Friday, April 4, 2014

UK Indie Hits: 1980-89 (No. 31)

I'm counting down my top 50 singles from the golden age of the UK Independent Charts.

31. Associates - "Kitchen Person"

Other Contenders: My favorite singles from the very early years are the cover of "Boys Keep Swinging" and "The Affectionate Punch," but neither charted.

Chart Entry: Aug 29, 1981

Peak Position: No. 9

Comment: Fans may think I have sold Alan and Billy short by shutting them out of the top 30. In my defense, the only singles eligible for inclusion were the six compiled on the album 'The Fourth Drawer Down.' If the 'Sulk' era singles were indie, the band would have appeared in my top 10. Man, that would have been a really tough choice. I appreciate Associates, circa 1981, but I'm a pop fan at heart, and I do find the duo's avant-garde bent much more of a challenge. The easily digestible "Tell Me Easter's on Friday" was the safe bet that I thought would occupy this spot, but after repeated listens this week, I have switched my first and second choices.

"Kitchen Person" is absolute chaos, but I find the noise inspired. It seems like it should be set to film, somehow. To me, Billy's incredible voice is normally the dominant instrument, but in this song the vocals are in for a scrap... especially with the percussion. Alan once said about the song, "There was no concept of 'we better not...' -- we were stretching our legs." There's just no vacancy in this space, and I'm in awe.

Buy "Kitchen Person" on the two-disc set 'Singles.'

Note: Twenty singles down, 30 to go. My kids begin spring break later today, and we are off to the California desert for a much needed break from the wettest March in Seattle's recorded history. So, expect the next installment on or around Monday, April 14. Take care.

5 comments:

george said...

Looking forward to the next part. Have a good break

Brian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian said...

Thanks, George. A balmy 93 degrees and 100 percent sun today. Needed that.

postpunkmonk said...

I am all over "Kitchen Person." It's my favorite Associates track because it is a thrilling, no-holds barred head-first dive into chaos! Rankine's guitar sounds like a jet engine! The typewriter percussion is inspired! [they held sown an electric typewriter's return key for an inspired analog rhythm loop!] But in the end, it's Rankine's guitar that just sounds like nothing on earth I'd ever heard before... no offense to Billy, but he's just another support element to the guitar in this mix!

Brian said...

Postpunkmonk,
Welcome. Very cool. You're the first person I have met that would name this one as their favorite Associates song. You're right, pure chaos from Rankine. Good ear, sir.

And better late than never. Just discovered your blog and am enjoying it very much.