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Digital Subscriptions > Classic Pop > FREE Sample Issue > DARE TO BELIEVE

DARE TO BELIEVE

IN THIS EXTRACT FROM DARE, A NEW BOOK ON THE BIRTH OF MODERN POP 1979-1982, DAVID LAURIE RECALLS THE EXTRAORDINARY BILLY MACKENZIE…

Billy Mackenzie entered my life for the first time via Top Of The Pops and the cinematically demented glam disco of Party Fears Two in February 1982.

Associates (Billy and Alan Rankine from Dundee and a variety of other contributors) had made a couple of very good but not hugely successful albums in The Affectionate Punch (Fiction, 1980) and Fourth Drawer Down (Situation 2, 1981, a collection of the singles from the year preceding).

Their affection for Fun with a capital F, mischief and Bowie was laid out from the beginning by their debut single, a cover of his Boys Keep Swinging, released just six weeks after Bowie’s single came out.

They gave great copy in interviews, such as “I was just listening to the combination of Rankine’s guitar and my voice and I had an orgasm… it just shows how music can get me in a froth” (Melody Maker, 1981). Associates worked with some very innovative producers, like Flood and Mike Hedges, who went on to be massively successful and continue to be so to this day. Having subsequently dug into those early releases, I like much about them but they skewed toward weird over Fun.

I wasn’t alone. None of them sold too well and Billy is quoted as saying of them “I thought it was going to be the year of singles. And it was. The thing was that they got peeled off the turntable halfway through. We want to keep our singles on the turntable this year” (Melody Maker, 1982).

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About Classic Pop

The results are in! The latest issue features the Classic Pop 'Top 100 Albums of the Eighties' - as decided by our readers - including the classics of the decade, some cult favourites and a few wildcards to boot. PLUS! We give the Classic Pop verdict on David Bowie's new album 'Blackstar'… Elsewhere in the issue we investigate the classic pop of Christmas, delve into Sparks' weird and wonderful back catalogue, survey Simple Mind's classic album 'Once Upon A Time' and take a closer look at the leftfield sleeve art of John Foxx. Interviews include Visage's Steve Barnacle, Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze, Susanna Hoffs, McAlmont & Butler and modern synthpop duo Hurts.