diamond geezer

 Thursday, March 29, 2007

Silver discs (March 1982)
A monthly look back at the top singles of 25 years ago

My five favourite records from March 1982 (at the time)
Toni Basil - Mickey: Ah, the sheer exuberance of grinning cheerleader chic - you can no doubt picture the pom-pom-packed video even before you click on the YouTube link. But this was nothing fresh. Toni's recording was actually three years old, and a cover version (originally called "Kitty" and recorded by UK band Racey). Rah rah! [video] [lyrics]
"Oh Mickey, what a pity you don't understand, you take me by the heart when you take me by the hand"

Associates - Party Fears Two: How. Good. Was. This? Billy Mackenzie's hysterical warbly vocals were simply gorgeous, and Alan Rankine's keyboard riff found near-immortality on Radio 4's Week Ending. Alas Alan didn't stick around with the band for long (and is now a lecturer at Glasgow's Stow College) while Billy (poor Billy) took another way out ten years ago and is sadly no longer with us. [ToTP]
"Please don't start saying that, or I'll start believing you"

Imagination - Just An Illusion: There was a lot of grim pseudo-soul around in 1982, but this was a sensual body-grinding beauty. Over-vowelled lead singer Leee John seemed to take the whole thing far too seriously (especially in the video, wafting his way round a 'spooky' stately home) but one suspects his pouting tongue was firmly in his cheek. [video]
"Touching many hearts along the way, hoping that I'll never have to say it's just an illusion"

Monsoon - Ever So Lonely: Four facts about Monsoon's pioneering lead singer Sheila Chandra: 1) She appeared in Grange Hill as Sudhamani Patel. 2) She was (so she says) the first Asian singer to appear on Top Of The Pops. 3) She's released ten solo albums since the band split. 4) She's five days younger than me. [ToTP]
"Ever so lo-lo-lo-nely without you... be my friend tonight "

ABC - Poison Arrow: From the nigh perfect album The Lexicon of Love emerged this bittersweet sparkling classic. Martin Fry's ABC had suddenly evolved into gorgeous gold-suited music masters - both poppy and popular (a bit like the Scissor Sisters today). The video's not dated well, however, especially the crowd of ageing disco dancers, and a miniature Martin cowering beneath a threatening wine glass. [video] [lyrics]
"If I were to say to you 'Can you keep a secret?' would you know just what to do or where to keep it?"

...and three real stinkers
Goombay Dance Band - Seven Tears: We had it easy, you know. The Germans suffered this lot atop their charts for nine full weeks with a Caribbean ditty called Sun of Jamaica, so a mere three weeks of Seven Tears was no rum deal. Lead singer Oliver Bendt is still calypso-ing, but now beneath an unflattering baseball cap and surrounded by two slightly younger backing singers called Anna and Mary. [video] [lyrics]
"Seven tears have flown into the river, seven tears are running to the sea"

Tight Fit - The Lion Sleeps Tonight: What did lead singer Steve Grant think he looked like? Prancing around in a fake leopardskin while warbling in an unfeasibly high voice, grinning at comedy cannibals and wrestling a pantomime lion. This was the umpteenth cover version of a song first heard in 1930s Johannesburg, but by now the chant of 'Mbube' had evolved into the more familiar 'Wimoweh'. Disney later snaffled the tune as part of Lion King, which finally inspired the township family of the original composer to claim a long-deserved royalty payment. [video]
"In the jungle, the quiet jungle, the lion sleeps tonight, a-wimoweh, a-wimoweh"

Adrian Gurvitz - Classic: A bloke with a shaggy perm singing a mournful dirge with rhyming couplets that would disgrace an infant school poetry class. No, it hasn't got any better with age. [ToTP] [lyrics]
"Got to write a classic, got to write it in an attic. Babe, I'm an addict now, an addict for your love"

15 other hits from 25 years ago: See You (Depeche Mode), Run To The Hills (Iron Maiden), Stars on Stevie (Starsound), Some Guys Have All The Luck (Robert Palmer), Never Give Up (George Benson), Head Over Heels (Abba), Baal's Hymn (David Bowie), The Damned Don't Cry (Visage), Your Honour (Pluto), Is It A Dream? (Classix Nouveaux), Ghosts (Japan), A New Fashion (Bill Wyman), Nightbirds (Shakatak), Deutscher Girls (Adam and the Ants), Music For Chameleons (Gary Numan) ...which hit's your favourite? ...which one would you pick?

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