Chungking are not that well known but I bought both of their albums (their first one is a remake of their actual debut, it’s confusing) after discovering their music on That Internet. This song is from the second long player which is more electropop than the debut and it once became a terrible earworm that kept me awake nearly all night, helped by too much caffeine and alcohol.
I’ve dug out both albums from the CD Mountain for another listen and here’s some other singles:
Why weren’t this band famous? Where are they now?*
Just bought some of their CD singles for pence, how handy.
*I could use this internet to investigate of course.
Oh Sarah Cracknell, you marvellous woman! Her solo album was plagued with record company kerfuffles but I even bought this track on cassingle, I was such a Saint Etienne fan. The cassingle is long gone but the album has recently been given the respect it deserves with a two disc deluxe edition just like all the Saint Etienne albums have had.
Bonus Cracknell moments:
I have no defining memories relating to this song but once heard (and seen) it is never forgotten. Total pop joy and it turned up again in one of my favourite comics of recent years. Yes, Phonogram was great and the Pull Shapes issue of volume 2 is available in the trade paperback (Amazon link) if you like that sort of thing. You really should like that sort of thing.
The Pipettes returned for album number two after a bit of a regeneration into a more 80′s influenced band and are now in limbo. Shame. Both albums are very good and you could even push the boat out by listening to them while reading the Phonogram books. Eagle-eyed sorts might notice that my blog logo at the time of posting is another Gillen / McKelvie comic book panel, as it seemed appropriate to my ‘manifesto’ (I do not have a manifesto).
Shakespear’s Sister – Goodbye Cruel World (1991/1992)
This one came out twice as a single (how odd but then it is a good track) and I remember the original best due to the free fold-out poster with the 12″ vinyl and the superb remixes of Black Sky on the b-side. It came out again after they had a massive hit with Stay, which makes sense. The re-release appeared when I had swapped to CD singles and they did a double disc digipak thing with considerably less essential extra track that I bought anyway because I’m like that. Anyway, it’s great and the video is one of their most definitive. The album this is from (Hormonally Yours) was going to get the deluxe double disc treatment this year but there’s been a bit of a delay, and Siobhan has reissued its follow-up recently, adding some songs that she had already added to a reissue of the album that came after that one. It’s confusing these days.
Mmmmm Black Sky (remix)! :
This is not one of their hit singles:
‘Modern’ interviews! Sorry but they’re from Loose Women:
I was a weird child, unsurprisingly. As well as the usual childish throwaway pop my early record purchases were synthpop albums like Dare and Upstairs At Eric’s, bought in Belgium to make things even more odd. It was inevitable that ZTT would attract my admiration with their pretentious brand of futuristic pop and after going a bit OTT on Frankie Goes To Hollywood (did I have a t-shirt? Probably. I can’t remember now) I fell for Propaganda in a big way. They were described as “ABBA in hell” in the music press and I must have read about them in Record Mirror or Smash Hits and tracked down their music via the radio, obsessed a bit and bought everything they released. I still have those 7″ singles and a cassette of their A Secret Wish album and the collection now includes multiple reissues and remix packages so they have stood the test of time. Duel is their big pop moment full of glamour and doom which appealed to the 12 year old me and I drove my brother slightly mad with this record as he preferred less Germanic sounds. The screaming in their remodeled version called Jewel may not have helped keep the peace but that one still gets played today.
Spot the deliberate mistake:
This reminds me of when my husband was my boyfriend, bloody ages ago. It keeps cropping up on the iPod in the car and has become one of our tunes, which is pretty weird when I think about it. The album it comes from has some amazing tracks and I finally bought it in a charity shop last month.
Beatmasters featuring Betty Boo: Hey DJ / I Can’t Dance (To That Music You’re Playing) (1989)
Martha Reeves and the Vandellas: I Can’t Dance to that Music You’re Playing (1968)
Double bill for sampling reasons! Beatmasters were one of those Rhythm King records artists in that golden era where pop dance took off and I was always buying 12″ singles. See S’Express and Bomb The Bass for more examples of that fine label… and we also have Betty Boo aka Alison Clarkson aka one quarter of the original She Rockers line-up then 50% of Hit & Run who I had completely forgotten about until writing this. So many female rap records. Anyway, the track is heavily ‘inspired’ by the Martha & the Vandellas song of the same name, as you can see/hear.
Dead Or Alive: My Heart Goes Bang (Get Me To The Doctor) (1985)
I was never really a fan of Dead Or Alive until recently when I heard some of the old 12″ mixes and decided they were actually quite fun. This song is indebted to the You Spin Me Round template in that it’s a slightly mad gay disco song with repetitive lyrics and I really like it. I ended up buying the first two of their pop era albums and if you like this song you’ll enjoy those albums.
This is one of my favourite songs of the 90s, partly because of The David McAlmont Voice, partly for the memories of now-amusing doomed crushes that it brings back and mostly because it’s a damn good song. This was originally a single by Thieves but by the time the album arrived it had become a David McAlmont solo release (it’s complicated). Great visuals on this one, sue to Sophie Muller’s direction.
What happened next? Well… Saul Freeman (the other half of Thieves) returned as half of Mandalay who made a couple of good albums, David McAlmont released some solo albums, did a fair amount of collaborations which would make a very good album if compiled (with Craig Armstrong, David Arnold, Courtney Pine, Bernard Butler, Michael Nyman, Ultramarine and more) and is currently one half of Fingersnap who are officially my favourite musical duo. He is also a very nice man.
Bonus! Here’s the original video made for this when it was released as Thieves:
NUfrequency feat. Shara Nelson: Go That Deep (2008)
Lovely. I found this by chance a few years ago and was so pleased to have a new track packed full of Shara Nelson’s beautiful musical sadness. Fingers crossed for a third album from her some time soon as she deserves some more success.
Here she is walking about and singing again but further back in the past: