21 August 2008

Immaculate Fools - Immaculate Fools mp3

A&M
AM227
1985


Immaculate Fools - Immaculate Fools cover

Belle and Sebastian. The Selecter. Living In A Box. Slowdive. Tin Machine. Talk Talk. The Colour Field. Goodbye Mr MacKenzie. Madness.

The list of bands with eponymous songs is an unsurprisingly short one. I suppose Big Country almost got there with In A Big Country, and Dexy's had an oblique stab at it with Kevin Rowland's Band.

It's surely a tougher thing to do when you're a solo artist, so kudos to Bo Diddley and two other nearly-made-its, Julian Cope's Julian H Cope (his middle name's actually David) and Mr Jeays by Philip Jeays, a songwriter and performer whose talent is only matched by his gobsmackingly inexplicable obscurity.

Anyway, in 1985 there was this proper eponysong, Immaculate Fools. They appeared out of nowhere and had the smell of a serious wedge of record company loot behind them. Production by Colin Thurston (Duran Duran, Magazine, Human League) and mixing by the legendary Glyn Johns (Beatles, Stones, Who, Zeppelin, you name it). Beyond the big name techies there was the real mid-80s sign of a Big Hype, the double pack 7 inch.

They were another of those bands who, like Bauhaus, Tubeway Army or Psychedelic Furs, made something decent out of having plainly spent their adolescence obsessing over Bowie. This may even have been a reason they went with producer Thurston. He was, with Bowie and Iggy Pop, one of the 'Bewlay Brothers' team that produced Lust For Life.

The song is a glorious pop swooner. The way it just rolls in from the intro, the stately glide, a little arty and knowing, somehow simultaneously contrived and effortless, graceful and swaggering, and a chorus that sticks in your head for days.

There is a video on Youtube, but I'd recommend just listening first. They look soooo 80s. Floppy fringe? Check. Waistcoats? Check. Mullets, too many tom-toms, big glasses, peroxide? Yep, all there. It distracts from the real worth here, the richness of tone, the way the dry English voice cuts over the warm, woody soar of the chorus.

It scraped to number 51 in the charts, no other hits. A one-hit wonder I bought at the time and know very little about, but it still sounds great today and more people should hear it. Now that's what doing an MP3 blog's all about.

The back cover warns me that home taping is killing music and it's illegal.

Home Taping Is Killing Music logo

It's also anachronistic. Don't tape this track, help yourself to the MP3 instead.

[MP3 deleted to make way for new ones, sorry!]

10 comments:

Simon Douglass said...

fantastic tune - thanks so much for posting it.

adam said...

"Kevin Rowland's Thirteenth Time' on the 'director's cut' reissue of 'Don't Stand Me Down', which begins "My name is Kevin Rowland, I'm the leader of the band" surely counts.

merrick said...

No way Adam. That's not an eponysong, that's just stating name and rank within the lyrics!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this - just found it looking for your old posting of Intaferon's Steamhammer Sam - any chance of re-posting this as I can only find the instrumental version on the net, unless anyone knows better...??

merrick said...

Anonyperson, I'll gladly send you Steamhammer Sam. In fact, I'll gladly send anyone any of the deleted MP3s.

I use a proxy (like http://www.transferbigfiles.com ). I send the file to thim, they send you a link to download it. That way nobody's inbox gets overloaded.

Leave your email address in the Comments for any tracks you want sending.

reggie said...

Thanks for the file - it was dead easy to pick it up. Still a great song - why weren't Intaferon more successful?

merrick said...

Reggie, i think it's the same reason that the Osmonds outsold the Stooges, that Taylor Dayne outsold the Church, that Will young outsold Spiritualized.

m a r k said...

Immaculate Fools still gets airplay on Spanish radio, I think they were moderately successful (t)here...

Leo said...

One time singer and main composer of the Immaculate Fools is now performing as Dirty Ray and living on the Welsh borders. He has a new album out in September produced by Miles Hunt of the Wonderstuff. I have known the man for many years (tho I do not work for him!) and I think his current stuff is the best he has done. http://www.dirtyray.co.uk

merrick said...

Oh my god Leo, I was sat right outside the Tadpole Stage at Glastonbury when he was on!

I was there as part of a poetry team and we were sorting out our set list for doing the Speakers Forum just across from the Tadpole, and I got totally distracted by this great, raspy voice doing Immaculate Fools.

It was such an uplift and a surprise to hear the song in that context, I thought it was an inspired cover version, I had no idea it was actually the guy who wrote it!