A blog about my favourite movies, music, and TV.

15 January 2009

Fuzzbox - Big Bang!

Fuzzbox started out with a sound as rough as nails (by this blogger’s standards anyway) and a look that encompassed pretty much covered everything from grunge to punk and cool new wave with a few of granny’s old socks and some horrible knitwear thrown in to boot. They were a hot mess, but in a good way. Their first album Bostin’ Steve Austin was released by Vindaloo Records (no, I am not making this up) and caused quite a stir with catchy Indie singles like Rules and Regulations, What’s The Point, and Love Is The Slug becoming popular with pop fans too.

They were snapped up for a US release of their album by Geffen Records, and signed with WEA in the UK soon after, it was that deal that saw them come back in 1989 with a slicker image and sound.

Theirs must rank as one of the best pop makeovers anyway; just compare the picture above with the one bellow! The irresistible Pink Sunshine launched their second album, Big Bang! A polished album that sounded more like Bananarama with louder guitars and more interesting ideas, than the rough and ready pop/punk girl band that had initially brought them to the limelight.

Their album Big Bang made it to #5 in the UK and they had further hits, firstly with the brilliant International Rescue, a song that pays homage to not just Thunderbirds but also Barbarella (see the video). It’s pure pop brilliance! The itself album was very strong, including similarly full on synth-laden pop/rock songs like Fast Forward Futurama, Versatile for Discos and Parties, and the more rocky Self! Which is rumoured to include a guitar solo, not performed by band member Jo, as the video might suggest, but in fact by Queen’s Brian May. Whoever played the solo, it’s a fabulous track, and perhaps my favourite on the whole album, I love the use they made of that ‘whip’ sample too.

The group also explored their softer side on tracks like Jamaican Sunrise and Irish Bride, which are really quite sophisticated and dreamy; the latter is about domestic violence. The group had not only grown up and explored their sound, but they had developed a stronger, sexier image. But back to the music, rumour has it that unlike their debut, the girls didn’t actually play much of this album themselves. This could be true, but on a pop album this really doesn’t matter. The lead singer Vicky has such a compelling voice anyway, I love it! She may not be Celine Dion, but she knows how to use what she’s got, further evidenced by her performances in the videos!
The group pretty much split for good in 1990 when their next single Your Loss Is My Gain flopped, save a late 90’s appearance at Gay Pride in their hometown of Birmingham, the results were not pretty...

A best of Look At The Hits On That! Is available with new remixes and a DVD of their music videos as a bonus. Vicky, now known as Vix, has a solo CD out, entitled LovePower and Peace, which is available from Damage Control Music
Video – What’s The Point (1987)
Video – International Rescue (1989)


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Anonymous said...

Where is the fun in music today?
Loved Fuzzbox, they made me smile - shame they split. RIP Jo Dunne.