It’s a mere 24 hours or so since the new Pope got the gig and I’ve a confession to make – I never really warmed to the 2 Tone movement. I appreciate the whole cultural significance stuff, but, on the whole, the music didn’t really move me.
For every ‘Ghost town’ there was a ‘Missing words’, for every ‘Gangsters’ a ‘Stereotype’.
Imagine my surprise then when Specials’ (or Special AKA (it was confusing)) members Terry, Neville and Lynval went their own way and, with the help of Bananarama (which could be good or bad news depending on your point of view) created a genuinely original pop album.
The rather overstated aim, declared on the sleeve/insert, was to encourage the listener to ‘Gasp wonder and thrill to the sound of the 80’s’. Not sure I’d go that far, but this album does include some rather entertaining pop nuggets. Billed simply on the insert as ‘The lunatics….’ and on the tape itself as ‘The lunatics have taken over the asylum’, the album’s best track is every bit as relevant musically and culturally as ‘Ghost town’, but if you can remember the last time you heard it on the radio I’ll send you a chocolate button. (Simply send an SAE to….)
Almost all of the other tunes are good too, constructed with a heavy reliance on (for 1982 at least) unusual and interesting rhythms and delivered for the most part with a deadpan style verging on the entirely disinterested.
A small note of caution though; just like all films could be improved by cutting 20 minutes from their running time, most albums could be improved by removing one track. And on this album, that track is the inaccurately titled ‘Funrama 2’.
Don’t forget, it’s ‘in gorgeous stereo FunboyScope’. Apparently.
Label – Chrysalis
Year - 1982