well who’ve been on tour with me. Dancer), Murder On The Dancefloor,
“Normally, when you walk into Groovejet and Catch You. It was like

TRANCE
a studio with an orchestra it’s quite the beginning of an episode of Grand
intimidating. It’s just loads of people Designs, when they’ve started building
you don’t know. But this time I knew and they say: ‘OK, these are our initial
probably three quarters of them when
we started. GOES plans’. They start demolishing but then
they realise: ‘Well, if we’re going do
“So, even though it’s different from
working with a normal band, it’s also ORCHESTRAL. half of the house to this standard then,
really, we’ve got to do the whole house

WHY NOT?
been like working with mates.” to this standard. So the budget is going
It’s the aforementioned cellist Amy to come up double!’
who was the main instigator of this “It did feel like that for a moment.
new project. “The whole album came S O P H I E Or like that scene in Jaws: ‘We’re
E L L I S - B E X T O R
about because of her. Probably about gonna need a bigger boat!’”
four years ago – just before Wanderlust
had come out, but after producer Ed POP PRINCESS DIARIES
Harcourt and I had written Young Blood How does an artist – or anyone –
– Amy was doing a charity event with define ‘Greatest Hits’? In terms of chart
an orchestra at the Union Chapel. She positions? Or in terms of sales, or even
asked if I would like to perform a couple it was quite driven. It just felt a bit the personal meaning they might have
of songs. She had done a string version more brooding, dark and mysterious. for the artist or audience?
of Groovejet, and we also played Young “So that sowed the seed. But at that When Classic Pop met up with
Blood. The song was still new at that time, I wasn’t quite ready to just do Sophie, the tracklist for The Song
time, so I wrote the lyrics down on a bit something orchestral. I wanted to do Diaries had yet to be revealed, so
of paper and stuffed it into the top of my Familia, which ended up being a lot we finished our chat by running past
dress because I was worried I wouldn’t more upbeat. We were approaching her the five songs that would be at
remember them. the 21st anniversary of signing my the top of ours.
“I really liked what she’d done with first deal and I thought it would be It turns out, we were pretty much
Groovejet – she took it quite left-field, quite nice to mark it. on the same page…

76

CP40.Sophie_EB.print.indd 76 10/04/2018 09:41


S O P H I E E L L I S - B E X T O R

FAMILIA
MAKE Produced, like
A SCENE Wanderlust, by Ed
NOT GIVING Sophie originally Harcourt. Musically,
UP ON LOVE planned a Greatest Familia attempted
With Sophie’s Hits after Trip The to combine various
chart positions Light Fantastic WANDERLUST elements of Sophie’s
at somewhat of but sessions for Make A Scene was discography-to-date
an impasse, a accompanying so all-out dance that into a cohesive
collaboration singles were so it clearly signalled whole. Conceptually,
with Armin van productive that a finale for Chapter it was a colourful
Buuren (and the a fresh album One of Sophie’s TRUE FAITH companion piece THE SONG
Nervo songwriting resulted. Alongside discography. Three A cover of the New to its predecessor. DIARIES
duo) resulted in Not Giving Up On years later she Order single for BBC “Familia is the The tracklist is
this massive Euro Love, it featured returned – on her Radio 2’s Sounds Of bolshier, more unconfirmed as we
hit-come-anthem. single collabs own record label The 80s compilation extrovert little sister go to press (though
Released in the with Freemasons – with elements of confirms Sophie’s to Wanderlust,” we did a good job of
summer of 2010, it (Heartbreak (Make indie, folk, baroque impeccable taste in explained Sophie. “It guessing in our main
appeared on both Me A Dancer)) and orchestral and, 70s and 80s pop, sees the Wanderlust feature), Sophie’s
van Buuren’s fourth and Junior Caldera most importantly, having previously girl move away from orchestral take on
album, Mirage, and (Can’t Fight This some of the most released covers of Eastern Europe her greatest hits is
was still hot enough Feeling) alongside delicate and moving Propaganda’s Duel, to the warmer, available as a series
to be included on two immense slices songs of her career Baccara’s Yes Sir, sunnier climate of of special editions
Sophie’s fourth LP, of modern synth- in Young Blood and I Can Boogie and Latin America where from PledgeMusic,
Make A Scene pop: Starlight and When The Storm Has Electronic’s Getting she’s swapped including boxset and
a year later. Synchronised. Blown Over. Away With It. vodka for tequila.” deluxe double vinyl.

● A Pessimist Is ● Music Gets The Best Of Me might have made a little too much of
Never Disappointed Released in 2002, Sophie already had that. But it would’ve sounded pretty, and
“Yes, I’ve included that, because three Top 5 hits, but this was a turning I do like that song. So many songs were
that’s where it all begins for me, with point – the moment where she showed on my initial list until I realised something
Theaudience. I wanted to choose my she could sustain as a pop artist... had to give. I just couldn’t do 20 songs.”
favourite track from Theaudience “Yes, I always liked that one. I’m
era, or the one I thought would be still fond of that, I still sing it, ● Not Giving Up On Love
the most tender to me. from time to time. I think it’s The collaboration with Dutch DJ and
“During the last couple sweet, and I’ve got happy record producer Armin van Buuren is
of tours, I’ve sometimes memories of writing it.” perhaps the ultimate trance pop track,
done it live. And there was which always had a cinematic feel to it...
quite a sweet serendipity: ● Starlight “Yeah, I’ve done that one, too! Trance
the first time I ever set Synth-pop from 2011, goes orchestral. Why not? I felt the song
foot in a professional that still sounds like it’s had such pretty chords, it really lent itself
recording studio was at from the future. But could to an orchestra.”
RAK – the same place it really work in an
where I’ve recorded this orchestral context? ● Me And My Imagination
new album – that was with “Ah, I haven’t got Starlight Our last guess brings us full circle,
Theaudience back when on the album! But I love it! back to the disco style and influence.
I was 18. I think that song would But how has it felt hearing tracks like
“As soon as I walked have sounded beautiful this with a new orchestral vibe? “Oh,
in I was like: ‘Oh, in an orchestral setting. I can’t even tell you... It’s been delightful.
I remember, I’ve But I felt like I had a similar Some of it’s been quite funny, too.
recorded in there colour with things like Today Like when you hear orchestral parts in
before... 20 years ago!’” The Sun’s On Us, Not isolation. Or when someone comes in
Giving Up On Love and to record their flute part. When I was
Sophie will be joining Move This Mountain. recording Me And My Imagination,
the likes of Tears For I’ve got a few songs Ed Harcourt was in my headphones
Fears and Alison Moyet
at the Recreation Ground
that have got that big going: ‘It sounds like Watership Down
in Bath on 26 May for landscape feel, and doesn’t it? Like little bunnies hopping
the Bath Festival I think that Starlight around on the landscape!’”

77

CP40.Sophie_EB.print.indd 77 11/04/2018 11:54


B E H I N D T H E M U S I C

THE PRODUCERS

PHIL
HARDING
FROM BEING STOCK AITKEN AND WATERMAN’S
ENGINEER AT THE HIT FACTORY IN THE 80s,
PHIL HARDING THEN PRODUCED EAST 17, 911
AND BOYZONE IN THE 90s. CLASSIC POP CATCHES
UP WITH A MAN WITH A UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE
ON TWO DECADES OF HUGE CHART ACTION
A N D Y J O N E S

P
hil Harding has turned the the day including East 17’s Stay Another
experiences of two tumultuous Day and Boyzone’s Words.
decades of his life into both a “My dominant memories are the
book and a PhD. The book, PWL fantastically fast rise of it all,” Phil
From The Factory Floor, details his recalls of his time at PWL/SAW.
tenure as Stock Aitken and Waterman’s “I don’t think many will agree with
engineer, while the PhD focusses more me, but I think 1987 was PWL at its
on his time in the 90s when he and peak. It was pre-Kylie and we still had
studio partner Ian Curnow stepped up to the dance community on our side,
produce some of the biggest records of where it all started with the hi-NRG

78

CP40.TheProducers.print.indd 78 11/04/2018 12:10


From left: Pete Waterman, Ian Curnow, actress and
singer Connie Stevens with her daughter Tricia Leigh
Fisher (who was recording a self-titled 1990 album with
the team), label owner David Gresham and Phil Harding

EAST 17 -
STAY ANOTHER DAY
Tubular bells make for a
festive classic, but Brian
Harvey’s not happy...
scene. But then, and love him as I do, treat us well. We had produced four
Tilly Rutherford [general manager at tracks on the first Rick Astley album and
PWL Records] announced at a dance that was good payback. So we went into
conference that ‘with the success of Kylie, the 90s with quite a good reputation but,
we don’t need the dance community any put simply, we wanted to be an A-Team
more’. When you discard a community instead of the SAW B-Team that we were
of supporters, well, that was the start of at PWL.”
the fall. Waterman spent the next few Phil knew, though, that he would need
years trying to win them back, hence another ‘team leader’ like Waterman...
all the Kylie dance mixes. We got to “Ian and I jumped out of the frying pan
the point where we were doing 12-inch of working with Waterman and into
mixes where there was no sign of it the fire of working with Tom Watkins!”
being Kylie for the first two minutes to Phil laughs at the subsequent choice
fool the DJs! So yeah, around 1988 or “It was an original song that Tony of manager. “He is not a dissimilar
’89 we sold out although not too many of Mortimer brought in as a demo. character, possibly an even more
the others would agree with that.” That had huge Phil Collins drums extreme version.
Yet perhaps Phil’s assessment is on it and he wanted Ian to go over “Tom gave us the East 17 project,
the truest. He has, after all, taken an the top with the orchestration. Ian though, a remix of House Of Love, which
academic approach to looking back at doesn’t need any encouragement to became the main version of the song.
that time studying for a PhD in boybands do ‘OTT’ and the result is there to Then it got to being a situation where
and pop at Leeds Beckett University, hear! The Christmas thing came out he knew he needed us and we knew
of that as Ian just thought adding
which has made him reevaluate his we needed him, so we made a similar
Christmas tubular bells, stuff going
time at PWL. around and around and orchestral commitment to him as Mike and Matt
“I think Waterman’s role was vital,” cymbals, would be suitably OTT! made to Waterman, like: ‘you lead us
he says. “The others still belittle his role “The vocal process was the same and we’ll come up with the music, the
and position but without his leadership as Words, all laid out. We had a production and hopefully the success.’”
and entrepreneurial spirit, PWL fight on our hands to get that vocal With Tom, both Ian and Phil got
wouldn’t have been successful. He was out of Brian, though. His head was songwriting as well as production
the team leader.” full of 90s R&B and it took two credits and, for a while, they were
days to record. Tony told me later both living the dream of being the 90s’
BECOMING THE A-TEAM after Brian had finally got the vocal version of SAW.
done, he threw his headphones off
Harding left SAW in 1992 teaming up “We were with Tom for three years
in disgust and said to Tony ‘don’t
with fellow PWL producer and musician ever ask me to sing a shit song like and it was fantastic at the beginning,”
Ian Curnow. “We’d made good money that ever again’!” says Phil. “The peak was East 17’s Stay
in the 80s with PWL and Waterman did Another Day being a Christmas No.1 in

80

CP40.TheProducers.print.indd 80 10/04/2018 09:45


P H I L H A R D I N G T H E P R O D U C E R S

BOYZONE - WORDS
Drastic Bee Gees overhaul
hits the top of the charts
“Before Ronan Keating came in we’d already
laid out the production and the arrangement
with a backing vocalist, that way we knew
what we needed to capture from Ronan.
Then we said to the management ‘we’ve
done the backing track so we might as well get the rest of the band in for half a day
and we’ll pick a harmony for each of them to sing’. They’d each then sing along
with the backing vocal harmony part to record it.
“It’s worth comparing it to the Bee Gees Words and noting the drastic
arrangement change. You don’t get to the chorus until two minutes in with theirs,
but we brought the chorus in much earlier.
“I thought we’d hear from the Bee Gees after getting it to No.1 for them, if only
to say they liked our arrangement! When it got to No.1, Louis called me with
the boys in the room with him, ecstatic. I thought that was nice as he realised
how much we’d done. They were all just thrilled.”

