A Ronnie Spector Two for Tuesday: Do I Love You? & Try Some, Buy Some

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A few years back, I declared The Ronettes’ Be My Baby to be the greatest pop song ever recorded. Do I Love You? therefore isn’t the greatest pop song ever recorded. Arguably, it isn’t even the best song called Do I Love You? – albeit I reckon it has a slight edge over Frank Wilson’s Northern Soul belter – but the fourth British single issued by best ever girl group is undoubtedly three minutes of pure pop magic.

Released here in September 1964, the single made its way into the top thirty the following month in a chart with You’ve Really Got Me, Baby Love, She’s Not There and It’s All Over Now. Since then, it’s been covered by The Flamin’ Groovies and by Chrissie & Steve & Paul in demo form – this being Chrissie Hynde and two former Sex Pistols in the days before The Pretenders found fame. The song suits Chrissie’s voice and Steve Jones performs much better in the vocals than might have been expected, but of course, the original featuring the towering vocals of Ronnie Spector is the essential version.

The coolest woman of 1960s pop kicked off her 1970s solo career sans sister Estelle, cousin Nedra, and her beehive but with her trademark oh, oh, oh, oh-oh, ohs still intact.

The vehicle for her comeback was a George Harrison composition which he and Ronnie’s husband of the time (yeah, him) agreed to co-produce with the single being issued by Apple (yeah, that Apple).

When Ronnie released Try Some, Buy Some in the spring of 1971, interest in the former moptops was still intense. All four were represented in the British charts as solo artists: Paul McCartney with Another Day, John Lennon with Power to the People and Ringo with It Don’t Come Easy. George Harrison’s My Sweet Lord (co-produced by Harrison & Spector) was still riding relatively high, after an outrageously successful run that had seen it top the British top thirty for five weeks. Derek Johnson in NME judged that My Sweet Lord had ‘finally and irrevocably established George as a talent equivalent to either Lennon or McCartney.’ It was also #1 in the American charts (and a stack of others) while Harrison’s triple album All Things Must Pass was also a number one hit on both sides of the Atlantic.

The odds would have been short for Try Some, Buy Some becoming a sizeable hit and it was envisaged that Apple would also issue Ronnie’s debut solo album. But the single flopped and the album failed to materialize.

Try Some, Buy Some isn’t a track that’s easy to take a shine to on initial listens. Each additional play does add to its power, though. Crazily ambitious with swelling strings and a mandolin adding a gorgeous Neapolitan feel, it regularly threatens to absolutely soar but no matter how many spins you give it, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that it wasn’t the right song to showcase Ronnie’s voice to the best of her abilities. She even sounds to be straining at times.

The singer herself was far from happy with the song. ‘I didn’t enjoy doing it,’ she recalled to Hot Wacks fanzine in the spring of 1979, acknowledging that it wasn’t in the right key for her. ‘I even told George ‘cos Phil wouldn’t listen to me, I said “what is he trying to do to me, this is just not me.” ’

Phil certainly wasn’t paying much attention to her as she laid down her vocal in an overdub room at Trident Studios. Several onlookers have noted that the maniac producer would get her to perform a take and then launch into anecdotes for twenty minutes afterwards, Ronnie silent as he gabbered on. Then he’d request another take. And again, he’d then feel the need to gabber on for another twenty minutes before asking for another take, offering only the most minimal of advice.

In 1973, Harrison decided to revive it, recording his own plaintive vocal onto the existing backing track and releasing it on his Living in the Material World album. His version also failed to fully work, albeit I do like it more than My Sweet Lord with that syrupy slide guitar and sickly mantra. You can hear the George version here and if you’ve ever wondered how a duet between Ronnie and George might have sounded, here’s a mashup uplifted onto YouTube.

Fast forward to the present century. Ronnie has changed her mind on Try Some, Buy Some and began listing it as one of her favourites. After being unavailable for almost three decades, it was reissued on the compilation Come and Get It: The Best of Apple Records in 2010.

And in 2003, an artist who’d been a big fan of the single on its initial release decided to record his own cover of it on his album Reality. Guess what? David Bowie’s vocals also failed to convince, although this live version is a big improvement and it’s good to see Dave enjoying himself so much on stage.

In a Rolling Stone interview in 2016, Ronnie expressed her sadness at the death of Bowie. ‘It bothers me that a lot of the rock & roll people that I loved, that I hung out with, are gone.’

And now, sadly, she’s gone too.

