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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Bagarre

Sorry about the break folks.  Classes started and I was back to teaching.  Hopefully it was worth the wait cause I have some real delicious rare italo disco goodies to throw your way.


Bagarre are a curious act.  I'd have to say what they are serving is actually more new wave then italo disco.  Considering their first releases came out in 1982 that's understandable.


The first single was LemonSweet.  An interesting point to make about Bagarre is that they actually have a proper English vocalist.  No funny Italian pronunciation here.  The groove is irrefutable though.  These tracks were made for the club, as oft-kilter as they are.


LemonSweet even came out on two different Italian 12".  Not sure what the story was on that but sort of interesting for the time.


The second single No Toys actually has a 9 minute plus remix which I haven't got but I do feature the album version here.
Bagarre


The third single came out in 1984 and the second l.p. in 1985 but I'm not featuring those today.  

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Leigh Bowery as Minty (an inspiration to Goldy Loxxx and all the other club kids around the world)



Leigh Bowery first made a big splash when he was promoting Taboo with his partner Trojan in London in the early 80's.  It was an incredibly trendy event, and people were encouraged to be as wild as possible.  Pop stars Marilyn and Boy George were a great part of that scene.  But who could be wilder then Leigh?  In fact so wild that Boy George an old friend of his from those days actually portrayed him in the West End and on Broadway in the play Taboo.



Though I ended up becoming friends with Leigh, we the club kids of New York always worshipped and admired him.  No matter what he always one-upped us in looks and in behavior.  Michael Alig, the New York club kid King often had his roommate and nifty with a sewing machine friend Ernie Glam, copy the looks giving them a little twist.



I'll never forget the time, though I don't remember whether it was in New York or London.  That Leigh took me in his arms and said "Goldy Loxxx you are fabulous!" to which I answered "No Leigh you are fabulous!" to which he repeated again "No Goldy Loxxx you are fabulous!" and I laughed and we had a dance.  Like no other club personality before or after Leigh just demanded to be noted, and if it wasn't just for the outfit it would end there.  But it was always so much more.  His personality, his dance moves, everything was on huge scale!  We all wanted his approval.


 The shot above is from Shampoo at Limelight a party I used to host on Saturdays in 1991.  When we brought him over for the party Peter Gatien, the owner of The Limelight was actually afraid of what he would do and we ended up paying him not to do anything.  I guess he was sure he was going to attempt to re-enact the show where he did an enema before and then comes out and on stage actually projectile shoots the liquid at the front row!  Gross yes, but once again he made sure everybody was talking about him.


These shots of us together were taken at The Limelight and at a house party I threw for Kenny Kenny at Waterside Plaza.  As you can see Mr. Pearl a great friend of Leigh's is in the picture with us too.  Pearl is a famous corset designer who has worked with many of the biggest names in fashion.



But Leigh always wanted more.  I think he wanted to be a household name.  Even though he was immortalized in paintings by the incredibly talented Lucien Freud (which now are worth millions), and he is probably the most photographed club kid of all time, it wasn't enough.

So one of his last successful endeavours was an attempt at pop stardom in his group Minty.  Their debut single, Useless Man though banned from U.K. radio was a really solid House effort.  The lyrics of course were over the top.



He certainly got a lot of press from it.  He also was well known for his incredible club performance which was even taken to New York's Wigstock and featured in the film, where he gave birth to his wife Nicola.  Yes he was married.  She was his assistant and a great friend so I guess he figured what the hell.

But what didn't he do?  He went on tour as part of Michael Clarke's dance company and he even sold some of his fashions here and there.  But he didn't really want to.  He didn't really want people to wear his clothes.  That would have made them less fabulous, and you know what, he was right.









MINTY'S FIRST SINGLE USELESS MAN
MINTY OPEN WIDE

On New Years Eve 1994 Leigh succumbed to complications from A.I.D.S. and we were all shocked and sad.  He was so active practically right up to the last minute and had been really hush-hush about not being well.  I mean the record came out in 1994 and he did shows in support of it just weeks before.