Phil has moved away I said ‘yeah alright Pete, we’re No.1 with
from twiddling knobs Boyzone!’ By that point he hadn’t had
on a mixing desk any hits for a while so it certainly felt like
into the world
of academia I’d turned things around!”
For the next couple of years, Phil
and Ian worked with Walsh on several
projects. “He’s good fun and a lovely
guy but he’s full of mad ideas and things
that don’t work. In ’97 we tried to write
a song for Ronan Keating and no amount
of work got it right and we moved on
after that.
“We didn’t have a No.1 after Words,
although we got close with 911. After
that it started to get tougher for us
without a ‘Tom’ or ‘Pete’ managing us.
We’d become pigeonholed as boyband
writers and producers and the offers we
were getting were yet more boybands,
but from around Europe. I just felt that
after two decades we had nowhere
else to go and I needed to hang up the
headphones, so I started getting involved
in education, doing academic writing
1994. But the more pressure there was Watkins. However, the duo had and lectures.”
to grow East 17, the more pressure already become the target of a famous One of Phil’s proudest moments,
there was between us and Tom and it got Irish manager… though, must be his rather restrained mix
to the point where we weren’t working of Stay Another Day that ended up being
well together. AS ONE DOOR CLOSES... the final version of the Christmas classic.
“Tony Mortimer had written many of “As soon as we split with Tom, Louis “I was mixing it and it got to 2am
the hits, not shared the writing part, and Walsh was on the phone asking us and I couldn’t get it all to work. So I laid
the other three weren’t happy, so there to work with Boyzone,” says Phil and down a version without the drums and
was a band agreement on the third details the first of the tracks they worked sent that mix out to everyone before I
album to write three tracks each. on, Boyzone’s reworking of the Bee went on holiday. When I got back I said
“That wasn’t too bad for Brian Gees song Words (see boxout). It to Tom Watkins, ‘I’ll finish the mix off now
[Harvey] who’d started writing but Terry became Phil and Ian’s second No.1 and add the drums’ and he said ‘Phil,
[Coldwell] and John [Hendry] had never as producers. Phil recalls one incident do not go in that studio, do not touch a
written anything in their lives – they where both his 80s and 90s worlds thing. Just leave it as it is!’”
didn’t even play any instruments. collided… in a toilet.
“When boybands start making those “We’d left PWL on good terms and I’d ● Phil Harding’s book, PWL
kinds of demands, it usually starts falling often go back and mix in my old room From The Factory Floor, is out
apart and we saw them falling apart on there. We were mixing there in ‘96 when on Cherry Red Books while his
that album.” Boyzone were No.1 with Words. I was next book, Pop Music Production,
Phil and Ian still managed to complete in the toilet there and Waterman walks in will be published by Routledge
the album but it marked a split with and asks me how it’s going and in early 2019

81

CP40.TheProducers.print.indd 81 10/04/2018 09:45


D A V E W A K E L I N G

OE S
D O U G L A S

82

CP40.Beat.print.indd 82
G ONM C P H E R S O N

09/04/2018 16:14
WITH THEIR MESSAGE OF INCLUSION
Get set for
skamaggeddon! AND UNITY, THE BEAT WERE AT THE
The Beat Starring Dave
Wakeling release FOREFRONT OF THE UK 2-TONE
a new album, Here
We Go Love!, 40 years
BOOM. NOW THE BEAT STARRING
after the band first DAVE WAKELING ARE SET TO RELEASE
came bouncing out of
Birmingham in 1978 A HOTLY-ANTICIPATED NEW ALBUM.
THE BAND’S FOUNDING MEMBER
TALKS WATCHING BLACK SABBATH PLAY
FOOTIE AND THEIR REVOLUTIONARY
APPROACH TO ANDY WILLIAMS AND
SMOKEY ROBINSON COVERS.

usting out of Birmingham in 1978 The Beat,


along with a clutch of other like-minded
disconnected youths from working class West
Midland backgrounds, mixed politics and
pop to provide music with a message.
For an all too brief moment in time the
UK ska revival, which centred around
the independent record label 2-Tone and its
bands on the frontline such as The Specials
and The Selecter, looked like it could change
attitudes around the world – breaking down barriers of
racism, sexism and inequality.
Recalling how The Beat and 2-Tone evolved, the frontman of
The Beat Starring Dave Wakeling, explains: “We would have
these parties with two DJs, one playing punk singles and the
other playing what we called ‘slates’ – instrumental versions
of popular reggae tunes on very thick 12” vinyl.
“We learnt that if you played all punk singles, the
dancefloor would be absolutely packed for about
40 minutes and then everybody would sod off. But
if you played all slates, you’d have people leaning
on the wall nodding their heads slowly – which
we called ‘dancing on the inside’. If you mixed it
up a bit, with one of this and then one of that,
the dancefloor stayed packed until next door
threatened to call the police!
“After one particularly enjoyable party,
Andy [Cox and future guitarist with The
Beat] said: ‘What if you could get the
best elements of both DJs into the same
pop song… what would you have then?’
And that was the lightbulb moment and
the origins of the band.”

HERE WE GO!
The recipe paid off with party-flavoured ska
covers of Tears Of A Clown and Can’t Get
Used To Losing You that, alongside spiky
originals such as Mirror In The Bathroom
and Too Nice To Talk To, made the
band darlings of the 2-Tone boom.
The seeds of The Beat were sown
while Wakeling and Cox were at
college together studying for
their A-levels. Wakeling adds:
“We started writing songs –
fledgling versions of some
of those that ended up on
our first record.”
But before that,
the singer’s musical
upbringing was rather
more conservative.

83

CP40.Beat.print.indd 83 11/04/2018 15:31


D A V E W A K E L I N G

Music for troubled times... Wakeling


team,
“Like a good football formed The Beat against a backdrop of
of
we had that balance political unrest, he’s now bringing his

youth and experience band back to shake things up again
– Dave Wakeling

were swimming age scale was veteran saxophonist Lionel


around by then,” Augustus Martin, better known as Saxa,
Wakeling recalls. who had previously performed with the
“We also met likes of Prince Buster and Desmond Dekker.
our bassist David “He was playing covers in the Crompton
Steele on the Isle Arms pub in Handsworth and we would
of Wight. He go there just to watch him,” Wakeling says
turned out fondly. “Like a good football team, we had
to be the Mozart that balance of youth and experience. If
of our band. us younger ones were concerned about
“Before we formed something, the older ones would compare
The Beat, Andy and I were nervous about it to something they’d seen in the past and
“My dad liked Frank Sinatra and he performing our songs. Everything we things didn’t seem quite so bad! It worked
thought everything else was rubbish,” listened to on the John Peel show sounded very well for us.”
Dave says. “My mum liked singing folk so much better. So, Andy had the idea that The launch pad for The Beat was a
songs to me and she thought that’s how we would force each other to join a group. Tuesday night residency at the Mercat
I learnt to sing.” “There were numerous ‘musician wanted’ Cross venue. “The pub did terrific business
“As a young lad, I was a handy descant ads in the Birmingham Mail, so he had me in the daytime but was a bit quiet at night.
singer, which is really high up there, and join a 50s rock’n’roll revival band where The landlord would try anything, so why
I liked singing a lot. I nearly sang for my I had to wear leather trousers and sing not a live music night?” Wakeling explains.
local cathedral choir but, when I looked at Chantilly Lace. To get him back, I made By the end of their 12-week stint, the
the schedule and saw it was a full-time thing him join a cabaret quartet where he had place was packed, with attendees including
that would take up most weeknights as to buy a tuxedo. In the end, those two gigs Jerry Dammers of The Specials, who had
well as Saturdays and Sundays, I decided became so intolerable to us that we were scored their first Top 10 hit with Gangsters
not to do it. Then, as luck would have it, just dying to do our own songs.” that summer. “ Jerry said: ‘There’s this
Led Zeppelin came out and I could sing With Everett Morton on drums, The Beat group called The Selecter and they’re
along to them. I would practice my descant played their debut at the Matador pub playing Blackpool on Thursday, would you
singing and was able to perfect a terrific in Birmingham on 31 March 1979. It was like to be the opening band?’ Obviously
Robert Plant impression.” the same weekend as the Three Mile Island we did the gig and then they offered us a
It was especially inspiring to the young nuclear incident and they were introduced supporting slot in London. We got to meet
Wakeling that the Zeppelin boys were as: ‘The hottest thing since the Madness there and everyone thought we
local, as were heavy metal titans Black Pennsylvania meltdown!’ were the bee’s knees or, as we’d say in
Sabbath. “We used to go and watch Birmingham, the dog’s bollocks.
Sabbath play football in the street,” he JUST CAN’T STOP “After the London show, Jerry
recalls. “We always hoped they’d pass The debutantes impressed told us about his record label
the ball to us... but they never did!” ‘Ranking’ Roger Charlery, called 2-Tone and asked
As well as hard rock, the other big the 16-year-old if we would like to do a
influence on Wakeling was Jamaican ska drummer of headline single. Of course, we said
and reggae. “We could hear it booming act the Dum Dum Boys we’d love to and our single came
out of houses late at night,” he says. “Then who subsequently joined out in October 1979.
they started playing it on the football The Beat as second vocalist. “The Specials and Madness
terraces at West Bromwich Albion and At the other end had both topped the charts by
Aston Villa to calm the skinheads.” of The Beat’s then and 2-Tone was the big
Early double A-sides
thing. It was such good timing
GOING NUCLEAR Tears Of A Clown/ for us.”
Dave and Andy moved away from the Ranking Full Stop For their first release, The
and Hands Off... She’s
Midlands to work on the Isle of Wight Beat chose an inspired ska
Mine/Twist And Crawl
for 18 months. “Maybe a third of the reached No.6 and arrangement of Smokey
songs that ended up on the first record No.9 respectively Robinson’s Tears Of