Ronnie Spector: August 10, 1943 – January 12, 2022

She’s A Waterfall & Fanciable Headcase (A 1980s Manchester Two For Tuesday)

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Firstly, some Magic Roundabout. No, not Dougal, Florence, Zebedee and the gang but a Manchester based independent band who I first discovered earlier this year. Listening to the track Sneaky Feelin’ on BBC 6 Music and hearing that this, their first ever single, was about to be released, I initially concluded they must be a contemporary combo pointlessly pastiching the sound of the kind of English indie band who in the 1980s would record a Peel session, put out a single on their own label and then likely disappear into oblivion.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Magic Roundabout were very much an English indie band of the 1980s, but one that never even reached the point of releasing any single or recording a Peel session. They did, though, support The Blue Aeroplanes, Inspiral Carpets, My Bloody Valentine, and The Pastels among others and attracted a number of fans.

The most significant of these proved to be Pale Saint Ian Masters.

Thirty odd years after they’d split, he unearthed an old tape of some of their demos and liked what he heard. This set in motion a chain of events that would end in a remastered compilation of their music called Up coming out on Jack White’s Third Man Records in September.

From it, this is She’s a Waterfall:

It was through Magic Roundabout’s Facebook page that I found out that Charley Keigher, the singer and lyricist of King of the Slums had died.

‘KOTS were dear to us all in Magic Roundabout. We first loved the Spider Psychiatry single back in 86, loved the attitude & we f**king loved Charlie’s dustbin drumming, KOTS just got better & better, a legendary band for sure.’

King of the Slums have been called Manchester’s most underrated group, but I reckon you that you could replace Manchester with Britain and you’d still be right. City Life contended that ‘the music they make is like Fairport Convention on an amphetamine binger’ while in NME, Stuart Maconie judged them to be ‘one of the most compelling bands on the planet.’

They emerged during a backlash against what was being increasingly perceived as lackadaisical and wimpish indie, but nobody was ever going to accuse Keigher of being twee.

He was more likely to snarl out a line about a late-night knee trembler than sing about holding hands and splashing puddles. Like Morrissey, his background was Irish, and both attended St Mary’s Secondary Modern in Stretford. Belligerent ghouls might have run Manchester schools, but they couldn’t crush the talents of these two. In the late 1980s/early 90s, they arguably vied with each another for the title of the country’s finest lyricist.

Scabrous, sarcastic and sometimes funny, Keigher specialised in exploring the dark underbelly of urban Britain in the late stages of Thatcherism, a world of unfit mothers and leery bleeders. The menace and not so quiet desperation of Charley Keigher’s words were matched magnificently by Sarah Curtis’s electric and electrifying violin that sometimes threatened to grate but which added a further layer of grit to the band’s uncompromising brand of uneasy listening.

Onstage, they never shambled either. Filmed live at the Boardwalk in Manchester for BBC Two’s alternative music show Snub TV, this is Fanciable Headcase:

For more on Magic Roundabout click here and for more on King of the Slums, here you go.

Something Like A Phenomenon


Specialising in percussive post-punk disco, Liquid Liquid emerged in the crazily creative New York of ESG, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Afrika Bambaata, Amos Poe, Jim Jarmusch and Lydia Lunch.

Signed to independent 99 Records, they’re best known for their 1983 12″ EP Optimo, the title track of which would go on to give both a Sunday club night in Glasgow’s Sub Club and the DJ duo behind the night their names. But much as I love that ‘samba punk’ track, my favourite song on the EP is Cavern and here it is:

Don’t you just love Richard McGuire’s two-note bassline?

Grandmaster Melle Mel certainly did. The writing credit for his track White Lines (Don’t Do It) was assigned to him together with Sugar Hill Records co-owner Sylvia Robinson.

99’s head honcho Ed Bahlman thought this crossed the line (white or otherwise) and took legal action. A court battle ensued. Not the only one to involve Sugar Hill. In one of the most blatant musical thefts of the era, The Sugarhill Gang had nicked the instrumental introduction of Chic’s Good Times, composed by Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers for Rapper’s Delight. Edwards and Rodgers launched a copyright infringement lawsuit, and there was only going to be one winner there.

Not quite such good times for The Sugarhill Gang – who also copied sections of their rhymes from other rappers like MC Grandmaster Caz and took the beginning of their track from British disco act Love De-Luxe’s Here Comes That Sound Again.

How did the Liquid Liquid case go? As Terry Tolkin, a 99 Records employee, put it on his YouTube channel: ‘After a furious two year precedent setting legal war, we won a quarter of a million dollar judgement.’

