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Digital Subscriptions > Classic Pop > May 2019 - Bryan Adams > LONG LIVE THE QUEEN

LONG LIVE THE QUEEN

AF TER MOR E THAN 40 YEARS IN THE MUSI C BUSINESS, TOYAH WI L LCOX IS AS CREAT IVELY HUNGRY AS SHE WAS IN HER TEENS. C LASSI C POP CHATS TO THE H IGH PRI ESTESS OF PUNK AND HE R LONG - T IME COL L ABOR ATOR , S IMON DAR LOW, ABOUT THEI R BOLD REIMAGINING OF 2008 ALBUM IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON QUEEN, AND WHY THE MATERIAL DESERVES A SECOND OUT ING...

On the cover of new double album In The Court Of The Crimson Queen, Toyah Willcox is shown seated on an elaborate velvet throne, her head surrounded by a crown of silver thorns. While the title is a not-so-subtle nod to her marriage to King Crimson’s Robert Fripp, you might assume that the choice of royal imagery is also proof that Toyah – once punk rock’s princess – is now acknowledging her status as a musical monarch. However, turn the sleeve over and you’ll see that the throne has been kicked away.

“I wanted a suggestion of rebelliousness, so I introduced the idea that falling off the Crimson Queen’s throne is liberating and the only way to gain true personal power,” Toyah explained on her website earlier this year. “Pedestals are always troubled by expectation. It’s not about a fallen queen – it’s about a liberated queen.”

Taking a popular concept and flipping it on its head is what we should have come to expect from the multi-talented star, who has spent her career experimenting and undergoing regular musical makeovers. In fact, the album is itself a work of reinvention, having initially been released in 2008 and now reimagined and expanded with new material.

But as Toyah reiterates throughout her interview with Classic Pop, the record is not quite a solo effort. Both the original version of Crimson Queen and its 2019 successor are the fruits of a creative partnership with Simon Darlow – a songwriter and instrumentalist with a string of 80s hits to his name, including the Grace Jones classic Slave To The Rhythm. It’s a friendship that goes back more than 40 years.

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About Classic Pop

Issue 52 of Classic Pop is on sale now! This month, we have an exclusive interview with Bryan Adams and get the inside track on his adventure-packed 40 years in music plus we meet Howard Jones who tells us why he's returning to his synth-pop roots for new studio album, Transform. Classic Pop celebrates the 40th anniversary of the 2 Tone movement by speaking to those who made it happen including Jerry Dammers, Lynval Golding, Pauline Black and Ranking Roger; hip-hop legends De La Soul reveal the ties that have kept them together since their 1989 breakout LP 3 Feet High And Rising and we also talk to Toyah Willcox who explains why she's revisiting her 2008 album In The Court Of The Crimson Queen. Elsewhere, we interview Erasure's Andy Bell, pop tunesmith Guy Chambers and A Flock Of Seagulls. We also have unseen photos of Nick Heyward and Haircut 100. Our Classic Album is Soul II Soul's Club Classics Vol One and we serve up a buyer's guide to Japan and David Sylvian. Our packed new album reviews section includes Howard Jones, Morrissey, The Cranberries and The Waterboys. On the reissues front, Stephen Duffy's wonderful I Love My Friends makes its debut on vinyl plus there are re-releases from Heaven 17, Stevie Nicks, Julian Cope and more. In our live reviews section, we check out gigs by The Specials, Giorgio Moroder, Emika and Stewart Copeland.