June 5, 2007

1985: China Crisis, "Black Man Ray"

China Crisis were formed in 1979 in Merseyside, England and are still together today! There seems to be some discrepancy about the subject of this somewhat mystifying, vaguely Asian tune from 1985. Is it referencing Man Ray, the photographer (as I thought), or is it referencing Ray Charles (in a slightly crasss way)? The album this song comes from has a brilliant title: Flaunt The Imperfection, and it was produced by Steely Dan's Walter Becker (who knew?!). They were really quite cute and, alas, they aged. It happens to us all.

I should note that I never owned a China Crisis album - I just couldn't be bothered because I was too busy with, like, The Dream Academy or something. They did have other hits, such as Arizona Sky, King In A Catholic Style (watch the intro!) and Wishful Thinking, some of which I heard on my favo(u)rite radio show, Rock Over London with Graham Dene. God how I loved that show- I can hear his voice in my head. I discovered so many great songs listening to that and it was such a comfort because 1985 was a really weird year - my parents dragged my ass away from Atlanta to VA/DC at a very rough age. Boo those whores, but all ended up well!


V said...

Funny, I was dragged away from New York to Arizona during the same time I heard "Arizona Skies" Coincidence?

Phil said...

I loved their Working With Fire & Steel album. I saw them a couple of times live in Liverpool too and they were great, very good at putting on a show! Years later, I saw them supporting Belinda Carlisle (don't ask) and someone I knew was in their band so I met them all those years later and found out that WWF&S was their favourite too.

xolondon said...

I knew V would know them - and Phil, we are the right age for this band, as is V.