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.
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