#881: 1982, The Associates, Party Fears Two

by George_East on April 14, 2014

I remarked in my recent Songs to Learn and Sing post on the Wild Beasts’Wanderlust that Hayden Thorpe’s affected vocal style reminded me of the Associates’ great front man, Billy Mackenzie.  It then occurred to me that we hadn’t had any Associates yet on Songs To Learn and Sing, which can’t be right.

Party Fears Two is probably their most famous song, and what a corker it is.  From that period when a bunch of bands decided to combine the do it yourself attitude of punk, a desire to create perfect pop and an intellectual sensibility.   The bands were mostly Scottish – Orange Juice, Aztec Camera, Jozef K, the Associates etc, though I would also include Green Gartside’s Scritti Politi and Paddy McAloon’s Prefab Sprout as operating in the same space.

Mackenzie would, of course, tragically commit suicide in 1997 from an overdose of prescription drugs.

His death inspired songs by both The Cure (Robert Smith felt guilty about not giving Mackenzie any time when he saw him shortly before the latter’s death – and as featured previously on Songs To Learn and Sing here) and Siouxsie Sioux’s side project band, The Creatures (she was due to meet up with him shortly after he died). 

With his suicide, sadly, the world of pop and rock lost one of the great original voices. 

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