Do you think it’s possible to be spoiled by success?
I do (although I have no personal experience of it). I believe that for every act or band that you can name that were better after hitting the big time there are at least ten that weren’t. With one or two exceptions I think most musicians produce their best work when hungry.
The reason for asking is that today’s cassette is the fifth album released by perennial under-achievers, Fischer-Z, ‘Fish’s Head’. I know, I think it’s confusing too!
In the late 80s and early 90s I worked with my brother-in-law. We’d drive around in my little van (a Ford Fiesta with ladders on top if you’re wondering) listening to a combination of mixtapes and albums by any number of acts who were seemingly allergic to success, including Ruby Blue and 29 Palms. One of our favourites though were Fischer-Z. Their ‘Fish’s Head’ album still sounds surprisingly good, from the very fine opener, ‘Say no’ (which I only realised this week is actually a ‘protest song’) to the Ian Duryesque ‘Sticky Business’, the lovely ‘Huba’ and the powerful ‘Only a Hurricane’.
I’m sure the band would have traded some of this quality for a little bit of success, but I, for one, am pleased they didn’t. Their lack of success may well be what kept them so fresh. And hungry.
Label – Ariola
Year - 1989