Tuesday, March 8, 2016

ABCs of My Vinyl Collection (Letter B, Part 9)

This will be familiar territory. CC at Charity Chic Music just posted this song and another single from the Blow Monkeys six weeks ago. I was aware this redundancy was coming, but I knew I had a 12" single that would up the ante a bit, so I hope you don't mind. The peanut gallery was split when CC featured "Digging Your Scene..." or at least it felt that way. George's protests seemed louder than the words from supporters, so that might have skewed the data a bit. In 1986, I didn't really appreciate many commercial pop songs, especially ones featuring saxophone (insert shudder here), but in this case I couldn't help myself. Apparently I wasn't alone. The song peaked at No. 12 in the UK and No. 14 here in America.

When "Digging Your Scene" was working its way up the charts, I would have described it as light and disposable. This dizzy high school student without a care in the world had no idea the lyrics dealt with the AIDS-fueled backlash against homosexuals. Once you know, a line like "it'll get you in the end, it's God's revenge" packs quite a punch. It would have taken great courage to tackle such a subject in 1986, especially when you consider that the songwriter was a heterosexual. When asked about the God's revenge line, Dr. Robert once said, "There was a little bit of hysteria about AIDS, I think, in the early days here in the tabloids and stuff, you know. It was a bit dodgy, and people were kind of using it in order to kind of slag off the gay scene and the gay culture, you know. And what I wanted to do was kind of say... you know, redress the balance in my own way."

Thanks for the well-written prescription, Dr. Robert, but after converting these three versions in succession, I may not need to listen to "Digging Your Scene" again for a while.

"Digging Your Scene" (Single)
"Digging Your Scene" (Extended Mix)
"Digging Your Scene" (Dub Cosmic Mix)

6 comments:

friend of rachel worth said...

Such a great song and didn't realise it had done so well in the us. Their comeback LPs aren't too shabby either

drew said...

I was listening to Wait by Dr Robert and Kym Mazelle at the weekend, a pretty good house track.

Echorich said...

Robert Howard has a gift as far as these ears are concerned. I ate up all thing TBM back when they hit the charts, searching in reverse for their debut album Limping For A Generation as soon as I got my hands on Animal Magic. By the time of Animal Magic, the whole London Jazz Pop/Sophisti-pop scene had gotten a bit long in the tooth and those artists who were able to move onto the charts or expanded on their cult status were firmly established. The Blow Monkeys took a few pages out of their book as well as looked back to the energy of Glam for some references as well.
But The Blow Monkeys never sat still and evolved adding more and more dance influence into their particular brand of intelligent pop. I think Springtime For The World, their last album before calling it a day was brilliant at capturing the mood of change in pop and the influence of House, Balearic and World Music sounds.
When they made their comeback almost 2 decades later, they presented fans with a grown up, experienced take on pop and rock that put much of what else was out at the time to shame. Their second season has born some amazing fruit and I look forward to more and more.

charity chic said...

A much more detailed and informative post and discussion than my post. Brian - as you would expect!

kevinpat said...

Hmmm. There's a good song in there. May I suggest: tone down the echo, put the tongue in cheek or chic, be a little more flirtatious and soulful, that would grab me more. Oh wait!! That's what Culture Club already did! Hey but I'll always tumble for ya. :))

Luca said...

I like The Blow Monkeys quite a lot. I have this one on 7" and I give you thanks for providing me with these mixes.