Saturday, August 17, 2019

Summer of Subway: Pop Will Eat Itself

Pop Will Eat Itself never released even so much as a single on the Subway Organization, but they did appear on the label's first release, the legendary compilation 'Take The Subway To Your Suburb' (SUBORG 1, 1986). It's easy to assume that at least for a heartbeat the band considered a relationship with Martin Whitehead's venture. That same year, PWEI's self-released debut single "Poppies Say Grrr!" was single of the week in the NME and received regular play from Janice Long. The band was off and running. Soon after, they picked up with the excellent Chapter 22, known to indie-pop fans for releases around this time by Mighty Mighty and the Pastels and a little bit later by Ned's Atomic Dustbin. Craig Jennings of Chapter 22 still manages PWEI to this day.

You may recall Richard March of PWEI came up earlier in this series because he produced Birmingham band Surf Drums. That's an earlier incarnation of Subway vets Korova Milk Bar. Annie Taylor from Korova Milk Bar would go on to marry March, and that band would also make the move from Subway to Chapter 22.

Back to PWEI's apperance on 'Take The Subway To Your Suburb.' These two songs were covers from opposite sides of the track. "Orgone Accumulator" first appeared on the Hawkwind album 'Space Ritual' in 1973. "Like an Angel" was a No. 4 indie hit by the Mighty Lemon Drops in January of the same year 'Take The Subway To Your Suburb' hit the shelves. Now that takes balls. Both of these songs would show up again in 1987 on the band's Chapter 22 release 'Love Missile F1-11.'

You know the rest of the story, but suffice it to say PWEI added hip-hop and more samples and electronics to the noise and by 1989 became Top 40 hitmakers for RCA.

Orgone Accumulator
Like an Angel

So far in the Summer of Subway series:
Cowboy and Spin Girl
Choo Choo Train
Sex Clark Five
The Charlottes
Bubblegum Splash
Shop Assistants
The Soup Dragons
Rodney Allen
The Rosehips
Korova Milk Bar
The Clouds

No comments: