October 13, 2010

See the boy I once was...

Mark Ronson & The Business Intl have just released the video for Somebody To Love Me, sung by Boy George and Andrew Wyatt (of Miike Snow). This song is a great moment for George - it has soul and passion, while managing to be both slightly retro and totally current. Not an easy feat. Ronson knows what many forget now: that inside of the drugs and jail drama, is a brilliant singer/ songwriter / performer who is still driven to make good music.

The video is quite worthy, with a female actor doing a very good version of Boy, circa 1982. It has a healthy tinge of the kind of melancholy you can only get when reminiscing on youth.




As I was watching that clip, I happened to be twittering - no shit - with Helen Terry, Culture Club's legendary background singer who wailed along with George on songs like That's The Way, Black Money and Church Of The Poison Mind and was present during the era depicted in the clip. Here is the exchange:

XO: Did you see this? Mark Ronson's "Somebody To Love Me" video. I think it's quite wonderful. This is your era! xo

Helen: I saw and and thought- hang on George would have never, ever gone to a party like THAT! We were nowhere near as perky back in the day.

Helen: Having said that it took me a minute to realise that it wasn't real.

XO: What would've been more realistic? Watching TV? Drinking? Do tell!

Helen: There were no hissy fits, crying, fights, pouting [in that video]. TV never featured at all - too busy going out pouting for that sort of thing.

If you know Helen's work and aren't following her on Twitter, you should. After leaving professional singing, she's gone on to produce documentaries, videos and, for many years, the Brit Awards. Unlike many of her contemporaries, she doesn't dwell much on the past, instead reserving her tweets to proclaim her love of current bands like Scissor Sisters and Hurts. She is currently working on a documentary about songwriting.

Watch Helen and George NAIL Black Money below, live in 1984ish. She is as key to this song as George. I used to play Colour By Numbers, the 1983 album from which this is culled, on my first stereo over and over and over. It is rare today to find radio pop this sophisticated...

10 comments:

A-Dolla said...

What an incredible video.

countpopula said...

How cool is it that you can communicate directly with Ms. Terry via twitter? Damn, maybe I should join the thing. Her voice was magic, and it's sad she isn't more remembered. Still, one of her solo albums was recently reissued, so her name is still out there.

My only complaint with this song (which is pretty great) is that it is quite repetitive, especially George's parts. I would like to hear him do a song that is more his own (nothing against that Miike Snow guy). Maybe Ronson should produce a comeback album for George...now THAT would be something to sit up and take notice of!

xolondon said...

I agree - one of my issues with the Ronson record is the number of singers on each song. I am a purist that way. Separate the peas from the potatoes please...

D'luv said...

Interesting video (the Mark Ronson one). Of course, I'm more into the "Black Money" clip!

Reminds me of my mom playing Kissing To Be Clever and Colour By Numbers a lot on vinyl when I was a kid!

xolondon said...

La Mama D'luv is clearly a right-on woman.

Michael said...

My girls (almost 7 and almost 11) LOVE LOVE LOVE this album. I get the hugest kick out of hearing the almost 7 year old sing every word of "Bang Bang Bang", including the Q-Tip rap! Adorable, and such good taste!

billcsistunedon said...

I have a 12" vinyl by Helen Terry called Love Lies Lost. Anything that I heard from her after Culture Club was underwhelming, especially for such a great voice.

xolondon said...

The key Helen track is Laughter On My Mind. Seek that out.

PhillipR said...

Black Money was mammoth in 1983/84 and it is still mammoth in 2010.. Ms Terry had the most amazing voice...what a shame she didn't have more solo success

xolondon said...

Hi Phillip! Yep, I agree. Black Money is one of my top 5 favorites from BG/CC. Others are Time, Victims, That's The Way, Miss Me Blind.. etc etc.

You might like this http://xolondon.blogspot.com/2010/01/50-best-of-1980s.html