Wednesday, January 6, 2016

When Sophisti-Pop Was 'A Craze'

I fell hard for a bevy of these suave bands. A few, perhaps, I'm none too proud to pull out of the collection these days, but quite a few more of them have remained favorites. I'll leave you to guess whether today's selection is the former or the latter. A Craze were Lucy Loquette and Chris Free, and the duo had a couple of claims to fame, albeit minor ones to most (but not to me). For one, they wrote "Give It Some Emotion," Tracie Young's second biggest charting single. Their other noteworthy moment was the single "Wearing Your Jumper." It was a big deal because it was for Paul Weller's short-lived Respond Records, and the big boss man himself produced it. Further, Weller's mates from the Style Council played on it, too. That's Mick Talbot on the Wurlitzer and Steve White on percussion.

Truth be told, I like the B-side, produced by Brian Robson, even better. Alas, this would be the only 7" from A Craze. If you like early Everything But the Girl, Carmel, or Matt Bianco, this musical footnote should get your fingers snapping and head swaying.

"Wearing Your Jumper"
"She Is So"


JC said...

Decades since I've heard was in the collection of a Weller-loving flatmate but wasn't aired all that often!!! Looking forward to getting home from work and hearing it again.

George said...

I saw Everything But The girl ca. 1984 - not the most exciting of stage acts; I have a Carmel album; Matt Bianco - oh no, Brian!! But like JC I'll listen to this sounds like an upbeat Everything But The Girl, perfectly pleasant in a mildly foot-tapping-head-nodding way.

Ian Balentine said...

I'm not super familiar with EBTG, but am a big fan of Saint Etienne, a band I suppose I'd label Sophisto-pop (at least '90's sophisto-pop...I think that term could be applied to a host of bands from each decade since the '60's). I shall have to investigate further...

The Swede said...

'She Is So' sounds a bit like a demo, but certainly has something about it.
'Storm' by Carmel - what a great single that was. Must dig it out.

JC said...

Yup. Exactly as I remembered. I'm with George on EBTG circa 84 not being an exciting stage act but I've always been a fan of the albums. Many tried and failed miserably to copy them, but Ben Watt was a helluva writer and Tracey Thorn had a great voice.

Not as fond of the b-side as The Swede....but giving the a-side a second listen and feeling taken comfortably back in time to music for early 20-something hangovers.

Brian said...

Hi George. Listen, I'm not a huge fan of Matt Bianco either, although Basia's voice blew me away when I hear More Than I Can Bear 30 years ago. So, you don't have to worry about me too much. Then again, I do have an album and a 12". So, maybe you do. I do wish I could have seen EBTG in 1984. I love those early records, particularly the one that came out that year. Happy new year to you!

Ian, Happy 2016. I see you have Oranges and Lemons up today. Good man. Not sure EBTG would be your cup of tea, but let me know if you would like a sampler.

JC, One Respond act you may know that I haven't heard is the Questions. I'll have to track them down. Have always meant to. Glad I could take you back today. You have certainly done that for me more times than I can count.

Swede, Most of A Craze's work sounds like a demo... and most of them actually are. Check out One Voice One Soul if you can. That's my favorite song by them.

Echorich said...

No apologies needed here for being a fan of sophistipop! Whether it was EBTG, The Style Council, Carmel, Working Week, Matt Bianco, I was a huge fan. This was a sound that was a well earned escape and while I was avidly listening to the post punk of The Bunnymen, Chameleons, Comsat Angels, The Sound in parallel, having a fresh sounding pop music to escape to was always welcome. As with all genre's as time went by, the cream rose to the top and I am still greatly enamored of those EBTG, TSC and Carmel albums.
And A Craze - excellent Brian, just excellent!! It's cooled off here in Tampa this week, maybe I'll pull out my Ochre jumper and deck shoes to wear to work tomorrow!