Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Glass of Champagne

In what's turning out to be a music-laden week, I woke up thinking about Bucks Fizz's New Beginning (Mamba Seyra) this morning. Like you do.

So I had a look to see if I had it on my ipod and of course I do, along with 14 other tracks by them. Fourteen! I could hardly believe it myself. I gave the whole lot a listen on the way to work and I have to say, what an oeuvre. Needless to say I skipped through If You Can't Stand The Heat, Run For Your Life, Golden Days and One Of Those Nights, but the rest rocked.

It's not that I'm a recent convert. I think when I found a copy of My Camera Never Lies with fold-out poster sleeve in a charity shop in the early Nineties I thought perhaps I'd been a bit harsh and should give them another go. I was pleasantly surprised, but mainly there's a lot of nostalgia factored in too.

In their pomp I thought they were dreadful. The epitome of Eighties' cheesiness. Manufactured pap tainted by Eurovision, massively unfashionable at all times and a staple of Saturday morning kids TV. (Bear in mind I was 16 when they burst onto the scene in their velour tracksuits and rah-rah skirts. I thought Japan and Depeche Mode were the zenith of cool. And they were).

Anyhoo, I remember sitting in an art class probably in about May 1981 and someone saying I bet we all couldn't wait for the follow up single to Making Your Mind Up which was out soon, and were we all going to rush out and buy it? How we laughed. Nothing could be further from the truth.

True to form I shunned them throughout the rest of the decade. Only children and grannies liked them. Jay Aston may have been a poppet but really, they were a byword for naff. Even their coach crash didn't endear them to me. The sentiment behind New Beginning, you know, coming out of the dark like Gloria Estefan years later, was not lost on me, but I can safely say I never bought one of their records while they were in the charts.

More fool me eh. I remember almost being tempted by Now Those Days Are Gone, but thinking better of it. My favourite of all, which I don't remember from the time at all, is this one. What a corker. It could be any new wave band of the time, but it's them. What a tour de force.

So what I'm saying is, in retrospect I misjudged them.


Ishouldbeworking said...

Bloody hell, that's got it all, hasn't it? Cod-Mittel European vocals, Numanesque trilby, Tic'n'Toc head movements...but why is Jay Ashton wearing a Pamper?

Chris Hughes said...

Heh, I love the Fizz too. I think they'd be more highly regarded (in a sort of 'they made great pure pop records' fashion) if they hadn't spent the last two decades on the Butlins circuit, with rival line-ups, roping in David Van Day etc. That BBC2 Blood On The Carpet documentary didn't help.

I think my favourite is My Camera Never Lies, but I also like Now Those Days Are Gone, I Hear Talk and, yes, The Land Of Make Believe.

I'm still holding out for the Bardo greatest hits CD. I might have a long wait.

Five-Centres said...

But I can only name but one hit, Chris. And I don't have that.

I love those vocals, ISBW. Very Nico.

But yes, those oufits! Those guys look like they're Rainbow presenters. Did themselves no favours.

office pest said...

You skipped through 'Heat' F-C? With that nice little bass riff and all. I wonder who played on their records, session people I expect.

Five-Centres said...

It was never my favourite OP. And strangely it actually does remind me of a kitchen. The school kitchen to be precise.

Chris Hughes said...

Well, they released two more quite good singles, Talking Out Of Line and Hang On To Your Heart, both of which were written and produced by the team behind Bucks Fizz. Neither reached the charts, alas.

I want to know how you managed to have 15 BF tracks on your iPod without knowing it.

Five-Centres said...

I kind of knew Chris, but I was in denial. I think I was given a Bucks Fizz hits CD as a 'joke' by an ironic friend and when I got my ipod I downloaded everything I had, and must have done that too.

I'm thrilled.

Mondo said...

Never a fan really, but Jay Aston seemed full of foxy promise.

Did you know Bucks Fizz were indirectly responsible for the death of Flexipop mag'? One issue ran a feature 'Your Worst Nightmares'. Heaven 17 chipped in with something about 'boiled babies', which was mocked up for a photo-shoot. A shoot, unfortunately published in an issue featuring Bucks as cover stars.

An old dear bought a copy from W H Smith for her Fizz-fan grand-daughter. Both were horrified by H 17's spread. They complained to WHS, who, gave Flexipop a 3 month ban from the shelves. Something they never recovered from.

All true and told to me by the publisher Barry Cain..

Five-Centres said...

Bucks Fizz clearly have a lot to answer for.

Bright Ambassador said...

Jay Aston always looks like your mate's sexy mum who drunkenly tries to get off with at a barbecue in front of her husband because they hate each other.

I saw a line-up of Bucks Fizz (minus Aston/the other one, er, Shelley?) on their tenth anniversary tour. I only went because I was in unrequited love with someone at the time and wanted to impress them. And also because I secretly love My Camera... and Piece of the Action.

Can we have a Bardo post tomorrow?

Bright Ambassador said...

Watching that video has just made me realise how much I miss TV pop shows. Ra-ra-ra-ra-Razzmatazz.

Of course there's always the Bucks Fizz/King Crimson connection as well.

Five-Centres said...

Of course, The Land of Make Believe. We all have a secret soft spot.

Graham Kibble-White said...

Heart of Stone! HEART OF STONE!

Matthew Rudd said...

Didn't they do a rather acceptable version of Love The One You're With as well?

Bucks Fizz were rather marvellous and The Land Of Make Believe will never get the credit for its political savagery it deserves because, well, it was Bucks Fizz singing it.

When I play Making Your Mind Up on a Saturday night, I still do the old DJ trick of slowing the record right down on the line "And then you've got it to slow it down...". Makes me chuckle every time, even though I get daggers aimed my way from the dancefloor. Meh.

Shelley Preston, by the way. For BA's benefit.

Bright Ambassador said...

I thought it might have been Shelly Preston but then I had a thought that she was John Travolta's missus.