84

CP40.Beat.print.indd 84 11/04/2018 15:31


“I THINK PEOPLE WOULD HAVE LIKED FOR US TO HAVE
HAD A FALLING OUT... BUT I WENT AROUND TO RANKING
ROGER’S HOUSE THE LAST COUPLE OF TIMES THAT I’VE
BEEN IN ENGLAND AND IT WENT DOWN FANTASTICALLY”
A Clown. The song had been a staple of Can’t Get Used To Losing You, which
the band’s rehearsals. “When we were reached No.3 in 1983.
trying to find our groove, Everett would say:
‘Why don’t we do a song that we all know WHA’PPEN NEXT?
and then play one of your weird ones. However, by that point, the band
So, we’d play Tears Of A Clown, then was on the verge of breaking up
something like Mirror In The Bathroom, then and would eventually split. Wakeling
Tears Of A Clown again, and so on. admits he had a “green-eyed moment”
“So, we knew it quite well and thought when Cox and Steele formed Fine Young Turn to
it was more appropriate for a Christmas Cannibals with singer Roland Gift and page 91 to
find out what Classic
single than Mirror..., which was all about would achieve massive success with Pop’s Wyndham Wallace
having a nervous breakdown.” their album The Raw & The Cooked and thinks of the new album
The tactic worked, with Tears... hitting songs like the US chart-topper She Drives
No.6 on the chart followed by the double Me Crazy. After a brief stint in Mick Jones’ post-
A-side Hands Off... She’s Wakeling and Ranking Roger Clash band Big Audio Dynamite, Roger
Mine/ Twist And Crawl enjoyed a less conspicuous teamed up with some of The Specials to
(No.9) and Mirror In The career with their new band create Special Beat.
Bathroom, which made No.4. General Public – although Since the early 2000s there have been
The latter releases were their second single, two versions of the band: The Beat Starring
also hits in the US and led to Tenderness, did appear in Dave Wakeling and The Beat Featuring
extensive Stateside touring. several big Hollywood films Ranking Roger. Wakeling, who now
After three albums and several such as Sixteen Candles resides in California, denies the two ever
charting singles, including and Weird Science. fell out. “I think people would have liked for
Save It For Later and The appeal us to have had a falling out. Certainly, there
Jeanette, The Beat enjoyed of The Beat has were times when we got bored or pissed
their biggest UK hit with endured and during off with each other. But I went around to his
a cover of the Andy the 90s, Morton house the last couple of times that I’ve been
Williams favourite and Saxa would in England and it went down fantastically.”
form the International However, he does admit to being a
The Beat’s best-charting Beat and release bit miffed when Roger released 2016’s
singles in the UK were The Hitting Line Bounce album as The Beat Featuring
1980’s Mirror In The
Bathroom (No.4) and
album in 1990. Ranking Roger.
1983’s Can’t Get Used “I had told him of my plans and invited
To Losing You (No.3) him to be on my new record Here We
Go Love! Roger said: ‘Oh, I’m
not sure, let me think about it’,”
Wakeling relates with a wry
R Y chuckle. “That went on for a few
M O
M E
I N O F months, then I started making the
record and wanted to know what
he thought. But he was on tour
and said he would get back to me.
Clearly something was going on,
then Roger was like: ‘Whoa, I’m
bringing out the first Beat album in
30 years!’ It was a little awkward...”
away It’s still possible that a reunion
dly passed
ve te ra n sax man, sa the band’s new of The Beat’s frontmen could take
Beat’s lay on
Saxa, The d couldn’t p his spirit can be place, though. “Next year is the
st M a y, a ged 87, an H o w ev er, But, 40th anniversary of the 2-Tone
la
e We Go Lo
ve! the songs.
album, Her p la ye d hi m some of er w a s bent under thing and a lot of the groups are
a ve says: “I hi s little fing
h ea rd . D jury w h er e sa phone.
xo hich we ha
ve saying let’s do something together,”
a tendon in n’t play the flat on his s for me, w He liked the
because of co ul d tw o so lo Wakeling concludes.
gers, he m but he hu
mmed
orked By N
ow.
his other fin trating for hi o uld Have W f an Irish flavour to it. “So, Roger’s saying that we will
ve ry fr us rk ed It W o
It was ing Wo ds a bit
e is on If Kill think that the solo ad sing together. It just won’t be this
copied. On so n g a n d I D em Call It Ska.” art band, Wakeling
emotion in
the
o f hi m o n the track g in a young
ch
ng for
year – I’ve got my new album to
s a little b it joyed bei n e been waiti of hits’.
Then there’ the older musician en : ‘T his is th e g ro up I’v
h a ve a lo t concentrate on.”
Asked how t met him and will
xa sa id w hen we firs th e to p o f the charts tra ve l. Th e pace was
says: “Sa g straight to then he got too sick to was adamant: ● The Beat Starring Dave
We’re goin nd he
all my life. th ree years a years when Wakeling are touring the
H e m an a g
ed about
ere w er e three or four y convinced of it.”
r him. But th He was utte
rl UK in May and June.
too much fo as going to be a hit!’ Here We Go Love! is
u it w
‘I told yo released on 11 May.

85

CP40.Beat.print.indd 85 11/04/2018 15:31


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CP40.BackIssues_p86.print.indd 86 10/04/2018 09:51


C L A S S I C P O P M A G A Z I N E

R E V I E W S

NEW RELEASES p89 LONG LIVE VINYL p100


Our round-up of new singles plus The Undertones, The Cure, Erasure,
new albums from Sting & Shaggy, Duran Duran, Madness, P!nk, Frankie
Chvrches, Gaz Coombes, Gizmo Goes To Hollywood, Eurythmics,
Varillas, Alison Moyet, Plan B, The Streets and U2
The Beat Starring Dave Wakeling, DVDS & BOOKS p104
Twin Shadow, Jennifer Warnes, Jake Shears, Pamela Des Barres,
Foreigner, James Bay, Belly, The Magic David Buckley on Elton John, Margo
Numbers, Beach House, Anne-Marie, Jefferson on Michael Jackson
Mamas Gun, Boys, Steve Ellis,
Jack Ladder & The Dreamlanders LIVE & EVENTS p110
Erasure, Morrissey, Paul Weller and
REISSUES p94 Lloyd Cole
John Foxx, New York Dolls, Brian Eno,
The Human League, Kid Creole and the
R A T I N G S
Coconuts, Matt Bianco, Cockney Rebel,
Hollywood Beyond, Gomez, Oleta
EXCELLENT
Chvrches return Adams, Chicago, Marlena Shaw,
with their third Hazel O’Connor, Bram Tchaikovsky VERY GOOD
studio album, Love AVERAGE
Is Dead. Turn to
COMPILATIONS p99
© Danny Clinch

Various Artists – Revamp and PATCHY


page 90 for
our review Burning Britain POOR

CP40.ReviewsOpener.print.indd 87 12/04/2018 15:45


S I N G L E S

KYLIE MINOGUE REEF FEATURING


STOP ME FROM FALLING SHERYL CROW
This new, stripped back, quirky MY SWEET LOVE
Kylie has been received very Bumpkin rockers from the joyful
warmly. Again she eschews the 90s recruit the ever-impeccable
pop princess shtick and we have Sheryl Crow on a sugarsweet bit
a tremendous, tambourine-heavy, of folky fluff, with the game further
super-catchy ditty that does pick upped by a brilliantly bluesy
up a dancefloor beat but remains solo in the middle. Their album
drizzled with musicianship. Her Revelation defines ‘long-awaited’
kooky vocal is excellent. – it’s their first for 18 years.

SNOW PATROL JAMES BAY


MATTHEW RUDD DON’T GIVE IN PINK LEMONADE
Few do mournfully earnest quite The former Critic’s Choice at the
THE HOST OF FORGOTTEN 80S ON ABSOLUTE like Snow Patrol, and they are BRITs is at the top of his game
80S RADIO CHECKS OUT SOME RETURNS precisely that within a thoughtful on this new single. A vocal that
piece of acoustic pop. A few menaces in the verse and rages in
TO THE POP FRAY FROM THE LIKES OF KYLIE choice expletives are included the chorus, a brooding, powerful
MINOGUE, KIM WILDE, CRAIG DAVID AND which, as usual in these instances, rhythm section and even some
feel utterly unnecessary, but it’s a gospelly backing vocals. Lovable,
A SURPRISINGLY SWEARY SNOW PATROL sturdy work that fans will lap up. amiable, immaculate stuff.

ALEXIS TAYLOR KIM WILDE CRAIG DAVID UB40 FEATURING


OH BABY KANDY KRUSH MAGIC ALI, ASTRO + MICKEY
Hot Chip’s head honcho with The rejuvenation of an 80s pop A chap of such talent, but after HOW COULD I LEAVE
an offbeat electronic love song, princess as a self-deprecating almost 20 years his songs have The importance the original UB40
as conventional and enjoyably rock goddess rings so true, never really taken him anywhere possessed in the early 1980s
sappy in its lyric and tone as it helped by her modesty when beyond a fuzzy, slightly twee, feels like several worlds ago
is eccentric in its quizzical, discussing it. This follows a well- sentimental corner of snappy now, especially with the present
bleepy instrumentation which trodden formula but rises way pop rescued from blandness only long-standing deadlock between
has a Buggles-esque feel, above rock-by-numbers, thanks to by a genuinely great voice. He original members. This song is
although that might just be the voice and personality at the should expand, free himself up, pleasant but nothing they couldn’t
because of the spectacles. front – and a great melody. explore more. have done in happier times.

88

CP40.singles.print.indd 88 10/04/2018 09:38


N E W R E L E A S E S

M A Y 2 0 1 8

CLASSIC

BEST NEW RELEASE

Getty Images
Xxxxxx
STING & SHAGGY
44/876
POLYDOR RECORDS

STARFISH AND COFFEE, MAPLE SYRUP AND JAM. NOW YOU CAN ADD STING & SHAGGY
TO THE LIST OF IMPLAUSIBLE COMBINATIONS THAT MAY NEVER BE FORGOTTEN…

seem preferable – but to do country are getting to me.” The Break Of Day, in which,
so is no more unlikely than the Not only is the exchange against tasteful piano and
idea that such a collaboration likeably humble, but Sting’s organ licks – and in the face
might work. And Cage is right: voice is particularly well-suited of politicians’ lies – comfort is
anything can happen, has to the setting. found in romance.
happened, and no doubt will Furthermore, 44/876 – The charmingly tasteful 22nd
continue to happen. All we can named for their respective Street dials down the reggae for
hope is that what happens is as dialling codes – could indeed something slicker and sparser,
entertaining as this seemingly be helpful for those looking to while Sad Trombone heads in
absurd partnership has turned unwind, unless your cynicism is the other direction, turning its
out to be. Because, against the so ingrained that you can’t see laughable title into something
odds, there’s endless fun to be past the concept. genuinely poignant.

T
found here. Partly, this is because it In truth, the first fruit of their
he world is teeming,” The title track sets the tone isn’t so great a leap from association – the laidback,
John Cage once said. from the start, Shaggy toasting Sting’s early work with The soulful Gotta Get Back My
“Anything can happen.” about how the duo first hooked Police. That’s especially true Baby – is perfectly indicative of
The minimalist composer up. “Mi get a call from the of Dreaming In The USA, what’s to be found here, so take
might be an unlikely English man,” he recalls, “say a delightful celebration of a shortcut if you must. But, rest
person to turn to when him waan come hold a vibes”, immigrants’ roles in American assured, some things have to be
faced by a Sting and before Sting himself explains his life that’s only a fraction tried to be believed. Anything
Shaggy collaboration motivation: “I’m trying to free too upbeat and glossy to can happen, and 44/876
– though his legendary, my mind, and live a life stress have slotted onto Outlandos defies expectations.
silent 4’33” might free/ But the politics of this d’Amour, and Waiting For Wyndham Wallace

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CHVRCHES
LOVE IS DEAD
VIRGIN RECORDS

In the three years since Every


Open Eye, they don’t sound like
they’ve matured even slightly.
By now, you’ll know how
the Glaswegians operate. Two
Top 10 albums, a bundle of
awards, and a host of TV and
video game placements have
seen to that.

© Danny Clinch
Admittedly, they’ve sought
to tweak their formula, bringing
in producer du jour Greg
Kurstin (Sia, Adele, Liam
“I’ve been waiting for my Gallagher) for nine tracks, which Mayberry sounds like till forever”. That’s not to
whole life to grow old,” sings and another hitmaker, Steve an infatuated schoolgirl trying mention a little clumsy on
Lauren Mayberry on Graffiti, Mac, to add his sparkle to to impress a teacher. Heaven/Hell: “Am I real if I’m
the first track off Chvrches’ Miracle. In the end, though, Despite few signs of a broken record/ Selling you
third album, “and now we it still sounds like Chvrches – development, Chvrches do what you don’t need?”
never will.” It’s a brave, regal massive, richly textured synths this well, offering monstrous Even Deliverance’s
claim to immortality, but fair meshed with intermittently tinny choruses and owning the promisingly provocative:
comment: Love Is Dead sounds or booming programmed beats sound like they invented it. “Careful when you’re swimming
like the work of a band stuck – but now with added steroids But there’s another in the holy water/ Drowning in
in permanent adolescence. to boost chart performances. shortcoming in how little they your own beliefs” provokes only
Difficult questions are asked, That, and added input in the challenge themselves or their the observation: “You better
simplistic answers proffered, form of The National’s Matt audience, most notably in hold on to what you love… You
and the mood is broadly Berninger, who adds affectedly lyrics peppered with immature better give up on giving up.”
exuberant (except for inevitable, nonchalant vocals to the moody banalities like on Forever’s It’s really time for Chvrches to
unpredictable outbursts). and restrained, My Enemy, on “I told you I would hate you grow up. WW

GAZ COOMBES GIZMO VARILLAS


WORLD’S STRONGEST MAN DREAMING OF BETTER DAYS
HOT FRUIT / CAROLINE INTERNATIONAL MUISCA RECORDS

worthy of Blur’s Song 2, its Albums of the Year in 2017 –


bassline’s inventiveness recalls Dreaming Of Better Days
Colin Greenwood’s, and its is sometimes seeped in a
atmospheric intro is worthy lazy Southern European
of A Moon Shaped Pool... wistfulness, rarely more than
Coombes and Radiohead have on the title track.
more in common than Oxford. Here he exhorts his audience
Nonetheless, Coombes to “let the light in your heart,”
occupies his own world. His his voice almost cracking over
last album, 2015’s Mercury- an understated pitter-patter of
nominated Matador, confirmed a beat as though dependent
how far he’s come and World’s upon others to help make this
Strongest Man continues that plan work.
Listening to Gaz Coombes’ third journey. The record’s title track It’s true the title of London-based It’s hard, however, not to feel
solo album, it’ll come as little appropriates a lazy hip-hop- Spaniard Gizmo Varillas’ the consoling positivity in Lonely
surprise that he’s managed by flavoured beat for a falsetto- second album is perhaps Heart’s lilting sway and its
the same team as Radiohead. fuelled anthem, and Shit (I’ve a little positive for these wilfully innocent lyrics: “Think
The former Supergrass Done It Again)’s regret-laden cynical times. This is Varillas’ of all the times we spent/ Side
frontman’s songwriting has melancholy is worthy of an methodology, though – to by side like ninjas in disguise.”
become increasingly refined, adult Disney movie. offer some sort of peaceful, There’s also exotic pleasure
given to intriguing production There’s also the fierce Deep harmonious reassurance with in his switch to Spanish on
details and quirky – but never Pockets, whose krautrock quietly uplifting songs that Camino Al Amor, and when
ostentatious – twists: the rhythm propels it towards a recall Paul Simon as much the tropical African sound of
spiky guitar riff that provides thrilling finale, the unhinged as José González. Through The Hourglass kicks
the foundation for Walk The paranoia of Vanishing Act and Not that he’s so optimistically in, you’ll think all your holidays
Walk and the malfunctioning the stately decorum of the lovely idealistic, he’s just unfamiliar have come at once.
keyboard that tops off In Slow Motion Life. with melancholy. So do as this unassuming
Waves. Furthermore, though the This rooster’s definitely Like its predecessor El gentleman advises: let the light
latter boasts a guitar sequence mansize now. WW Dorado – one of Classic Pop’s in your heart... WW

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N E W R E L E A S E S

ALISON MOYET
THE OTHER LIVE COLLECTION
COOKING VINYL

blog. “Sing while I know I can,


and well.”
The gigs underlined how
ready she was. Other was one
hell of a comeback, earning
Solo Artist Of the Year status
from readers of this publication
and runner-up in the Album Of
The Year category. That it finally

© Steve Gullick
secured Moyet’s place as a
‘national treasure’ can be heard
in the response with which this
document ends.
“Are you sure about this?” As Whispering Your Name here!” – will tear any room’s Other itself, a song described
Alison Moyet recalls her rattles towards a close, the roof off, and Moyet underlines as: “The essence of what I am,”
manager asking as they crowd, who’ve clapped along her determination, hanging on is especially poignant.
examined the dates assembled heartily since it began, erupt to that last syllable. She turns to her back
to promote last year’s into affectionate roars of Such intensity is maintained catalogue, too, with Ski, from
tremendous Other album. approval, Moyet herself bowing throughout, though it’s rarely 2002’s Hometime, showcasing
At 59 shows, the tour would out with unmistakable gratitude. dependent on volume: Beautiful her jazzy tones, and Only You
be her longest, and – given This climax is the culmination Gun may sound vigorously a welcome reminder of how
she told Classic Pop last spring of a transformation signalled malevolent, but a gorgeous this all started (even if, like All
how: “I make records with no by I Germinate, which opens version of The English U, her Cried Out, it feels slightly out
expectations” – it doubtless felt both Other and this collection. touching paean to both her of place here). The tour may
ambitious. Moyet, though, was As bold as a Shirley Bassey mother and English grammar, have been a marathon, but
certain. “I wanted a marathon,” James Bond theme tune, its sounds as good as anything so has her career been, and
she wrote, looking back at chorus – with its dramatic off Björk’s Vespertine, while one senses that she’s about to
2017 in a New Year’s Eve declaration of intent: “I’m a brave, bare version of emerge a winner. WW

PLAN B THE BEAT STARRING


H EAVEN BEFORE ALL DAVE WAKELING
HELL BREAKS LOOSE HERE WE GO LOVE!
ATLANTIC RECORDS ABSOLUTE

“We don’t bow down to no Dave Wakeling’s return to


terrorists/ So why we gonna the recording studio is cause
kneel for the politicians/ for celebration. Here We Go
When we see ’em go on Love! finds him in typically
so treacherous?” acerbic form, calling for
But being outspoken doesn’t the establishment’s fall on
have to mean shouting and for the brilliantly titled If Killing
too much of Heaven… Drew Worked It Would Have Worked
insists on bellowing like he’s By Now, deriding a “stupid
a male Florence Welch. little arrogant fucker” on The
There are moments on Pursuit One And Only, and, on the
Of Happiness where he sounds energetic title track, digging
like he’s being repeatedly even deeper into Viz’s
Since his 2006 debut Who goosed while impersonating This, it’s been announced, Roger’s Profanisaurus.
Needs Actions When You’ve Jamiroquai, and Stranger could is the first new studio album Musically, however, the
Got Words, Ben Drew’s be Mick Hucknall squeezing from The Beat Starring Dave tone is more in keeping with
earned a reputation for out a heavy meal. Given just Wakeling since 1982. What The Love You Give Lasts
being outspoken, and his how soulful his voice can be about Bounce, you ask, The Forever’s sentiments: rough
fourth album’s opening track – Queue Jumping provides a Beat’s album that was reviewed ska-punk edges are smoothed,
maintains that policy. “What reminder – this is a shame, as is in these very pages two years something underlined by You
the hell have I got to be grateful the realisation Heartbeat sounds ago? Well, glad you were Really Oughta Know By Now’s
for?” he demands, weighing like a late-90s Moby track paying attention, that was Madness-like buoyancy.
up earthly and spiritual prizes fronted by a talent show runner- The Beat Featuring Ranking Still, those looking for the
on the moody Grateful, which up. Still, the acid nostalgia of Roger. So who is this? Well, sound of 70s peak Beat can
he decorates with gospel Mercy is refreshing and It’s that depends on whether... turn to Dem Call It Ska and
flourishes, while recent single A War exploits its breakbeat Ah, forget it – go back and the joyous, accordion-fuelled,
Guess Again takes articulate in an effective fashion. It’s not read the interview on page 82. How Can You Stand There.
aim at political hypocrisy: all over, bar the shouting. WW Let’s focus... What’s in a name anyway? WW

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TWIN SHADOW JENNIFER WARNES
CAER ANOTHER TIME, ANOTHER PLACE
WARNER BROS. RECORDS BMG

of today’s charts, while Lewis to earlier habits – even Roscoe


also displays a familiarity with Beck, Leonard Cohen’s bassist
underground styles. and musical director, is present
So opener Bombs Away – will help remind folk of those
takes James Blake’s intimacy achievements. Almost entirely
to the masses, adds guitars shorn of the polish of 1992’s
one imagines being worn over The Hunter and her last album,
high-waisted, pastel trousers, 2001’s The Well, as well as of
while hinting at the lo-fi magic blockbuster histrionics – apart,
of London O’Connor’s O∆. perhaps, from Freedom, and
Saturdays adds Haim to the here she still closes proceedings
mix, its nod to Born In The USA- like a nightingale – it finds her
era Springsteen so transparent singing with Alison Krauss’
Having complained his work he even sings of a “dance Poor Jennifer Warnes: the grace and tenderness.
had become too elitist by in the dark”, and Obvious world recalls her 80s peaks This is most notable on Just
2015 – a smart strategy for People’s disconcerting groove – as Joe Cocker’s partner on Breathe, an unpretentious,
sidestepping sell-out accusations somehow successfully welds TV the chest-heaving Up Where pastoral Pearl Jam cover, and
after switching from 4AD to a On The Radio to Pet Shop Boys. We Belong and Bill Medley’s Why Worry, whose guitar lines
major label – George Lewis Jr. At times – as on the chart- (I’ve Had) The Time Of My quietly recall Mark Knopfler.
announced he was going to bound Too Many Colors, Life – and yet it forgets she So Sad’s mellow pedal steel
pursue a more contemporary which lacks its own hue, and was a serial collaborator with sound is similarly appealing,
sound for his third album. Runaway, whose spoken Leonard Cohen, whose songs while the low-key, Norah Jones
Things being how they are, word meets soul leads to a she covered for 1986’s Famous cabaret of Tomorrow Night
that meant the sound of the slow-burning but ultimately Blue Raincoat, while her 1972 and the dreamy I Can See
80s, of course, and such unfulfilling climax – it’s album Jennifer was produced Your Face Before Me provide
influences permeate much frustrating. But the haunting, by John Cale. a revelatory reminder of how
of his latest, too. These are Little Woman alone confirms his Perhaps Another Time, seductive Warnes’ voice is
integrated into the crisp sound imaginative powers... WW Another Place, and its return when she reins things in. WW

MAMAS GUN STEVE ELLIS FOREIGNER BEACH HOUSE


GOLDEN DAYS BOOM! BANG! TWANG! WITH THE 21ST CENTURY 7
CANDLELION SONY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA BELLA UNION
& CHORUS
EARMUSIC
If your life lacks the polished Some 50 years after Steve Ellis Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally’s
sound of 80s soul, London’s topped the charts with Love Affair’s intentions for their latest may have
Mamas Gun have the answer. stone-cold classic Everlasting Love, As Ane Brun’s recent, revelatory been “rebirth and rejuvenation”,
Kicking off with You Make My Paul Weller provides him with cover of I Want To Know What but these apparently crystallised in
Life A Better Place, whose two new songs and co-produces Love Is proves, Foreigner know lengthier recording habits rather
sentiment and sound suggest this welcome return to the studio. how to write tunes. But adding than the songs’ atmospheres. Still,
an impressive familiarity with Lonely No More sounds like classic 118 singers and musicians was the duo’s sonic modifications are
Marvin Gaye’s later work, their Style Council and Cry Me A River never going to curb their tendency always subtle, and this is no bad
fourth album features an array of finds him hollering over a dirty, for bombast, so the appeal of thing: 7 remains full of dreamy
backroom types who’ve worked organ-dominated blues, while this document of two 2017 Swiss indie pop, as first imagined by
with the likes of Joss Stone and there’s also a faithful, if pedestrian, shows depends on your tolerance Mazzy Star, to which Beach House
Incognito, including former Wall rendition of William Bell’s I Forgot of that. Sceptics will struggle with lend their misty haze. Dive sounds
Of Sound act Shawn Lee on mixing To Be Your Lover. He sometimes Overture, but Waiting For A Girl like Spaceman 3 (whose Peter
duties. It’s immaculately performed, sounds like Rod Stewart on a Like You will always be a classic, Kember helped out) reinventing
if more of an homage to their cold day, as on the reggae-tinged however much Lou Gramm’s The Carpenters, and Black Car
inspirations than a work in its own cover of Jimmy Cliff’s Sitting In replacement, Kelly Hansen, insists builds a hypnotically drone-y
right, and, at its best, as on London Limbo, but this only improves the on emoting. Sadly, though, short- universe around what might be
Girls, sounds like Jamiroquai final lament, Oh Death, while lived choral introductions to songs the world’s gentlest ringtone. Dark
taking on Curtis Mayfield instead Glory Bound could pass for like When It Comes To Love are the Spring sparkles like dew-mottled
of Stevie Wonder. WW Steve Winwood. WW most appealing elements here. WW flowers by night. Lucky 7. WW

