associates club country big

Attack of the Killer Track! is a series that explores tracks from artists from a variety of genres. Some of the tracks were singles, some of them were obscure b-sides or long forgotten album tracks. One thing is certain – all of them are killer tracks.

In the days before the instant gratification of YouTube or perusing music blogs, you’d have to work quite a bit to find out of print musical gems. In the early to mid 90’s I’d read about the Associates – a group described as Bowie meets Scott Walker with a post punk edge (this was clearly before Scott Walker’s soon to come transformation / return). Oh, and the group also included Michael Dempsey, who was The Cure’s original bassist. Sounded heavenly. The only problem was that all the early records were long out of print and the ones that I could find were bastardized US versions of the albums with the usual ploy of cutting great tracks and tacking on inferior, later period songs. It wasn’t until the reissue campaign began in 2000 that I was able to listen to the Associates in any meaningful way. The 1st three records (The Affectionate Punch (original & remix album), Fourth Drawer Down, Sulk) are the sound of a band firing on all cylinders. Lyrically and musically, it all sounds perfectly contained and on the edge of collapse. Club Country is the 2nd single to be taken from Sulk and whilst seemingly celebrating the club scene of the early 80’s, closer inspection reveals it be a damning admonishment of the New Romantic era. The bass line drives the song, complimenting the operatic shrieks emanating from Billy Mackenzine. A man possessed, and for a short time – on top of the world. “Alive and kicking at the Country Club / We’re old and sickening at the Country Club”

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2 responses »

  1. They also did a briliant cover of Simon Dupree and the Big Sound song ‘Kites’. I don’t normally rave over covers but that one is a great song & shows off Billys vocal talent beautifully https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4gXrYHnbXA

    • I love that! I did have the remix of The Affectionate Punch in the late 90’s after a successful trip to NYC…but Fourth Drawer Down / Sulk blew me away when I finally heard them!! We lost Billy too soon, that’s for sure.

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