Unfortunately, this is one of those good news, bad news scenarios. Here’s the bad news. ‘Two weeks later Sugarhill Records declared bankruptcy and never paid 99 a single penny.’

Sadly, the case bankrupted 99 too and soon a disillusioned Liquid Liquid disbanded, albeit they later reunited after a lengthy absence – two highlights being performing with the Optimo deejays in 2008 at London’s Barbican and opening up for LCD Soundsystem at that act’s ‘farewell’ show at Madison Square Garden in 2011.

Before the reunion, a silver lining of sorts had emerged via the Worst Album Ever Made according to Q magazine – Thank You, a 1995 Duran Duran covers collection (I should point out the Q named it worst ever album in 2006, before Mumford & Sons, Ed Sheeran and Gerry Cinnamon had yet embarked on their recording careers). Thank You included a version of White Lines, which, no thank you, I never want to hear but at least this resulted in Liquid Liquid finally receiving some well-deserved royalty payments for their songwriting.

So what do I think of White Lines? The Grandmaster & Melle Mel* ‘original’ that is?

Firstly, I’m no fan of being preached to by musicians, especially by ones who were allegedly hoovering up a not inconsiderable amount of ching up their own noses while the track was being recorded.

But hey, I utterly love the urgency they inject into the song and I am fond of a bit of rang dang diggedy dang di-dang. It’s a fantastic listen, addictive even.

For more on Liquid Liquid click here.

*If you’re wondering about the Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel billing on the single’s sleeve, that was a Sugar Hill ploy to sell more records by giving the impression of Flash involvement as he was already a name after The Message, a top ten single in Britain and NME’s Track of the Year in 1982. He had nothing to do with this song, though. Call me sceptical but I’m beginning to think the label was about as trustworthy as the guy who called me last week about my Amazon package even though I refuse to use Amazon.

Age of Consent & Candidate (Two For Tuesday)

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‘Have you seen the new video for Age of Consent?’ a pal asked recently, as we got to talking about New Order just after the release of the super-dooper deluxe, definitive and expensive as hell version of Power, Corruption and Lies which contains the video above, filmed by rising Danish talent Tine Reingaard.

‘Seen the new video?’ I wasn’t even aware there was an old one.

This not so terribly old one had been shot by Amos Poe in 2011, by which time the band had become Hookyless, an event that saw my interest in New Order nosedive, albeit it had been slowly declining for some time before.

The Godard of No Wave cinema, over the past 45 years, Poe has made many lo-fi independent films featuring the likes of Debbie Harry, John Waters regular Cookie Mueller and even Robbie Coltrane. His 1991 crime movie Triple Bogey on a Par Five Hole gave Philip Seymour Hoffman his screen debut back when he was plain old Phil Hoffman. Poe’s also directed cult cable TV show, Glen O’Brien’s TV Party. He’s produced films. He’s written screenplays. He’s taught film.

In his book Spike, Mike, Slackers & Dykes, John Pierson tells an anecdote about a visit that Poe made to the cinema where the author worked in 1981, angling for a retrospective of his work. ‘He didn’t just want to make movies in New York: he wanted to make a movement in New York like the French Wave – a whole “film generation” of cheap, 16mm, black-and-white features.’ Pierson thought he was ahead of his time but couldn’t offer him a retrospective. Poe’s comeback took him by complete surprise.

‘Well, if you’re not going to show my films, could I be an usher?’

Now, there’s a man with a passion for cinema.

Poe is likely best known for Blank Generation, the music documentary he co-directed with Ivan Kral in 1976 and which I covered here. Since that post, due to a long running lawsuit over profits from licensing fees for screenings of the film, Poe has legally lost his co-directing credit for the documentary together with his ownership of several of his other movies.

Worse still, the ending of Blank Generation has been changed and the directing credit reassigned to Cindy Hudson, the wife of the now deceased Ivan Kral, which strikes me as being wrong, wrong, wrong. You can read more about the case in this New York Times report.

Anyway, here’s Poe’s visual interpretation of the opening track of New Order’s 1983 album Power, Corruption & Lies. Simplicity itself. Shoot a girl dancing (she’s namechecked as Betty Kelly) in grainy, washed out Super 8 and edit together ever more frantically as the song reaches its conclusion by which point the images are almost blurred to abstract shapes in places.

More recently – about a year and a half ago – Poe was commissioned to film a video for Joy Division’s debut LP as part of a project titled Unknown Pleasures: Reimagined. This aimed to give ten different directors the chance to shoot a ‘filmic re-imagining of the music in 2019’.

