Sigue Sigue Sputnik: Flaunt It UK CD 
- Love Missile F1-11 (Re-Recording Part II)
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It’s time to stop beating around the bush and discuss the elephant in the room! It’s been almost 800 postings and I’ve barely mentioned Sigue Sigue Sputnik! I remember the high-pitched wave of hype that accompanied this band when then burst onto the scene right at the death-throes of Post-Punk. I was intrigued but wary, but when I finally saw the video for “Love Missile F-111” I certainly got over my initial squeamishness. This was possibly the most post-modern band conceivable. I had to appreciate Tony James chutzpah at forming a dream band after the implosion of Generation X, where Billy Idol took off for a solo career with manager Bill [“KISS””] Aucoin whispering sweet nothings in his ear.
What did Tony James do but think about what he really wanted to say while surrounding himself with multiple Billy Idol clones and late-blooming Blitz Kid Martin Degville, who must have grit his teeth watching Steve Strange, Boy George, and hell, even Marilyn get contracts waved in front of their faces and singles in the charts. James had a conception of Elvis in the year 2050 and armed with the sound of Suicide and a sampler, he set about creating that dream, all the while infusing the sound with a broken funhouse mirror reflecting the worst ethos of the Reagan/Thatcher era. Like any successful piece of satire, there is a double edged sword in invoking the future that you may not really want to happen. It often has a way of manifesting itself anyway!
The band were not without precedent. Public Image Limited were the first to mine the “band as corporation” vein and B.E.F/Heaven 17 certainly worked that angle with a mixture of self-aware irony and earnest belief. But SSS went much further in reflecting and magnifying the crass, commercial values that were being touted as the new god of the eighties. If it did’t make any money, what good was it? SSS would make a meta-statement on commercialism not just by willfully embracing it, but by actually selling ads in-between the cuts on their debut album! Then they worked the hype angle in the press harder than most to the point where despite embodying what should be exactly the traits of their ideal target market [ironic, post-modern pseudo-hipster with too much education for his own good] I was none the less put off of actually buying the records without feeling like a mark.
When the album came out I made a point of telling my friends, when the topic of discussion moved to SSS, that “I’d love to have the album, but I didn’t want to buy it.” I was crestfallen when I eventually realized that none of my friends took the bait and bought the album for me. Eventually, I had to grit my teeth and buy the thing myself! I got the CD at a record show probably a year after it came out. With that Rubicon crossed, I made it a policy to also buy the 12″ singles when I saw them, but by that time the SSS hype train had certainly run off the rails as the band were deemed washed up as soon as they managed to reach the top five with their first single, “Love Missle F-111.”
Next: …but what’s the album like?