Record Review: Was [Not Was] – Out Come The Freaks [Again] Remixes

Fontana | UK | 12" | 1988 | WASR 412

Fontana | UK | 12″ | 1988 | WASR 412

Was [Not Was]: Out Come The Freaks [Again] UK 12″ [1988]

  1. Out Come The Freaks [Again – The Mighty Mook Mix]
  2. Out Come The Freaks [Again – The Bobby Maggot Mix]

The one uniting thread throughout the first three Was [Not Was] albums, save for their bad selves, was that each album contained a song called “Out Come The Freaks” that transmuted stylistically through time to incorporate a diversity of dance music sounds. The lyrics also changed but remained throughout a cursory examination of human desperation and depravity. Actually, their fourth album contained a brief final track called “Look What’s Back” with the groove given a half-hearted spin before unceremoniously snuffing it out for good. By the time the band had released their [breakthrough] third album in 1988, the landscape had changed to the point that more than one 12″ single was de riguer in the post-FGTH universe. The remixed 12″ single is the focus today.

Was [Not Was] single remixes of this time were generally well arranged and the band often played the tunes live in their new 12″ arrangements. The A-side mix by Bruce Forest plays close to the House vest he usually wears. The song’s bassline has been replaced and enhanced with perhaps a TB-303, giving it a much stronger pulse. It ended up sounding not too far off from a Phil Harding/PWL sound. The remix is a scant 50 seconds longer than the LP mix, insuring that this mix doesn’t overstay its welcome. An important consideration for the somewhat bland [to me, anyway] House style. Unlike Forest’s 13:44 “Boy’s Gone Crazy” mix for Los Bros. Was. In other words, not bad for House music ca. 1988.

But the flipside is even better! The Bobby Maggot Mix by Paul Simpson features a hilarious voice over intro by singer Sir Harry Bowens in the style of Dragnet’s Jack Webb pontificating on the perps that the song would soon detail. There is a touch of Piano House in Simpson’s remix with some jazzy solos but overall the mix hews more closely to the LP version. It just sounds better and wasn’t that the point of a remix to begin with? The FX and EQ have been enhanced by Simpson with the occasional addition of a few discreet samples. The middle eight does manage to get down and dirty for a few bars but it whips back into shape by the time for the next verse. And at 5:16 a most disciplined excursion into the world of the remix.

– 30 –

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5 Responses to Record Review: Was [Not Was] – Out Come The Freaks [Again] Remixes

  1. Echorich says:

    The original 81 ZE release is, for me the standard. I dig the 84 revisit – but the commercial side of Was (Not Was) was in full effect at this point. By ’88 I had had enough of the Was Brothers and really wasn’t paying attention any longer.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Echorich – I’ve never tired of Los Hermanos Was. If you sat out the “What Up Dog” era, does that mean you never heard the likes of “Wedding Vows In Vegas,” “Hello Dad, I’m In Jail,” or “Earth To Doris?!” Their return with “Boo!” in 2008 was a rare time I bought an album on the day of release in these diminished times.

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  2. Tim says:

    Huge fan of this specific song, love the old 12” and have a cd single from around ’88 with a really nice retro b-monster movie sleeve. I don’t think I’ve heard the mixes above, bugger, more stuff to track down.

    Oh and a tip to Echorich, the Orchestra Was album is quite worth tracking down. I, too, tired of them around ’88 but OW is pretty good and I am sure a reasonably priced copy may be had via Amazon used.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Tim: I also have the conceptually great CD single that unites all three versions of the song with the amazing “Earth To Doris” B-side. But there are a zillion mixes from this period, and I have to say, no disappointments. Was (Not Was) negotiated late 80s dance music most adroitly.

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  3. Echorich says:

    I will put my ear to the speaker and re-investigate…As long as I can avoid walking a dinosaur…

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