This is Poe’s take on Candidate:

I think this might be a pretty good promo. For some mainstream modern day act that’s maybe hoping to appeal to, say, the Lana Del Ray fanbase. But not for any song ever performed by Ian Curtis, Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook and Stephen Morris.

For more on Amos Poe: http://www.amospoe.com/

For more on New Order: http://www.neworder.com/

Whole Wide World & Divine Thing : A Soup Dragons Two For Tuesday

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The Soup Dragons’ Whole Wide World sounds like the result of a bunch of young guys having a see who can drink the most energy drinks competition – or maybe even a see who can drink the most cans of Dragon Soop competition – as they listen to a selection of classic Buzzcocks and Undertones singles, before rushing into a studio with the intention of making a ramshackle, rip-roaring teenage rampage of a record that will make anybody hearing it happy to be alive for its one and a half minute length.

Made by the band on a budget of around fifty quid according to singer Sean Dickson on his YouTube page, this is the video for Whole Wide World which went on to appear on British TV on The Chart Show.

The early Soup Dragons led a charmed existence. When the fledging band recorded a track called If You Were The Only Girl In The World Would You Take Me? I’m sure they had little idea the kind of reception that lay in store for it. If they did, then I congratulate them on their vivid imaginations.

Only conceived as one side of a flexi disc giveaway to be released through their bassist Sushil Dade’s Pure Popcorn fanzine (together with Talk Open by The Legend! on Jerry Thackray’s none too imaginatively titled fanzine The Legend!), it became an NME single of the week. John Peel picked up on the track and invited them down for a Radio One session, agreeing to pay their travel costs to London out his own pocket into the bargain as the band were too brassic to afford the fare down.

An invitation to contribute a track to the latest in a series of cassette tapes distributed by NME resulted in Pleasantly Surprised appearing on C86. And if Neil Taylor and his co-compilers ever imagined that this tape would end up giving a name to a genre of music then, again, I would congratulate them on their vivid imaginations.

Oh, and before I forget, the first ever live Soup Dragons show was also pretty special. They supported Primal Scream at one of the legendary Splash One ‘happenings’ at Daddy Warbuck’s in Glasgow. And if the Splash organisers ever imagined that a short documentary (The Outsiders) and a full length documentary (Teenage Superstars) that covered their club nights, would both later be shown on TV, well, you can guess my thoughts on the subject.

The music press adored The Soup Dragons.

And then the music press went off The Soup Dragons.

As did many indie fundamentalists, who felt betrayed when the band began to introduce a wider range of musical references into their sonic palette on tracks like Mother Universe. How dare they embrace samplers and a dance element?

Lovegod, their 1990 album, according to their press release anyway, was ‘Full of their love of rock ‘n’ Roll iconography. Full of Pain. Kinky Love. And dark metaphors delivered with swagger through a curled lip sneer.’ On its release, even more Soup Dragons badges around the country were unbuttoned from anoraks and thrown away in a tizzy, replaced by badges of more reliable acts, i.e. those with a suitably high score on the twee-o-meter and zero ambition to ever leave their indie garrets.

Sales began snowballing with the release of I’m Free, a Jagger/Richards composition that The Soup Dragons chose to cover after watching The Stones in the Park concert. Featuring some reggae toasting from Junior Reid, a gospel choir, dancey grooves and some slide guitar, this went top ten in Britain.

‘Early on we’d just bang the songs out, but we refuse to do that now,’ Dickson explained to Spin early in 1991. ‘When you start fucking about with songs, it’s really exciting. The whole concept of the Soup Dragons comes from a pop art background that’s defined by bastardizing thing. That’s where the whole idea of sampling comes from.’

The bastardizing continued on next album Hotwired, which again merged dance beats and rock. Divine Thing manges to sound more Stonesy than I’m Free. It’s maybe also a little Lovesexy (Dickson being a big Prince fan) and its chorus always struck me as a little T.Rexy.

A homage to Glenn Milstead AKA Divine, The Soup Dragons wanted John Waters to shoot the video but he otherwise engaged. Instead directing duties were taken on by Nick Egan, who was maybe best known at the time for directing Sonic Youth’s promo for Sugar Kane (and designing a couple of covers for Clash singles). From March 1992, here it is:

John Waters must have liked the song. As a thank you, he gave Sean an autographed can of hairspray, and just in case you’re wondering why, think of the title of Waters’ 1988 movie.