I'll never forget the impact Leigh had on me and my life will forever be enriched for just having known him.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

I hear Talk and I'm lovin' it Bucks Fizz morning music classic

Refreshed links from a 2013 blog.  All the Bucks Fizz you could possibly want.

Bucks Fizz was formed in the U.K. to win the Eurovision contest. That's exactly what they did in the 1981 contest in Dublin with Making Your Mind Up which went on to become a huge pop hit everywhere but the United States. Apparently their gimmick was they were two blond couples, not too Abba!  Their campy performance at the contest included a section midway through where the guys ripped off the girls skirts.


They went on to have three #1 singles in the U.K. and to sell over 15 million records.  Their single Land of Make Believe was so huge it actually pushed Human League's Don't You Want Me out of the #1 position in the U.K.   It's widely considered to be their best release.






They had a few other hits, but the one which really sent me over the rainbow was I Hear Talk from their fourth l.p. It was huge in clubs like The Saint and out on Fire Island which is where I first heard it. In fact on the 12" sleeve it looks like they are sitting in the area just behind the beach and forest between Cherry Grove and The Pines. But it's highly unlikely that they are.

Since again I Hear Talk made no murmurs on the pop charts in the states it's not like I could have heard it on Top 40 radio. Nor was it one of their bigger international singles.  But in December 1984 when it was released soon enough it made it's way around.  But who judges validity by pop success?



Unfortunately the group got into an accident in their tour bus coming back from a show in Newcastle and so they were not available to give promotion for the release.  So it only peaked at #34 in the U.K. and #29 in Ireland even though it was a perfect pop record and could have gone much farther.


What a brilliant idea anyway a song about gossip. Whoever Pete Sinfield or Andy Filed is my hats off to to them for writing a camp classic.


I hear talk is deeply cheerful and chirpy so if you don't feel like being happy don't bother to download.  But if you're like me then this song sends you reeling with joy!

It’s never been easy living with you
Dish of the season fishing for truth
But we got it rolling right on the track
Here’s to the future with no turning back
We’re taking half and half in mystery
We’re making love to love so easily
And still I can’t believe what’s going round
I don’t believe you’d ever let me down

I hear talk, I hear the writings on the wall

Too many private eyes and party lines
Secret signs friends who seem to know it all
I hear talk, I hear talk

Talk

I look in your eyes and what do I see
Everything I needed looking at me
Beyond all suspicion dreams on the side
Hold that position ticket to ride
So when it’s all wrapped up 
Like it’s meant to be
The only trap that’s left is jealousy
And still I can’t believe what’s going round
I don’t believe you’d ever let me down

I hear talk, I hear the writings on the wall

Too many private eyes and party lines
Secret signs friends who seem to know it all
I hear talk, I hear talk

Chinese whispers circulate

There’s a news man leaning on the garden gate
If you don’t wanna headline better use your head
‘Cause I heard someone say something you said

I hear talk, I hear the writings on the wall

Too many private eyes and party lines
Secret signs friends who seem to know it all
I hear talk, I hear talk

Talk talk talk




New Beginning, which was not one of their hit singles, is really quite fantastic too but I was just not up to writing an entire Bucks Fizz discography but here's the Mamba Seyra extended version. Check out the choral work. It's rather over the top.  This use of world music vocals was also essential to the Hazel Dean classic They Say it's Gonna Rain.




When We Were Young

Crying softly on to a clean white pillow
Watch the clock as it slowly crawls around
Rolls around
Is she sleeping? no
Is she dreaming?
Time, it passes without that familiar touch
Familiar touch

Love has gone, tears are here, nothing left
Life has changed, remember when we were young

Were young
When we were young
When we were young
When we were young

She pours a coffee and looks in the mirror
Suddenly she's glad he can't see her face
Can't see her face
Youth, it passes while age is collected
Disappears from behind the wires without trace
Without trace

Love has gone, tears are here, nothing left
Life has changed, remember when we were young

Were young
When we were young
When we were young
When we were young

Love has gone, tears are here
Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing
Life has changed, remember when we were young

Were young
When we were young
When we were young
When we were young...

Another of their big pop hits, this one from 1983.




In 2010 a jazzy reworking of I hear Talk was released.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

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