April 9, 2010

I have faith in this love track

Malcolm McLaren Madame Butterfly:

That is truly one of the greatest pop songs of all time. It elevated radio to a new level in 1984.

Malcolm McLaren - who died of cancer yesterday, if you did not hear the news - didn't just make music. He identified, enhanced and promoted subcultures. It was Malcolm, not Madonna, who first saw the pop music potential of voguing. His track Deep In Vogue is just as good as her own Vogue, and it actually features the voices of same voguers featured in Jennie Livingson's famous documentary Paris Is Burning (rent it).

There will be many tributes to McLaren over the next few days, but the one I recommend is Annabella Lwin's candid piece for Entertainment Weekly. Malcolm discovered her and made her the lead singer of his controversial pop group Bow Wow Wow, a group that my friends and I adored back in the early 80's when we were just getting into music.

Malcolm McLaren Deep In Vogue (Extended Mix):


countpopula said...

Great song and concept. I'm even more in love with the Duck Rock album, which was my first recollection of hip hop and South African music crashing with Caribbean rhythms and square dancing! Trevor Horn produced it, and without "Buffalo Gals", Neneh Cherry would have never taken a "Buffalo Stance". Plus, "Double Dutch" and "Jive My Baby" just make me incredibly happy (by the undercredited Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens mostly).

Malcolm may not have been a fantastic musician or singer, but he was an INCREDIBLE conceptualizer. To hear members from the Clash and Bow Wow Wow saying they would not have existed without his input is proof enough.

Brad said...

It is exactly these kinds of posts that set you a cut above the rest of today's bloggers.

You've always helped to appreciate the finer parts of pop and its history.

Thank you for this.

xolondon said...

Count, I need to find Duck Rock NOW

Brad, thank you so much for saying something so kind. Seriously!

Phil said...

I bought Duck Rock when I was 14. It was so imaginative and colourful I couldn't take it all in. Over the years, it seeped in, track by track, sound by sound, audio sample by audio sample. I can still relay a Supreme Famous Team radio sample almost verbatim... "...too much of that Snow White". I still play the album and it sounds as fresh and vibrant as it did 27 years ago.

In 1985, as a contractual obligation, the remix album Swamp Thing was released. It's one of my all-time favourites. I've spoken about it here and you can sample one of the best tracks, Duck Rock...

"Everybody say Duck! Rock!"