Donald Is Possessed By The Devil (& Papa Gets a Brand New Pigbag, Whatever That Is): A Y Records Two For Tuesday


Anybody remember Pulsallama?

The band were apparently synonymous with Club 57 on St Marks Place in the East Village in the early 1980s, when singer Ann Magnuson was a manager there.

Club 57 sounds a lot more exciting than my local arts centre. It played host to avant-garde plays, performance art events and readings by writers like Kathy Acker. Regulars Keith Haring and Kenny Scharf staged exhibitions. Movies were screened: grindhouse favourites like Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! and Satan’s Cheerleaders. Horror fanzine Gore Gazette took over the venue for their first anniversary – Herschell Gordon Lewis was special guest and Sleazoid Express held several events there too. Many, many fantastic bands also took to the stage, from The Cramps to Ultravox, The Slits to Suicide.

For their first shows at 57, Pulsallama advertised themselves as a ‘Thirteen piece all girl percussive orchestra’, while Glenn O’Brien in Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine described them as: ‘a rhythmic band consisting of a dozen or so women who whomp and whoop up a storm of frolic on a wide range of percussive devices and some bass guitars.’

I’d guess if The Waitresses, ESG and a Caribbean steel band all entered a studio together, they might have ended up sounding not unlike Pulsallama.

The band had great names like Jean Caffeine and Wendy Wild and dressed theatrically in cocktail dresses. This was one act that refused to take themselves too seriously.

Pulsallama - The Devil Lives In My Husband's Body

I had almost forgotten about them since the days when John Peel would give them the odd spin on his radio show almost forty years ago, although Simon Reynolds had quoted an old East Village Eye review in the Mutant Disco and Punk-Funk chapter of Rip It Up and Start Again back in 2005. They got more of a mention in Stanley Strychacki’s Life As Art: The Club 57 Story, where Cynthia Sley of The Bush Tetras enthused about a typical Pulsallama live excursion, where they would bang on all kinds of percussion and yell. ‘A tremendous cacophony. Something like, Listen to us or die. But funny’.

NME gave them a one page spread. They shared a bill with a very young Madonna and supported The Clash in Asbury Park and Cape Cod.

By the time of their 1982 single The Devil Lives in My Husband’s Body, they had slimmed down to a seven piece. The song tells the tale of Donald, a suburban husband, who begins suddenly each evening after work to head down to the basement of his home, where he yelps, barks and growls like a dog.

Not the last barking mad Donald you may be thinking.

As daft as it is infectious, here it is:

The Pulsallama EP, a live set of seven tracks including The Devil Lives in My Husband’s Body, recorded in a New York studio for French radio, is just out, available here on pink or splatter coloured vinyl, CD or download.

Pulsallama signed to Y Records, named after the debut studio album of noisy English post-punks The Pop Group. Bristol based, the label was set up by Dick (Disc) O’Dell, who once upon a time had worked as a lights/sound operator for Pink Floyd and The Sensational Alex Harvey Band, and at this point was The Pop Group’s manager.

When the girls put pen to paper, the label was likely best known for being the home of Pigbag of Papa’s Got a Brand New Pigbag fame and an element of crossover existed between both acts, such as playing a show together at New York’s famous Peppermint Lounge and sharing a producer in O’Dell. Peter Shapiro even suggested in Turn The Beat Around: The Secret History of Disco that Pulsallama ‘sounded like Pigbag combined with Julie Brown’.

That Pigbag single was one of the most insanely danceable records of the era, a guaranteed instant floor-filler in Maestros in Glasgow and likely every other club across the country. Even the really crap ones.

In 1981, it created a stir in the indie charts, albeit it would be best described as an underground hit. On its re-release a year later, as the band toured Britain to promote their Dr Heckle And Mr Jive album, it really took off. It entered the British charts at #50. A month later it had climbed to #3, where it peaked, unable to go the whole hog and dislodge Bucks Fucking Fizz’s The Camera Never Lies and Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder’s turgid Ebony and Ivory. Perfect harmony, my arse.

Here is Papa’s Got a Brand New Pigbag on Top of the Pops:

For more on Pigbag: http://www.pigbag.co.uk/

‘They’re not very good, and they know that, right?’ (A 20th Century Women Two for Tuesday)

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20th Century Women quad poster

I recently watched 20th Century Women, a poignant film set in California at the tail-end of the 1970s. I would definitely recommend it as it’s beautifully written and directed by Mike Mills – the man behind videos for everyone from Yoko Ono to Air, who even named a song after him on Talkie Walkie. There’s also a great ensemble cast that includes Annette Bening, Elle Fanning (The Neon Demon), Billy Crudup (Alien: Covenant) and Greta Gerwig, once dubbed ‘the Meryl Streep of Mumblecore’ although Gerwig has appeared in a lot more good films than Streep has managed in recent years.