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N E W R E L E A S E S

JAMES BAY BELLY


ELECTRIC LIGHT DOVE
VIRGIN EMI PLEDGE MUSIC

than another 21st century One, with its killer earworm


troubadour. Vocally, too, he chorus, the incisive Suffer The
sounds less over-earnest, as Fools, which picks away at the
though he’s realised how much sore of a failing relationship,
fun being one of the country’s and the surprisingly country-
biggest pop stars can be. tinged pedal steel lilt of Artifact.
Electric Light consequently The acoustic Heartstrings offers
boasts a smattering of gospel a nice change of pace, too.
flavours, employed most The chugging, crunchy guitars
successfully on the playful In of Mine may point towards a
My Head and understated band that have no intention of
future funk of I Found You, moving the stylistic goalposts
if less enjoyably on Us – an for their comeback, but another
As if fearful of further overblown ballad where he Mirroring her former band The precision-tooled chorus at least
association with Ed Sheeran, mistakes hamming it up for Breeders, Tanya Donelly has suggests their songwriting
Hitchin’s James Bay – no doubt a convincing display of soul. taken the reformation of Belly chops remain intact. Human
encouraged by producer Paul More persuasive is the final up a notch by marshalling the Child is the epitome of build-
Epworth and regular co-writer trio of tracks: the slinky groove troops into the recording studio. it-up and break-it-down 90s
Jon Green – has tossed his of Fade Out, the confessional, Although they reconvened in alt-rock, and recalls the vocal
acoustic guitar to one side closing piano ballad Slide, 2016 for a smattering of live mannerisms of The Cranberries’
almost entirely on his second and Stand Up, which slowly dates, Dove is their first album Dolores O’Riordan in places.
album, the follow-up to the burgeons from little more than of new material in 23 years. The odd anonymous track
massive Chaos And The Calm. the auto-tuned voice effects Less spiky than The Breeders’ fails to catch alight – we’re
It’s a wise decision: muscular favoured recently by Bon visceral attack, Belly take up looking at you, the overly polite
tracks like the riff-heavy Wasted Iver to an immense orchestral where they last left off with Girl, generic Stars Align and
On Each Other and recent, finale. For those willing to look tuneful 90s indie rock. Three lightweight Quicksand – but
rockin’ single Pink Lemonade beyond the hat and hair, there’s standout tracks in particular mostly this Belly collection is
reveal him to be far more irrefutable talent... WW wholly justify the reunion, Shiny well rounded. Steve Harnell

THE MAGIC NUMBERS JACK LADDER & BOYS ANNE-MARIE


OUTSIDERS THE DREAMLANDERS REST IN PEACE SPEAK YOUR MIND
ROLE PLAY RECORDS BLUE POLES PNKSLM MAJOR TOMS/ASYLUM
SELF PORTRAIT / TERRIBLE RECORDS

The Magic Numbers’ fifth takes Never judge a book by its cover, It’s the overwhelming feeling of
its title not only from the band’s Australia’s having a moment: so don’t judge Boys by their label, familiarity that’s Speak Your Mind’s
own status but that of their songs’ from The Chats’ punk to Cut Punk Slime, nor the fact that undoing. It’s not the comforting
subjects: doomed romantics in The Copy’s electronica and Tame they’re actually one woman, Nora familiarity an old hit brings, nor the
Beach Boys harmony-drenched Impala’s psychedelia, it’s the Karlsson. Her half-hour debut is, emotional tug vague recognition
Dreamer, biker women in Ride country’s turn in the spotlight. Jack in fact, an adorably puppy-ish offers, just the sense this has
Against The Wind – which starts Ladder’s already made friends journey through the 22-year-old all been done, countless times,
like The Stone Roses’ I Wanna Be with international stars like Father Swede’s late teens. The sweet and better before... compare,
Adored beat, then transforms into John Misty, so perhaps his fifth intimacy of its melodies and as an extreme example, Noga
a brassy Eagles jam – and the album, and its enviable influences, production is offset by occasional Erez’ Dance While You Shoot to
“damaged goods” of Runaways, in will bring his baritone croon – cacophonic outbursts: soothing Anne-Marie’s Trigger. Ciao Adios’
which Michele Stodart’s harmonies somewhere between David Byrne Omnichord arpeggios interrupted melody is certainly gravity-defying,
steal the spotlight from brother and Tindersticks’ Stuart Staples – to by distorted keyboards in It Is Silly, but when an album’s most intimate
Romeo’s lead vocals, perhaps a wider audience. Expect hints of explosive guitars disturbing the revelation is: “Sometimes I wake
explaining his closing Crazy Eno’s Before And After Science in innocent, C86 peace of Love Isn’t up late and don’t even brush my
Horse-style guitar solo. There’s I.N.M. and Dates, of Talking Heads On My Mind. Rabbits, meanwhile, teeth” – from the auto-tuned Perfect
more Neil Young flavours on the in Can’t Stay, of Bowie in Tell It Like sounds like early Saint Etienne on – perhaps it’s unfair to expect
rowdy Sweet Divide, while The It Is, of Scott Walker in Merciful a limited budget, and My Baby innovation, especially when Ed
Keeper nods to T. Rex. Come back Reply, and Leonard Cohen’s I’m could be a tipsy Julee Cruise at the Sheeran’s involved, as he is with
inside, folks... WW Your Man in Susan. WW Twin Peaks Bang Bang Bar. WW 2002’s gibberish. WW

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M A Y 2 0 1 8

Getty Images
CLASSIC

© Getty Images
BEST REISSUE
JOHN FOXX
M E TA M AT I C
METAMATIC RECORDS

38 YEARS AFTER ITS ORIGINAL RELEASE, THE FUTURE FINALLY CATCHES UP WITH
JOHN FOXX’S DARK MASTERPIECE WITH THIS 49-TRACK, 3CD DELUXE EDITION

was born Dennis Leigh in drum machines, Metamatic by in a heartbeat, a mere


Chorley, 70 years ago, has sounded ultra-modern even techno-murmur. Yet Foxx knew
always been a pop pioneer. as it retreated into its own how to craft a killer chart-
It seems fitting that Metamatic, distracted, futurist mind-bubble. friendly chorus: the ebullient
his debut solo album after Skeletal tunes blinked and No-One Driving, was one of the
quitting Ultravox, was released twitched into half-life; electronic album’s surprise hits.
in January 1980: a salvo from beats faded in and out of view An album out of, and ahead
the dawn of the decade that like shadows under Foxx’s of, its time, Metamatic went
changed everything. austere auteur’s gaze. Top 20 and signposted a
Fascinated by the anonymity He took his inspiration musical future in which Foxx,
of cities, the automation for the album’s title from contrarily, played very little
of industry and the bleak metamechanics, a school of part. Yet this 3CD deluxe

P
dystopias of J.G. Ballard, kinetic art founded by Dadaist edition is a delight for devoted
eople said I was Foxx was intent on inventing Swiss sculptor Jean Tinguely, Foxx-hunters.
copying David the future. His twitchy mission and his own aims were equally Assiduously compiled from
Bowie,” Gary Numan informed every bleep of his ambitious and deconstructionist. original studio tapes, it comes
recently told Classic tinny synths, spindly and The album’s opener, Plaza, meticulously packaged in
Pop, remembering his insecure while also urgent and found him seeking romance Foxx’s handwritten lyrics and
musical early years. needy: his disembodied, robotic amidst Ballardian horror: illustrations. Close to 40 years
“I kept saying, ‘No, vocal style sold a thousand “I remember your face/ From on, this masterclass in sheer
I’m trying to copy black trench coats. some shattered windscreen...” proto-electropop is a salutary
John Foxx!’” Brittle yet beguiling, a At times, his dream-tunes reminder of just how thrilling
He wasn’t the only brooding symphony of ARP were so slight that they were Foxx’s vision of the future was.
one. Foxx, the visionary who Odyssey synths and Roland hardly there: Metal Beat drifted Ian Gittins

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R E I S S U E S

© Getty Images

Getty Images
NEW YORK DOLLS
PERSONALITY CRISIS:
LIVE RECORDINGS &
STUDIO DEMOS 1972-75
CHERRY RED

PLAGUED BY UNSYMPATHETIC PRODUCTION, THE DOLLS’ STUDIO ALBUMS LACKED THE


POWER OF THEIR LIVE SHOWS – THIS 5CD BOXSET LOOKS TO REDRESS THE BALANCE

promised aural fireworks but the first punk band but, like lucky enough to have seen the
Todd Rundgren’s conservative most clichés, it’s true. Dolls live, even in their sober
production rendered it a damp On stage was where the 21st century reincarnation,
squib. The following year’s Too Dolls – the roughest of rock knows they were a showy,
Much Too Soon was little better. diamonds – shone, which is splashy glam-bam blast of a
Kindred spirit and fellow wild why this 5CD boxset should be band, yet it’s hard to bottle such
child Shadow Morton was a a fantastic idea. alchemy. With their sound man
more natural fit as producer but The first two discs gather apparently sharing their rough
the band themselves came up together studio demos and ‘n’ ragged ethos, Paris-gig
short, too wasted to produce outtakes. They show the tracks like Bad Girl appear to
much original material and problems that Rundgren and have been recorded through
forced to resort to ropey covers. Morton faced. Narcissistic a wet sock.

T
No, live was where the New showmen, the Dolls’ attention Inevitably, with such an
he New York Dolls York Dolls truly made sense. spans were always way too in-your-face group, there are
were a Roman candle Their glittering stardust frontman short for the tedium of the moments of brilliance here:
of a band who never David Johansen took Mick studio – boredom and ennui the Detroit Michigan Palace
found their spark in Jagger’s simian strut on to seep through cursory run- rampage through Personality
the studio. The sleeve a whole new dimension of throughs of the likes of Jet Boy Crisis is truly incendiary.
of their eponymous camp while the fabulously gone and Human Being. Ultimately, this homage
1973 debut album, guitarist, Johnny Thunders, The other three cherry-pick captures only tantalising
showing the group machine-gunned out scabrous, the best moments of 1973- glimpses of one of glam-punk’s
as an androgynous filthy riffs. It may be a cliché to 74 Dolls gigs in locations greatest ever live bands. With
riot of lipstick, ripped call the Dolls, managed by a as various as Paris, Detroit, the New York Dolls, it seems,
stockings and stack heels, had pre-Pistols Malcolm McLaren, Denver and NYC. Anybody you just had to be there. IG

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Getty Images
© Getty Images
BRIAN ENO
M U S I C F O R I N S TA L L AT I O N S
UMC

STRIKING NEW SET COLLECTS MUSIC FROM VARIOUS ENO AUDIO-VISUAL


INSTALLATIONS AROUND THE GLOBE FROM 1986 UP TO THE PRESENT DAY

traditional concept of painting” Originally premiered at an The Making Space CD


– let’s rock! exhibition in Tokyo in 2006, showcases music such as
Given his meticulous eye for 77 Million Paintings finds Delightful Universe (Seen From
form and detail, a Brian Eno aquatic samples ebbing and Above) that was previously only
boxset was never going to be flowing beneath gentle electro- available at Eno installations
a casual, offhand entity, and tones in a beatific glow. and via lumenlondon.com.
Music For Installations is one In its very conception, The final disc, Music For
audacious artefact indeed. Eno’s music has always been Future Installations, contains
In a standard 6CD boxset, immersive, long before that previously unheard pieces such
6CD super deluxe limited- became the critical buzzword as the narcoleptic Surbahar
edition boxset and 9LP super de jour. His I Dormienti piece, Sleeping Music.
deluxe edition vinyl, it collects first heard at a 1999 London Your levels of tolerance

I
music from various Eno audio- installation by an Italian for Eno are likely to shape
f you think of music as visual installations around the sculptor, is all tentative ghost- what you are willing to pay:
a moving, changing globe from 1986 up to the tones and abstracted gasps, the super deluxe CD edition,
form, and painting as a present day. Much of the music a distant reverie. including a 64-page Plexiglas-
still form, what I’m trying is previously unreleased or has The music seems to be bound book of rare photos and
to do is make very still been available only on a very working towards a serene a new Eno essay, is retailing for
music, and paintings that limited basis. stillness. Kites I, first heard in upwards of £300 on Amazon.
move,” says Brian Eno. So far, so Eno, but it’s worth Helsinki in 1999, is all febrile But it’s not every day you get
“I’m trying to find in both wading through – or, indeed, textures. Lightness, premiered to inhabit the space between
of those forms, the space embracing – the packaging at a State Russian Museum the traditional concept of music
in between the traditional and the pretention to get to installation, is best described and the traditional concept
concept of music and the the music showcased within. as a whiteness in freefall. of painting. IG

