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  • THE CRAMPS – FASTER PUSSYCAT Feb 19, 2020

    THE CRAMPS – FASTER PUSSYCAT

    This month in 1984 saw the release of the France-only picture disc FASTER PUSSYCAT / YOU GOT GOOD TASTE by THE CRAMPS, (February 1984).

    This cover of the main song from the 1965 Russ Meyer’s sexplotation cult-classic Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill was originally titled ‘Run Pussy Cat’ and composed by Bert Shefter. The Russian-born film composer who worked primarily in the States teamed up with fellow film composer Paul Sawtell and composed some scores for Meyer in the mid-60s including ‘Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!’

    “Faster Pussycat is as good a cover version as you are ever likely to hear,” wrote MidnightPunk.

    “Quite similar to the Bert Schefter original but the guitar here wins hands down. Psychotic and luxurious – it sounds like the 60’s and the 80’s have never needed the 70’s. A corker.”

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  • ADAM & THE ANTS – KINGS OF THE WILD FRONTIER Feb 19, 2020

    ADAM & THE ANTS – KINGS OF THE WILD FRONTIER

    On this date in 1981, ADAM & THE ANTS were on Top Of The Pops performing KINGS OF THE WILD FRONTIER, (February 19th, 1981).

    1980 Ants were one part singer Adam in glitter-era Bowie mode, one part guitarist Marco Pirroni drawing from sources as diverse as Mick Ronson and Link Wray, and one part rhythm section, bassist Kevin Mooney and double drummers Merrick and Terry Lee Miall. Combine these ingredients with songs that dwelt on Adam’s obsessions — pirates, American Indian culture, Spaghetti westerns — and you had a marvellous romp.

    The 80s incarnation of the Ants might have flaunted their roots at every opportunity, but their vision — and sound — was strictly their own.

    'Dog Eat Dog', one of this album's three major singles hits in Britain, was a prime example of Antmusic. It picked up steam gradually, with percussion and war whoops joined by twangy guitar and bass. Then Adam's voice came in supported by a chanting chorus. Guitar turned percussive, beating counter rhythms on damped strings, and finally the second drum crashed through like a summer cloudburst. The effect was riveting.

    It was that way throughout: North American Indian chants and Afro percussion. The combination could be decidedly silly but most often inspired and a whole lot of fun.

    “...he was one of the very best,” said Bob Stanley in 2006, “all flash and quite beautiful. Lyrically, he was strong on rock'n'roll soundbites: "Unplug the jukebox and do us all a favour/ that music's lost its taste so try another flavour." Before MTV, he realised that video was the new medium; the spectacle would be as important as the sound of the Eighties.”

    "I really think," enthused Adam in 1981, "it's just that our Sound and our Look came together at the right time. We'd been working for along time, but with the 'Kings Of The Wild Frontier' single, Antmusic For Sexpeople – which had been an ideal – became a reality. A Sound was achieved with it that was ours and no-one else's – 'Dog Eat Dog' and 'Antmusic' confirmed it, as did the album itself.”

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  • THE TEARDROP EXPLODES - REWARD Feb 19, 2020

    On this date in 1981, THE TEARDROP EXPLODES were on Top Of The Pops performing REWARD, (February 19th 1981).

    THE TEARDROP EXPLODES made perfect, fresh-faced, buoyant and bouncy singles; adventurous songs that strode forth on a punch of brass scything up contemporary pop with off-kilter lyrics and a surreal, mesmerising backing.

    As Julian Cope said, “There's no point in putting out something that's weird and esoteric and 'credible'. It won't sell and the perfect pop single sells lots."

    "The whole idea of the Teardrops to me is nice, nice melodies and lyrics that, while they're always sung hopefully, have dark secrets in them when you start listening to them … It's about the British Empire, the Raj, all beautiful and smiling, with everyone in pristine condition and then you realise behind that smooth smile there's an undercurrent.”

    REWARD, The Teardrops’ biggest selling-single was first recorded for a John Peel session where, allegedly, Cope came up with the opening line just before recording – “Bless my cotton socks, I’m in the news” – a statement on how he felt about being on the radio.

    Cope’s idea was for the song to sound like a northern-soul classic but hectic, invested with frenetic energy and featuring stabs of brass akin to that on Love’s classic album ‘Forever Changes’ - something more easily done when you’re on acid.

    “Me and Bill Drummond, our co-manager, booked another studio with another producer, and I took acid,” Cope recalled. “I remember Bill saying: “Julian, you’re dancing and the music’s not even playing.”

    Cope decided to take most of the guitar out.

    “There’s only one guitar chord in the whole song – and the guitarist (Alan Gill) wrote the music,” he said.

    In 1981, the song peaked at #6 on the UK Singles Chart and the band made an appearance on TOTP

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