CD-3 Files: Fuzzbox – Pink Sunshine

WEA | UK | CD-3 | 1989 | YZ 401 CD

Fuzzbox: Pink Sunshine UK CD-3 [1989]

  1. Pink Sunshine
  2. What’s The Point [The Bostinious One]
  3. Spirit In The Sky
  4. Pink Sunshine [The High Octane Mix]

This was the second single from the now-renamed Fuzzbox’s second album, “Big Bang.” The violent volte-face the band underwent from the raw and charming debut album [“Bostin’ Steve Autstin”] to the ridiculously slick and phoned in second album as they gravitated from the quirky Vinadaloo label to the mighty WEA mothership is surely one of the all-time head-scratchers. “Big Bang” was all about shifting units at any cost; hence the appearance of Liam Sternberg as the co-writer of the A-side, “Pink Sunshine.”

“Pink Sunshine” is scuttled by the Andy Richards production that ensures that this sounds like the second Frankie Goes To Hollywood album! Seeing as how Richards was a member of Trevor Horn’s Theam, this is logical, I suppose, but the results are bloodless and cynical. At the end of the day, the song is a meaningless construction, built-to-order. A far cry from the spirited noise that the band first offered as the better-named We’ve Got A Fuzzbox And We’re Gonna Use It! That was a name evocative enough to have made me mail order music I hadn’t heard yet; and love every minute of it!

Fortunately, the B-sides from this albums singles were heavy on the remixed A-sides and B-sides from the first album, now given a wider airing on the mighty WEA. “What’s The Point [The Bostinious One]” was the 12″ remix of the single from “Bostin’ Steve Austin” and it was given a loopy, clattery, remix by Stephen Stewart-short. The glam stomp in the song’s DNA is still there and the band actually touched their instruments to make this recording.

The group’s cover of the Norman Greenbaum chestnut is seriously left-field as they stretch the songs fabric to proportions that its originator surely never could have conceived of. The famous fuzzbox of the band’s name is rightfully used but in a manner decidedly different from the riffs on the sturdy original. Jo Dunne’s guitar buzzes here like a malevolent mosquito in a two chord modulation throughout the song as opposed to the stark riffs of the original. The wolf howls in the intro by the ladies are a hilarious touch. The vocal melody is delightfully off-kilter and it adds to the eccentric quality of the cover. It bears almost no relation to the original hit.

FInally, the remix of the A-side sounds like it was entirely constructed in Richard’s Fairlight’s Page R mode. The song manages to keep on track for the most part with its 7″ cousin, albeit with extra added digital calories courtesy of the Fairlight’s sonic whipped cream. It’s the sort of remix, like the original production, that bears the hallmarks of the ZTT sound that Richard definitely brought with him to this production. That is to say, it was a remix that was decidedly dated in 1989, when house/rave sounds were ruling the UK charts. Though this was a decidedly crass and meretricious production, at least it didn’t offer the band extruded through the rave filter that saw many of my favorite acts releasing remixed singles that bore no relation whatsoever to their sound and stance.

– 30 –

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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1 Response to CD-3 Files: Fuzzbox – Pink Sunshine

  1. Echorich says:

    I have to agree – “Fuzzbox” were a real waste of energy once they arrived at WEA. We’ve Got A Fuzzbox And We’re Gonna Use It were strong enough to stand next to the Grebo bands they opened for and elbowed for space with in the late 80’s British Indie Charts.
    I agree Andy Richards as a producer, at least when not working with a demostrative act, is truly a bore. If he’s working with say Pet Shop Boys or Prefab Sprout, he is reigned in and kept on track. But give ’em enough rope and he will hang the recordings out to dry…OMD Sugar Tax, or Holly Johnson’s solo albums. Sure he is a Fairlight whizz, but by 1986 Fairlight should have just been another element and not an instrument to produce an entire album on.

    Like

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