Song Of The Day: The Blow Monkeys – Atomic Lullaby

RCA | UK | 12″ | 1984 | RCA ‎– RCAT 444

Today I have this early single by The Blow Monkeys coursing through my circuits. The last few Saturdays have seen me drawn to the middle period house phase of the band where they were the only British New Wave band making house music that I could respect and enjoy. I think that because they were actually making house records instead of getting house mixes made of their pop tunes might have made all the difference in the world.

So as I did the shopping or housework, songs like “This Is Your Life,” “Choice?,” and especially “Wait” were the magnets for my listening. I’m obviously still not done with the band since this early classic had come snaking through my consciousness unbidden today.

“Atomic Lullaby” was from the band’s early “jazz punk” debut album “Limping For A Generation.” The three things that are particularly striking about this single were the fey vocals of Dr. Robert, his languid guitar, and the smoky, creamy [screamy?] sax that flows through this one courtesy of Neville Henry. I love how the middle eight of the song goes into double time as it hurtles toward the explosive climax of the song. This was one of the more low key nuclear annihilation anxiety songs of the era. A far cry from “Two Tribes!” Peter Wilson’s production was warm and inviting here and it’s hard to believe that drum machines and synthesizers lay just around the corner for this band at this time. The notion of them making hip club music in a style that didn’t even exist yet, seems beyond the pale in hindsight. But this one is also a keeper.

– 30 –

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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11 Responses to Song Of The Day: The Blow Monkeys – Atomic Lullaby

  1. While many here would likely cast their eyes over their glasses in a disapproving look, one of the joys of having a streaming service to hand is that I can instantly call up any song the Monk mentions that I might wish to listen to. In my case, the album this resides on is out of my hands for the last decade (in storage), and as usual the description made me want to hear it again for the first time in yoinks. Boom, can do — and what a pleasure it is indeed!

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      chasinvictoria – “While many here would likely cast their eyes over their glasses in a disapproving look, one of the joys of having a streaming service…” Who… me? [rolls eyes] All I can say is “watch this space…”

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  2. Mr. Ware says:

    Well! Do tell!
    For economy and efficiency, the Ware family came to terms with downloading many years ago. Streaming much more recently, but I’ve got to admit I love it. Having a music loving 20 year old son as eager to share the “new stuff” as he is to hear the “old stuff”, Apple Music is the bomb.

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  3. Echorich says:

    In a world where everything old is new again, it’s about time that anti nuclear songs make a reappearance. I can only hope that this second decade of The Millennial will begin to bring them some some political cojones and that it will somehow seep into their music. If that doesn’t happen at least we have a wonderful basket of songs from 35 years ago that will work.

    As for early TBM…gimme more, gimme more. There are really very few bands that managed to make the move from one genre to another along the Pop Music spectrum with their dignity. It may not have gained them more success, but their musical canon is filled with legitimately wonderful songs.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Echorich – Especially after the tiresome, hollow chest thumping of 45, not to mention Vladimir Putin’s little PowerPoint® From Hell yesterday…Heaven 17…I’m waiting! Dr. Robert – time to dust off those old lyric notebooks. In case no one has noticed, the bad old days are back with a vengeance.

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  4. dhrichards says:

    (Not sure if I asked this before) but the Eek-a-mouse remix of Sweet Murder (Eek-a-mix) – it seems to be nowhere, not even on Spotify or Youtube (!) or iTunes. Am I dreaming that remix up?

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      dhrichards – No! You are NOT hallucinating. It’s on the “Forbidden Fruit” UK 2×12″ as well as the US 6-track “Forbidden Fruit” EP.
      Sweet Murder [Eek-A-Mix] label
      Both of those are in the Record Cell. It’s also on the glorious DLX RM of “Animal Magic” that I still need!!! I bought the other two Cherry Red DLX RMs a few years back. I tried to buy the 2xCD “Animal Magic” at the same time but the idiotic Amazon dealer sent me the single US CD I already had; and gave me lip about it!!!

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  5. Completists still need this single for Kill The Pig – it’s suuposed to be on the Cherry Red deluxe Limping For A Generation, along with Kill The Pig (Pig Mix) from Forbidden Fruit, but they seem to have messed up and included the Pig Mix twice instead!

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Kier Hardie – Welcome To the comments! Yeah I think I noticed that when I got the DLX RM of “Limping” when it came out. I still need to compile my own, correct box of Blow Monkeys rarities. In my dotage.

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  6. Scott Klapman says:

    It’s interesting how this old review has come back. When Cherry Red first reissued this, I wrote an Amazon review about some discrepancies I’d noticed. The project’s compiler actually commented with their points of view on my review. Here’s the link if anyone’s interested, it’s now 7 years old: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Limping-Generation-Deluxe-Blow-Monkeys/product-reviews/B009GAUCO4/ –> “Superb Reissue” –> 5 Comments

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Scott Klapman – Welcome to the comments! Many thanks for the Blow Monkeys data and link! I remember reading that thread with you and the compiler at one point where I was trying to figure out what exactly had happened with that DLX RM. I also have the Blow Monkeys vinyl so I had the 12″ and could ascertain the very slight differences in the 12″ and LP versions.

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