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R E I S S U E S

THE HUMAN LEAGUE


SECRETS
EDSEL

you hear a truly great band


straining for inspiration.
It started relatively
promisingly. Opening track and
lead-off single All I Ever Wanted
reverberated like vintage-era,
Dare-standard League, with
Phil Oakey sounding reliably
magisterial and stentorian over
a lewdly throbbing motorik
pulse. As ever, Joanne Catherall
and Susan Ann Sulley’s
Well, they undoubtedly honeyed, girl-group backing
produced some of the most vocals provided him with an and short of ideas: seven shortly after the record’s
sheer, glistening musical immaculate counterpoint. of its 16 tracks were filler release, its goose was cooked.
miracles in the history of electro- Yet the single stiffed, falling instrumentals, of which the Edsel make a decent fist of
pop, but that doesn’t mean that just short of the Top 40, and nadir was the high-tempo repackaging this little-visited
even the divine Human League little else on the album neared techno-doodle 122.3BPM. corner of the League’s oeuvre
couldn’t misfire and give us the its seductive charm. Secrets was an album that in this 2CD deluxe edition,
occasional relative dud. Love Me Madly? was an needed all the help it could get, adding an original, non-album-
Released in 2001 after a edgy curio, with Oakey barking then, but instead it was jinxed track B-side in Tranquility, and
six-year hiatus, Secrets was non-sequiturs about “cocktail set from the outset. gamely compiling a CD of
The League’s eighth studio Atillas” and threatening that he Given lukewarm reviews 14 remixes (seven of which,
album, but seldom scaled the was “heading for a crack-up”. by usually adoring critics, it admittedly, are of All I Ever
heights reached by its mighty Their trademark ideas received little help or promotion Wanted). Yet even for the
predecessors. Indeed, listening were all in place but rarely from a financially-strapped most diehard Human League
to it, it was difficult to avoid the coalesced. Unusually for The Papillon Records: when the aficionados, this one is strictly
uneasy feeling that comes when League, Secrets sounded thin Chrysalis offshoot went bust for completists only. IG

KID CREOLE AND


THE COCONUTS
P R I VAT E WAT E R S I N
T H E G R E AT D I V I D E /
YOU SHOULDA TOLD
ME YOU WERE…
CHERRY RED

The Kid’s creator and alter


ego, August Darnell, was a
sharp and astute songwriter
© Getty Images

and musical comedian but


primarily he was a top-quality
showman, turning Coconuts
tours into all-singing, all-
dancing Hollywood revues. Yet than-life, with hooks to hang yielded no hit singles and
by the time of these two early a Panama hat on, now they was a commercial flop, even
90s albums, his fortunes were were reduced to flimsy, generic if (She’s A) Party Girl saw Kid
in steep decline. salsa-funk. working his bug-eyed, mock-
Darnell had divorced his wife The trick up the album’s shocked innuendo-laden shtick
and chief Coconut, Adriana sleeve was The Sex Of It, a as hammily as ever. He was still
In his early 80s pomp, Kid Kaegi, split and reformed the song written for Darnell by big: it was just the tunes that
Creole was pretty much band, appeared in movies and Prince. It was a minor hit, but had grown small.
the acme of fun, character- written an off-Broadway play really the Purple One was The 67-year-old Kid still
driven cartoon-pop, regularly by the time of 1990’s Private phoning it in, and the Kid’s spasmodically tours with his
sprinkling pop gold dust over Waters In The Great Divide. paucity of ideas was such that latest bunch of Coconuts,
the upper reaches of the chart However, on its release it was a superfluous cover of Lambada like the old-school showbiz
via salsa-disco divinations such clear that his creative waters made it on to the album. trouper he is – but if you want
as I’m A Wonderful Thing, were running dry. The following year’s You to luxuriate in their full glory
Baby, Stool Pigeon and Annie, Where Kid Creole’s vivacious Shoulda Told Me You Were…, head straight for their
I’m Not Your Daddy. pop had always been larger- included in this 2CD package, halcyon days. IG

97

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MATT BIANCO
INDIGO
CHERRY RED

Bianco were a lightweight


but jaunty presence on the
pop landscape throughout the
80s, regularly infiltrating their
Latin-tinged jazz-pop into the
middle reaches of the singles
chart. At best, they were a
pleasant diversion: at worst,
a nagging irritant.
Named after a fictional
James Bond-style spy hero, it
was their fate to be too chart-
slick to impress Latin music fans
“Hello, Simon Roberts, you’re and too resolutely inoffensive to Don’t Blame It On That Girl, anaemic Hanging On verged
through to Matt Bianco.” gather a devoted UK following: which even broke into the US on lift muzak.
“Hello, Matt Bianco. You’re they reeked of white trousers, dance chart. America remained resolutely
a bunch of wankers!” and Peter Powell. Nevertheless, That success was largely unbroken, awkwardly-titled
It’s undoubtedly harsh on in 1988, Warner Brothers down to the track being follow-up album Samba In
Matt Bianco that many pop deemed them ready to break a double A-side with a Your Casa flopped and saw
fans’ strongest memory of them The States. seven-minute Estefan-special them exit Warners, and Matt
is a rogue TV viewer’s call to The label certainly pulled out production, the house-music- Bianco resigned themselves to
a live Saturday Superstore all of the stops, hiring Emilio tinged dancefloor-filler Wap- being big in Japan only. Their
phone-in one weekend morning Estefan, husband of Gloria Bam-Boogie, but as this 3CD Achilles’ heel is evident here:
in 1984. However, maybe they and founder of Miami Sound deluxe reissue of Indigo despite their warm embrace
are partly culpable in that little Machine, to produce some of reaffirms, there was little else of Latin and party rhythms,
of their music was memorable. the group’s third album, Indigo. there to shake up the US. Matt Bianco never had much
Formed from the ashes of His sonic fingerprints were all Funk-driven cuts like Nervous soul. Maybe Simon Roberts
Blue Rondo A La Turk, Matt over the album’s lead-off single, were slight and anonymous; the had a point after all. IG

COCKNEY REBEL HOLLYWOOD BEYOND BRAM TCHAIKOVSKY GOMEZ


THE HUMAN MENAGERIE/ IF STRANGE MEN, CHANGED BRING IT ON – 20TH
THE PSYCHOMODO CHERRY RED MEN: THE COMPLETE ANNIVERSARY EDITION
CHRYSALIS RECORDINGS 1978-81 UMC
CHERRY RED
The vehicle for an ambitious
Beholden to Bowie and yet a true young Birmingham tyro named It seemed a strange choice when
British pop one-off, Steve Harley Mark Rogers, Hollywood Beyond Better known to his mum as Peter Gomez scooped the Mercury
was an art-pop visionary. Fiercely enjoyed a Top 10 single in 1986 Bramall, singer and guitarist Bram Music Prize with their debut album
ambitious, he crammed prog with the jolting, vaguely exotic Tchaikovsky cut his musical teeth 20 years ago, pipping Massive
rock, glam and songs about Marc What’s The Colour Of Money? with pub rockers The Motors, who Attack, Pulp and The Verve, and
Bolan into Cockney Rebel’s 1973 The lippy Rogers talked a good scored a No.4 hit in 1978 with the two decades on it doesn’t appear
debut, The Human Menagerie, fight, declaring this his music ELO-like Airport. Three of his solo any more explicable. They looked
working with a 50-piece orchestra was “pop but not pap, artistic albums – Strange Man, Changed like busking Rag Week students
while remembering that the trick without being intellectual, vibrant Man (1979), The Russians Are attempting to play Delta blues,
was to hit the listener with killer without being blasé, unique Coming (1980) and Funland but that hasn’t stopped the band
pop choruses. His follow-up, without being original”, but the (1981) – are now collected here marking the 20th anniversary
1974’s The Psychomodo, found band’s mildly soulful, mildly funky in a 3CD boxset and confirm of Bring It On’s unlikely triumph
him mangling vowels, using lead debut album, rereleased now as that Tchaikovsky’s forte was, well, with an all-singing, all-dancing
violin over guitar and unleashing a 2CD set, failed to live up to his pub rock. At best, as on Sarah 4CD boxset of remastered tracks,
the hallucinogenic Mr. Soft, quite rhetoric. Despite Rogers’s siren Smiles and this set’s title track, B-sides, demos and a live set from
the most berserk pop-psychedelia vocal, subsequent singles sank his rudimentary riffs could evoke Glastonbury. Nowadays they make
nugget of the day. He still sounds without trace and Hollywood the art-rock menace of The Who. a decent living in America, where
glorious – but what a shame this Beyond dissolved, destined to be Mostly, though, he sounded like people are far keener on this sort
2CD set doesn’t add Judy Teen. IG archetypal one-hit wonders. IG Status Quo. IG of thing. IG

98

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R E I S S U E S C O M P I L A T I O N S

VARIOUS ARTISTS VARIOUS ARTISTS


R E VA M P : R E I M A G I N I N G B U R N I N G B R I TA I N : A
T H E S O N G S O F E LT O N STORY OF INDEPENDENT
J O H N & B E R N I E TA U P I N UK PUNK 1980-83
VIRGIN EMI CHERRY RED

They Call It The Blues, Sam truth, you’d need a pretty iron
Smith’s clenched croon through constitution to get through the
Daniel and Lady Gaga’s 114 tracks all in one sitting.
earnest mugging of Your Song These raw, rudimentary 1-2-3-4!
add nothing to the originals. thrash-essays are wearingly
Coldplay gently mope samey – who, except for Gary
through We All Fall In Love Bushell, could tell where the
Sometimes, while Ed Sheeran Cockney Rejects, 4 Skins,
adds a quirky charm to the G.B.H. or Chaos U.K ended,
ever-mawkish Candle In The and Chron Gen, Infa-Riot,
Wind. Florence Welch goes full Septic Psychos or Drongos For
foghorn on Tiny Dancer and Europe began?
The Killers fall oddly flat on Oi! punk, or UK82 as its
Twenty-seven years after Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters. The term post-punk misleadingly insiders knew it, was a music
Mercury Records gathered Most successful contributions assumes that all bands inspired that applauded its own lack of
artists such as Tina Turner, The come when the artists take by the late 70s punk explosion subtlety, but its lowest-common-
Who and Kate Bush to cover the greatest liberties. Elton, went on to craft radical, denominator ethos could slip
Elton John and Bernie Taupin P!nk and Logic team up to boundaries-testing music... into self-parody. Were there
songs on Two Rooms, Revamp turn Bennie And The Jets into Well, they didn’t. A lot of really tracks called Banned
repeats the trick. stuttering pop-rap, Q-Tip and groups simply slavishly copied From The Pubs by Peter And
As ever with such projects, Demi Lovato ooze through Don’t the original punks. The Test Tube Babies and Have
it’s a curate’s egg. Some Go Breaking My Heart, and Burning Britain is a 4CD You Got 10p? by The Ejected?
contributors opt for safety-first: Mary J Blige’s distorted R&B boxset of the heads-down, “Punk’s not dead!” they used
Alessia Cara’s turbo-charged take on Sorry Seems To Be The safety-pinned and Mohican- to claim – but it sounds horribly
warble of I Guess That’s Why Hardest Word is a revelation. IG toting second-wave punks. In embalmed here. IG

OLETA ADAMS CHICAGO MARLENA SHAW HAZEL O’CONNOR


CIRCLE OF ONE VI DECADES LIVE GO AWAY LITTLE BOY: THE SONS AND LOVERS
CAROLINE INTERNATIONAL (THIS IS WHAT WE DO) COLUMBIA ANTHOLOGY CHERRY RED
RHINO SOULMUSIC RECORDS

