#743: 1980, Altered Images, Dead Pop Stars

by Jackie_South on August 21, 2013

For the final song of our Scottish Songs to Learn and Sing week, I am returning to a Scottish band that have featured once before.

For me, Glasgow’s Altered Images are one of the bands that sum up the early Eighties: in a musical Venn diagramme, they habit the intersection of pop, post-punk/New Wave and the New Romantics.

This, their first single, is definitely within the post-punk circle. This is Clare Grogan consciously channeling Siouxsie Sioux, before finding her own voice. But it does show that gutsy attitude that marks out Altered Images best stuff.

The song didn’t get anywhere in the charts: fame would need to wait for Happy Birthday nine months later and Grogan’s appearance in film earlier in 1981, in Gregory’s Girl (she is filmed in profile for most of her part because of a recent scar from a broken bottle down her left cheek – inadvertently helping to make the great scenes between her and John Gordon Sinclair). It didn’t help that it was released the week John Lennon was killed, meaning it was never going to get any airplay. But this is great dark post-punk fare, dripping with a cynicism excised from the band’s later output.

And that brings Scottish Week to a close. On the whole, a lot more successful than our week dedicated to the Land of Song, methinks.

Oh, and is it just me but did the second part of the intro get used by Spinal Tap for Stonehenge?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

George_East August 21, 2013 at 10:34 pm

I love this song. Great pick. Altered Images were one of the great pop bands of the early eighties. I could be happy indeed. And while we are at it I’m surprised you didn’t have a view on the Tap.

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