Come to think of it so have Bening, Fanning and Crudup.

Bening is particularly strong here as Dorothea, obsessively overanalyzing everything and obsessively smoking too – to the extent that Don Draper might even believe she should cut down. She’s sarcastic but supportive; anti-authoritarian but keen to daily check her stocks and shares. She owns a sprawling and messy house that sometimes resembles a mini commune – she has given a home to budding photographer Abbie, who is fighting cervical cancer and who dyed her hair red after seeing The Man Who Fell to Earth, William a hippy handyman and, at nights, Julie, who Dorothea’s fifteen year old son Jamie fixates on.

Together these five central characters form a kind of makeshift family.

Dorothea gave birth to Jamie (Lucas Jade Zumann) late in life and as he likes to points out ‘she was raised during the depression’ as if this was an entirely different world.

As ancient as she is, though, Dorothea retains an open mind and investigates a punkish local club and evaluates her feelings about bands like The Raincoats. She attempts to make sense of young people and the ways they have changed since she was a girl although Jamie, Julie and Abbie often remain a mystery to her – just as I don’t get teenagers of today getting excited about a ringtone or the latest Xbox release – she’s 55 (the age I am now) in 1979, while the Julie character is seventeen (the age I was then).

Here are her thoughts on hearing The Raincoats for the first time:

Dorothea: They’re not very good, and they know that, right?

Abbie: Yeah, it’s like they’ve got this feeling, and they don’t have any skill, and they don’t want skill, because it’s really interesting what happens when your passion is bigger than the tools you have to deal with it. It creates this energy that’s raw. Isn’t it great?’

Actually one of the things I think I like about The Raincoats is the clash within their ranks of the musically accomplished (violinist Vicky Aspinall had been playing since she was five and had a classical training) with the intuitive (the rest of the band).

The Raincoats have always been a band that people tend to love or hate. Danny Baker utterly slated them after seeing them play live early in their career; Kurt Cobain adored them and when, in late 1993, the band’s three studio albums were re-released, he happily agreed to supply some liner notes.

Like The Raincoats, 20th Century Women also split opinions. In the Guardian, Peter Bradshaw described it as ‘exasperatingly supercilious and smug – unfocused, self-consciously cute, nostalgic and empathetic, but never properly funny’.


Bradshaw isn’t a fan of anything indie and quirky and I while I struggle myself with uber kooky efforts like Napoleon Dynamite and Eagle vs Shark, I obviously found the film far more enjoyable than he did and while Bradshaw detested the stills, intertitles and archive footage that punctuate the movie I thought their use was often inspired. We see stills of Debbie Harry and Humphrey Bogart, typographic quotes from Judy Blume and Susan Lydon, we see Jimmy Carter’s Crisis of Confidence speech and even a little sequence from Koyaanisqatsi.

There are also multiple-narrative voiceovers, usually rotating between mother and son but with each of the five main characters contributing.

From the spring of 1979 and released (almost inevitably) on Rough Trade, this is The Raincoats and Fairytale In The Supermarket:

Just like a recent and similarly themed film, 2015’s Diary of a Teenage Girl, this has a fantastic soundtrack. No Television, T.Rex or the Dwight Twilley Band but Neu! and Suicide, Siouxsie and The Banshees and The Buzzcocks. I never could have guessed that Why Can’t I Touch It? would play over the end credits of a film nominated for two Golden Globes and an Oscar.

Amazingly enough Roger Neill’s score – utilising early synths of the period with a Sequential Circuits Prophet-5 synthesizer to the fore – failed to garner even a nod from the Academy. Slant even went as far as to decry it as ‘ambient music of the yoga-clinic waiting-room variety’.

Me? I reckon it is one of the very best scores I have heard since the end of the 20th century – yeah, that good, full with the kind of wonderful ambient washes that Eno can only dream about nowadays.

And speaking of Brian Eno, here’s another track from the soundtrack, co-written by Bowie, Eno and Carlos Alomar. If The Raincoats split opinions, Bowie as much as just about any artist living or dead unites the musical tastes of Joe Public. Here he is with DJ from his 1979 album Lodger:

For more on The Raincoats, click here.