Oleta Adams was famously Hazel O’Connor’s music career fell


discovered by Tears For Fears’ Chicago were the kind of bloated One of the great under-celebrated off a rather precipitous cliff after
Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith US soft-rock behemoth that the jazz-soul singers, Marlena Shaw her 1980 debut album and movie
performing in a hotel bar in 80s synth-pop explosion correctly enjoyed a creative and commercial soundtrack, Breaking Glass, which
Kansas City. She went on to sing defined itself against, yet they were purple patch when signed to was a shame as this follow-up,
on their humongous The Seeds originally jazz- and classical- Columbia from 1977 to 1980. This released the same year, was a
Of Love album and was awarded tinged experimentalists before 2CD set cherry-picks the best and minor masterpiece of commercial
a solo deal by their record label, switching to becoming peddlers of most luscious moments from her new-wave pop. O’Connor’s spiky,
Fontana. Her debut, 1990’s Circle chart-bothering sickly sentimental three albums for them. Highlights defiant singing rode the jagged
Of One, went to No.1 in the UK, dreck such as If You Leave Me include the velvet-voiced soul and post-punk rhythms adroitly and
powered by her cover of Brenda Now and Hard To Say I’m Sorry. sassy comedy of the no-good-man- the record did at least spawn a
Russell’s Get Here. Hearing it Their journey from jazzy noodling dissing Yu-Ma/Go Away Little Top 10 single in the heroically
again, it’s evident that Adams at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival Boy, the Blaxploitation funk-hued twitchy D-Days. Additional tracks
was an old-school soul singer to churning out conveyor-belt theme from 1977 movie Looking on this deluxe CD reissue include a
who grabbed her escape route AOR abominations at Caesar’s For Mr Goodbar, and a jive- roustabout 1980 London live duet
from the cabaret circuit with both Palace is well-represented by this talking hi-energy disco version of Bowie’s Suffragette City between
hands. It’s a 2CD set: the second 5CD live boxset – assuming, that of Diana Ross’s Touch Me In The O’Connor and some bloke called
disc, featuring eight remixes of the is, that the thought of a Chicago Morning that works even though Simon Le Bon, singer with her
Orzabal-penned Rhythm Of Life, is 5CD live boxset doesn’t bring you it really, really shouldn’t. A rare then-unknown tour support band...
less than essential. IG out in hives. IG talent indeed. IG Duran Duran. IG

99

CP40.reissues.print.indd 99 10/04/2018 09:27


THE UNDERTONES – THE CURE – MIXED
SINGLES UP/TORN DOWN
Record Store Day brought a Record Store day also saw
plethora of riches this year, a re-release of The Cure’s
not least this functionally-titled Mixed Up remix album from
boxset of 7” versions of all 13 1990 that found the band
singles released by The Undertones attempting to engage with dance
from 1978 until their split in 1983. and club culture and being largely
R E I S S U E S There’s not a dud here: it’s – and slightly unfairly – mocked
staggering to reflect that for their for their pains. Undeterred by this,
A N D B E Y O N D first six singles, the Derry teen-punks they have returned to the scene
A NUMBER OF 80S FAVOURITES EMBRACED were able to come up with Teenage
Kicks, Get Over You, Jimmy Jimmy,
of the crime 28 years later to give
us Torn Down, a double album
THIS YEAR’S RECORD STORE DAY WITH THE Here Comes The Summer, You’ve of 16 new mixes by Robert Smith.
Got My Number (Why Don’t You Given the nature of Cure fandom,
LIKES OF THE CURE, ERASURE, MADNESS, Use It?) and My Perfect Cousin. it’s likely a lot of people will
DURAN DURAN, EURYTHMICS AND In addition to the original sleeve
artwork, you also get the Teenage
consider these valiant Smith
reworkings of tracks including
FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD Kicks poster single, photos and Three Imaginary Boys, Shake Dog
notes by the band, and a Shake, Plainsong and Never
ALL RELEASING LIMITED EDITION track-by-track commentary from Enough to be an essential
COLLECTIONS ON VINYL Undertones bassist Michael Bradley.
It would all have been a John Peel
purchase, especially as the whole
pouting package is a 7,750
I A N G I T T I N S wet dream, frankly. copies limited-edition picture disc.

ERASURE – THE DURAN DURAN – MADNESS – I DO P!NK – I’M NOT DEAD/


TWO RING CIRCUS BUDOKAN LIKE TO BE B-SIDE FUNHOUSE/THE TRUTH
THE A-SIDE ABOUT LOVE
After a disappointing Eighties stars sure came out
reaction to the previous in force for this year’s Record Recycling an old song title P!nk can be an acquired
year’s debut, Wonderland, Store Day. Duran Duran chipped by The Style Council for its taste, but when the shouty
1987’s The Circus proved to be in with this previously unreleased moniker (and let’s face it, it suits US arena-filling pop star sheds her
Erasure’s breakthrough album. live album from the Nippon them far more), Madness now earnestness and goes into full-on
Spawning four hit singles, the Budokan. Recorded last September, release the B-sides to their first glam cartoon-pop mode, she is
record instilled in the Great as the Duranies ended their 11 singles as a RSD vinyl album. big fun. Here, she is doling out
British public a love for Vince two-year world tour in support of Their catalogue runs so deep and coloured-vinyl reissues of three
Clarke and Andy Bell’s the so-so Paper Gods record, it rich that their B-sides would make mid-career albums, 2006’s I’m Not
high-energy disco synth-pop that comes in bespoke, highly A-sides for most bands, so this is Dead, 2008’s Funhouse and
has seen the duo maintain a collectable artwork by noted a great chance to discover hidden 2012’s The Truth About Love, which
30-year career that shows no Japanese graphic designer and Nutty Boy gems such as Mistakes, have between them sold more than
sign of stalling. It came at the artist Tadanori Yokoo. The six-track the B-side to One Step Beyond, 20 million copies. I’m Not Dead
dawn of the era of the remix setlist of highlights may at first Stepping Into Line, the flip of My yielded the powerhouse, Max
album, and so that same year glance look a little stingy but it’s still Girl, and The Business, the Mike Martin co-written lovelorn single
Mute released The Two Ring a decent running time as (Reach Barson-composed backing track Who Knew, while Funhouse
Circus, a double 12” record Up For The) Sunrise segues into to Baggy Trousers. It’s a joyous produced the irresistible, chanting
featuring remixes of six tracks, a lengthy New Moon On Monday set, wrapped in a monochrome thug-pop of So What (also a Martin
including a Flood mix of its big and The Universe Alone builds into sleeve of the suspiciously buff- co-write), but The Truth About Love,
hit, Sometimes, and orchestral a joyous Save A Prayer. They have looking band members larking with its guest appearances from
takes on three others. It is only printed 2,700 copies, so get around on a diving board at Eminem and Lily Allen, is probably
reissued on fetching yellow vinyl. your skates on. a 50s-style holiday camp. the strongest album of the trio.

100

CP40.LLV.print.indd 100 09/04/2018 16:35


L O N G L I V E V I N Y L

U2 – POP/ALL THAT YOU CAN’T LEAVE


BEHIND/WIDE AWAKE IN AMERICA
There is a slew of U2 material remastered and reissued on vinyl this
month, although none of it represents the band’s finest work. Pop was
released in 1997 and looked to continue the process of ironic reinvention
they had begun with Achtung Baby and Zooropa, but it always felt a little
undercooked. All That You Can’t Leave Behind (2000) was the first instance
of U2’s regrettable 21st century habit of delivering underwhelming albums
wrapped in cumbersome titles. Probably the pick of this batch is Wide
Awake In America, the EP first released in 1985 during the Unforgettable
Fire Tour and featuring live versions of Bad and A Sort Of Homecoming.

FRANKIE GOES TO EURYTHMICS – 1984


HOLLYWOOD – THE (FOR THE LOVE OF
FIRST 48 INCHES BIG BROTHER)
OF FRANKIE GOES In the wake of Annie Lennox
TO HOLLYWOOD recently reissuing Diva and
It’s good to see that Frankie’s Medusa on vinyl, Eurythmics also
talent for innuendo has not get in on the act with a RSD release
deserted them, as the title of this of their soundtrack album, 1984
limited-edition RSD boxset suggests. (For The Love Of Big Brother).
Featuring the first four 12” singles When the record came out to
from their chart-annexing 1984 accompany the John Hurt/Richard
album, Welcome To The Burton movie take on George
Pleasuredome, the set still sounds Orwell’s dystopian classic, Dave
sharp, sexy and visceral. This Stewart, never a man to be shy
collection includes the record- of a fanciful notion, claimed it was:
breaking run of three consecutive “Kraftwerk meets African tribal
start-of-career No.1s – the throbbing meets Booker T & The M.G.’s”.
Relax, archly provocative Two That was pushing it... what it
Tribes and the knowingly soppy The sounded like was the Eurythmics.
Power Of Love – and the album’s This comes pressed on heavyweight
title track, which stopped short at red vinyl, and the super-sibilant
No.2, mainly because by then Sexcrime (Nineteen Eighty-Four)
everybody in Britain had already remains one of electro-pop’s most
bought the LP. addictive guilty pleasures.

THE STREETS – ORIGINAL


PIRATE MATERIAL/
A GRAND DON’T
COME FOR FREE

When Mike Skinner first


called a halt to The Streets in
2011, the time was right, but it’s
easy to forget how vital these first
two albums were. Bookended by
the stirring strings and gritty urban
majesty of Turn The Page and Stay
Positive, Original Pirate Material
sounds immense on 180g vinyl, the
bass on Has It Come To This? and
Let’s Push Things Forward pleasingly
hefty. A Grand Don’t Come For
Free was a less consistent album,
but it heralded No.1 single Dry
Your Eyes and the entrancing
MDMA swirl of Blinded By The
Lights. These records remain an
essential part of the fabric of
modern British music. Gary Walker

101

CP40.LLV.print.indd 101 12/04/2018 10:48


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JAKE SHEARS PAMELA DES BARRES
BOYS KEEP SWINGING: I’M WITH THE BAND
A MEMOIR ( U P D AT E D E D I T I O N )
OMNIBUS PRESS OMNIBUS PRESS

From his sheltered childhood However you choose to view


in Arizona, Jake’s story is the it, this updated version is an
classic tale of a small town misfit undisputed joy, perfectly evoking
and his quest to find a place to rock’s glory days of the late 60s
call home with like-minded peers. and early 70s.
The detailing of his early Detailing her dalliances with
life and struggles is particularly the likes of Mick Jagger, Jimmy
moving – the poignancy with Page, Jim Morrison, Keith Moon
which he handles his coming and many others, Pamela reveals
out to his parents will no doubt the other side of the groupie in
be invaluable to some members a book which is self-deprecating
of the LGBTQ+ community. and brutally honest.
The book straddles the duality It is also, surprisingly given its
After a wealth of boring, run-of- of grafting and good times as he Thirty years after I’m With The subject matter, almost romantic
the-mill music memoirs, the genre sets off on his quest for stardom. Band: Confessions Of A Groupie in a tragic way, as the likeable
really is enjoying a new lease The book brilliantly captures was first published, Pamela Des heroine stumbles from heartbreak
of life thanks to Brett Anderson’s the vibrancy of the music scenes Barres’ groundbreaking account to heartbreak, you can’t help but
Coal Black Mornings and in Seattle and the drug-fuelled of life as a groupie has seen its be on her side.
now Jake Shears’ offering. As debauchery of pre-millennial place in popular culture change The prototype for countless
you’d expect from the erstwhile New York City, and how irrevocably. Dismissed initially books of this ilk, I’m With The
frontman of the Scissor Sisters, the Scissor Sisters went from as a trashy kiss-and-tell, it has Band is still an original voice in
one of the most flamboyant underground club freaks to since gone on to be heralded as a much-emulated market. It offers
acts in recent years, Boys Keep international superstars. something of a work of profound an intimate view into the rock
Swinging... is a no-holds-barred Funny, sad and deliciously feminism and will no doubt be world, California during the
romp (and there is a lot of indiscreet, Shears’ memoir is viewed differently again in the free-love era, and (briefly) inside
romping) through Jake’s colourful a classic in the making. politicised light of the Me Too the personalities of those now
life so far. Mark Lindores and Time’s Up movements. considered icons. ML

DAVID BUCKLEY MARGO JEFFERSON


E LT O N J O H N ON MICHAEL JACKSON
ANDRE DEUTSCH GRANTA BOOKS

colleagues, collaborators, Jefferson’s new definitive and


journalists and music historians, dazzling dissection is more
Buckley has covered enough a cultural study of the man
ground to formulate a refreshingly and performer rather than a
unbiased portrait. meaningless biography.
From Reg Dwight’s Delving into Jackson’s lyrics
transformation into Elton John in and music videos, she talks not
1967, when he was paid by a only about Michael but uses him
music publisher to pen 18 songs as a symbol to commentate
a year and struck a professional on what he represents to different
partnership with Bernie Taupin, echelons of society – race,
the book details the highs and gender, idol worship, child
lows of an often turbulent life, stardom and freakshows.
With Elton John’s mammoth detailing the excesses that In the nine years since Michael As well as his music,
farewell tour due to kick off plagued the star behind the Jackson died, it seems that she examines his changing
in September, a new tribute scenes of his gargantuan success everyone who knew, worked appearance and explores
album and a film of his life in in the 70s and 80s. with, was related to, or just his tragic downfall in the
pre-production, the timing couldn’t We also learn much about happened to pass him on the early 90s. She exposes the
be better for the release of this his relationship with Taupin, his street seemed to have a story “trial by television” media circus
new biography. complicated love life, tireless to tell – and they did (even that surrounded him following
Author David Buckley, whose charity work, role as mentor to the doctor that went to prison the allegations of child abuse
Strange Fascination is still one younger musicians and his settled for prescribing the medication made against him and how they
of the definitive books on David family life. that killed him wrote an tainted his career and legacy
Bowie, is intent on ensuring that Even though Elton has autobiography). The sheer volume in a way that never left the star.
another essential musical icon announced his plans to tell his of books written about him leads Deep and thought-provoking,
gets the biographical treatment own explosive story in 2019, us to question what there is left to this new study of Jackson offers
that has so far been denied him. Buckley’s biography is a page- say that hasn’t already been said. a fresh perspective of The King
After conducting hundreds turningly entertaining portrait of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Of Pop and his status as a
of interviews with friends, the man behind the glitz. ML and cultural critic Margo cultural phenomenon. ML

104

CP40.Reviews_Books.print.indd 104 12/04/2018 09:45


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© Naomi Dryden-Smith
Getty Images
ERASURE
EVENTIM APOLLO, LONDON
23 FEBRUARY

OVER 30 YEARS INTO THEIR CAREER AND THE PIONEERING SYNTH-POP DUO DELIVER
THEIR A-GAME WITH A CAREER-SPANNING SET – LET’S GIVE THEM A LITTLE RESPECT

W
ho’d have thought Clarke has now relocated Ship Of Fools makes an early Clarke’s disco tambourine fails
that an advert to New York and put some appearance alongside an to distract from it being a bit
requesting a singer, distance between them and elegant Breathe. of a filler track. We also get
placed by the this seems reflected in the Sadly, Mad As We Are, a rather perfunctory cover
creatively restless stage setup: Vince’s keyboards from 2000’s rather forgettable of Blondie’s Atomic.
Vince Clarke in are positioned on a balcony Loveboat, fails to compete with Yet the cold riff of Who
a 1985 Melody high above Bell. We can only the crowd’s phone-fiddling. Needs Love (Like That) sounds
Maker, would result presume that any similarity However, the call and as immediate today as it ever
in such an enduring to Alan Partridge’s Knowing response of Just A Little Love did, as does the effortless
and much-loved Me, Knowing You set is holds its own and echoes the perfection of Stop!
pop legacy. unintentional… but you electro-gospel of tonight’s Bell is in fine voice and
Andy Bell, the singer whose do half-expect Bell to press highlight Phantom Bride. wears an all-in-one tattoo suit
flamboyant style and beautiful his nose and point to his Glen There’s admirable for a dreamy Always, before
vocals proved the perfect foil Ponder for a cymbal crash – representation of all their a rousing Here I Go Impossible
for Clarke’s electronic vision, ba dum tish! albums. Bell’s confusion over Again and Sometimes set things
remains one of pop’s most An undeniable synchronicity which record In My Arms up neatly for the crowd-pleasing
enigmatic performers. remains between the pair. belongs is laughed off as encore of A Little Respect.
From the off, and the While his partner does the the front row correct him – It might be called the World
splendid riff of Oh L’amour, heavy lifting, a besuited Clarke Cowboy! they scream. Be Gone Tour, but on tonight’s
from 1986’s debut album twiddles with computers. I Love Saturday hits the showing we’re grateful that
Wonderland, Erasure set about There are shades of Pet Friday night crowd like the Erasure look like they’re here
demonstrating their vitality with Shop Boys’ Fundamental-era EDM gym anthem it always to stay.
a comprehensive 24-song set. neon strips, as a stripped-back threatened to be, but even Tom Hocknell

110

CP40.Live_Reviews.print.indd 110 12/04/2018 10:50


L I V E & E V E N T S

M A Y 2 0 1 8

CLASSIC

BEST LIVE SHOW

Getty Images
© Naomi Dryden-Smith
MORRISSEY
A L E X A N D R A PA L A C E , L O N D O N
9 MARCH

ALWAYS LACONIC AND SOMETIMES IRONIC, THE ANTI-MONARCHY MORRISSEY


RULES ALEXANDRA PALACE AS HE LETS THE MUSIC DO THE TALKING FOR ONCE

I
t’s hard to know if For an art associated with The Police?... “I’m sorry, I just hang upon every word. If
Morrissey courts rebellion, rock has become cannot believe you,”a reminder you lose him it’s because you
controversy or whether it somewhat formalist and of his willingness to confess stopped listening.
courts him, but thankfully Morrissey’s been criticised what others fear to. Jack The Ripper peppers
last year’s resurgent Low recently for breaking the Then it’s: ‘I am the son and the crowd with such searing
In High School album conformity of music’s opinion the heir...’ of a mighty How guitar licks that it’s hard to
effectively erases memories on politics, but, as with his Soon Is Now?. While it might imagine Marr taking things
of his ill-advised novel List vegetarianism, you don’t have be Johnny Marr’s finest moment, so gloriously carelessly.
Of The Lost. If tonight’s to agree with him. He remains he’s always seemed to struggle Everyday Is Like Sunday
skinheads, suedeheads the boy who never shied away. when playing it live and he’ll romps past, while the recent
and mods are an indicator, His band contains more be bemused by the irony that single Jacky’s Only Happy
Morrissey continues to provoke people than he claims to have Morrissey has nailed it. It’s When She’s Up On The Stage
the sort of loyalty more as friends, and shrugs off a tremblingly taut epic, closing is even better live – its closing
associated with football teams previous muddy pedestrianism with edgy synths refusing to chant of “everybody’s heading
than a man who once made in favour of a clipped lightness die – a song that never outstays to the exit” is as uplifting as it
National Health glasses cool. reminiscent of The Smiths, its welcome. is unsettling.
The mariachi-laced opening who get an early look in The Bullfighter Dies feels He’s mastered the art of
cover of Elvis’ You’ll Be Gone with I Started Something I forced, unlike the salvo of the ambiguity that most pop
sets his stall out, as he croons Couldn’t Finish. Highlights of effortless lopes of Spent The stars never achieve, and he’s
ever closer to one of his idols. the new album stand bold, Day In Bed and When You beginning to merge with the
In open shirt and terribly cut with a shimmering I Wish You Open Your Legs. icons he always admired. Just
jeans, he’s half pugilist, half Lonely, and the heartbreaking His voice is more impressive not as a novelist.
harried father. Who Will Protect Us From than ever, majestic even. You Tom Hocknell

111

CP40.Live_Reviews.print.indd 111 12/04/2018 11:08


PAUL
WELLER
SSE HYDRO,
GLASGOW
25 FEBRUARY

Jam veterans, Brit-poppers and


mods of all stripes shake off
the cold as Paul Weller arrives
on stage. He looks ready to do
business armed with his trusty
Telecaster before firing into I’m
Where I Should Be.
One fan is given short
shrift for being unaware of
the opening few numbers.
“I can’t help ya if you don’t

© Richard Purden
buy the facking records,” is
his no-nonsense retort. No such
problems with a clutch of songs
from The Style Council, after
declaring that the 80s were
“facking rubbish” he disproves Soul with Up In Suzes’ Room, 10 years, gives a collective vocal on Wild Wood
the point with Have You Ever a beautifully crafted gem that feel to a stripped-down is further bolstered by the
Had It Blue, featuring some has aged well. Friday Street is acoustic section of the show. crowd. It’s another much-loved
beautiful guitar tones from greeted like an old pal, while Weller suggests he might get song in this city, which led
Steve Cradock, and My Ever Peacock Suit is dedicated to “run out of town” for playing Weller to comment on feeling
Changing Moods. Glasgow’s blue-eyed soul hero English Rose, before The Ballad deeply moved.
Lead vocals are shared with Frankie Miller. Weller’s timbre Of Jimmy McCabe, from last During a final encore of Town
Weller’s long-serving sideman tonight summons something year’s Jawbone score, which Called Malice they are joined
during Man In The Corner of Miller’s bluesy vocal on the proves to be another recent by Cradock’s son Cassius on
Shop, the once teenage Jam likes of Whirlpool’s End – a set track that deserves to sit among guitar who represents that
fan looks in his element as the highlight which never fails to his best. Unfortunately audience eternal teenage Jam fan, which
crowd sing along during the bump up the atmosphere. chatter during these more many here of a certain vintage
spine-tingling chorus. Elsewhere The band’s chemistry, which intimate numbers is a point of will forever relate to.
there’s a nod to 1997’s Heavy has developed over the past frustration. Steve Pilgrim’s hefty Richard Purden

LLOYD COLE
P L AY H O U S E , W H I T L E Y B AY
23 FEBRUARY

Lloyd Cole has a downbeat but by the end of the two-hour


stage persona with a crafty show people are shouting out
line in self-effacing humour requests and swapping quips
that wins over tonight’s full with their laconic host.
house: “I messed up the lyrics Lloyd Cole And The
on that one,” he says at one Commotions were a guitar-
point. “If you ever witness a based band and that rock’n’roll
flawless performance of my edge was a notable absence
material you’ll know it was here. However, what we got
a tribute act.” instead was much more intimate
Following on from a nine-date and direct.
American tour, this jaunt across Cole is a thoughtful, artful,
© Photoshot

the UK sees the singer gigging lyricist and without a band


mid-range venues. Drawing there’s nothing to get in the
from his 1983 to 1996 output way of the words. Perfect
with The Commotions and solo, Skin motors along nicely,
The Retrospective Tour sees him Rattlesnakes is a great piece his strong and melodic vocal Before Jennifer She Said,
playing totally solo. of reflective observation, and remains undiminished by more he asks the audience to join in:
As he is his “own support Lost Weekend, his biggest than 30 years of performing. “You can help me out, or you
act”, Lloyd gets to pace the gig hit from 1985, has a killer The subject matter of his songs can watch me suffer,” and the
well and selects well-known melody which rounds off the may be fiction or drawn from crowd respond by cheerfully
songs throughout both halves main set wonderfully. Cole’s own experiences, but “la-la-ing” along – nobody was
of the evening. The audience Cole is a confident, but in the audience happily buy into in danger of suffering tonight.
takes a little time to warm up, no way showy, performer – Lloyd’s world regardless. Ian Ravendale

112

CP40.Live_Reviews.print.indd 112 10/04/2018 11:35


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CLASSIC

© Photoshot/Mike Prior
MOMENTS

No.40
W E L L E R C O N V E N E S
T H E S T Y L E C O U N C I L
7 M A Y 1 9 8 3
After disbanding The Jam at the peak of their popularity in 1982,
Paul Weller unveiled his new soul, pop and funk-influenced group,
The Style Council, at the Festival For Peace CND in Brockwell Park,
London. It initially included just Weller and keyboardist
Mick Talbot – he shared The Modfather’s “hatred of the rock myth
and rock culture”, apparently. The permanent line-up grew to
feature drummer Steve White and Weller’s then-girlfriend Dee
C. Lee. The band went on to score seven UK Top 10 singles and
three Top 10 albums. More overtly political than The Jam, Weller’s
new outfit regularly included lyrical attacks on Middle England
and the incumbent Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.
Steve Harnell

114

CP40.CPM.print.indd 114 09/04/2018 16:16


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