Top Bar
Musique Machine Logo Home ButtonReviews ButtonArticles ButtonBand Specials ButtonAbout Us Button
SearchGo Down
Search for  
With search mode in section(s)
And sort the results by
show articles written by  
 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Sigue Sigue Sputnik - Flaunt It [Cherry Red Records - 2020]

Appearing in 1986 Flaunt It was the opening shot from Sigue Sigue Sputnik- and boy what an opening. The eight-track debut brought together elements of synth-ed up & futuristic pop-punk, sixteen-bit rock ‘n’ roll, and electro-pumped glam- all wrapped up in a tongue-in-cheek, though decidedly dystopian take on commercialism, modernism, &  the future. Here from Cherry Red is the ultimate four-CD edition of the album- bringing together B-sides, remixes, unreleased tracks, and live recordings.

The five-disc set is presented in a blue card slipcase- with each CD coming in its own card sleeve. We also get a twenty-four-page inlay booklet- this takes in a new four-page write up about the album, the band & their impact. A good selection of pictures & imagery relating to the project, a collage of all their magazine appearances from the time, and full credits.

The band started in 1982 & was the brainchild of bass player Tony James- formally of Generation X, the band that launched Bill Idol. He was joined by guitarists/backing vocalist Neal X, lead vocalist Martin Degville, Ray Mayhew on drums and second drummer Chris Kavanagh- whom was giving the gig due to his looks/ attitude, and was later taught how to play by the band. The five-piece played a few gigs & the interest started to grow, but the big leap forward was in 1984, ironic considering the band's dystopian imagery/ leanings, when James was interviewed by NME- which caused various major labels to go to the bands show at London’s Electric Cinema, with a performance following soon on then-popular UK music show The Tube. Fairly soon they signed to EMI, and hype machine kicked in even more- with the band becoming a household name very quickly.

Released in July of 1986 Flaunt It was produced by legendry disco & electronic pioneer Giorgio Moroder. The original eight-track album was both punchy, bright & tacky- with fleeting-if-meaningful mockery of both commercialism, modernism, and the then political climate edged into the songs & blended within the bands sci-fi punk imagery.  It’s fair to say that the idea of the band is better than their sonic reality, as they were largely one-note with their pumped-up & future pop fired mix of punk, glam & rock ‘n’ roll- but there are moments of greatness here, and the whole decidedly tongue-in-cheek/ playful vibe to the whole thing. The album kicks off with the bands first single & probably their most known song "Love Missile F1-11-" which reached number 3 on the Uk chart. The songs a decidedly manic & darting blend of chugging punked-up synth,  locked electro beats, rock & roll guitar licks, effect altered & bounced future-glam vocals, and a ton of cheeky-to-futuristic samples. Next, we come to one of the more reserved moments “Atari Baby” with it’s building & dartingly bright synth melody, tick-tocking future pop ballad beats, sampled semi ethnic female harmonious, and wailing-to-crooning lead vocals. The remainder of the albums tracks really replay the group's electro choppy & rock ‘n’ roll guitar tipped sound with of course more samples & playfulness wound in- to various levels of success. Also adding in cheeky charm & commercialism mocking edge to the whole thing we also get a couple of adverts for Sigue Sigue Sputnik related production be it the Sputnik corporation and the band's computer game. You can certainly hear Moroder’s touches & nudges through-out the record- but it’s most certainly a one-off sound for better or worse. 
On the extras front on this first disc, we get four bonus tracks- two songs, and advert for EMI, and a twelve-minute interview/ montage regarding the band & their rise to fame.

Moving onto disc two and we have the remixes- this is twelve-track affair taking in fifty-three minutes of music. And what we get here are seven different mixes of "Love Missile F1-11", two of "Massive Retaliation", and two of "Sex Bomb Dance". As with all remixes go there are moments of effectiveness & clever enough reinvention on display- though as a fifty-three minute CD is all a bit too much to play in one sitting.

Disc number three takes in yet more remixes, rarities, and B sides. In all, we get nine tracks on this disc and forty-seven minutes of music. The disc moves from locked & chugging punk synth and effects stretched vocals/ guitars of “Hack Attack”, onto the synth rockabilly of “Buy EMI”. We get an early version of a track, a live track- and five remixes.

The fourth and final disc here is a live recording of the band from December 1985 that was recorded in the legendary Abby Road Studios- this features seven tracks and forty-four minutes of music. And as you’d expect it’s a much more raw, rough & ready take on the band sounds with swooping & at times colliding blend of R’n’R guitar playing, choppy synth lines, lose & basic drums, and samples. It’s certainly interesting to hear the band in this context, and at points, we do get some great overloaded & pumped-up version of classic album tracks.

Love them or hate them, there’s no doubt Sigue Sigue Sputnik made their own distinct impact, which landed up reverberating both sonic & culturally for years to come. It’s great to see Cherry Red releasing this deluxe set, as until now the band & this debut album, has rather lacked the proper reprisal/ celebration they truly deserved.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Roger Batty
Latest Reviews

Sigue Sigue Sputnik - Flaunt It
Appearing in 1986 Flaunt It was the opening shot from Sigue Sigue Sputnik- and boy what an opening. The eight-track debut brought together elements of synth-...
251122   The Residents - Triple Troubl...
251122   Expose Your Eyes - Everythin...
251122   Stolen Light - Square Wheel
251122   The Draughtsman’s Contract - ...
241122   Heron - Twice As Nice & Half ...
241122   Clive Bunker - Awakening
241122   Contraband - Contraband(Blu ...
231122   Caldon Glover - Labyrintia
231122   Christmas Cruelty! - Christma...
231122   Various Artists - I Never Met...
Latest Articles

Hastings of Malawi - Deliriously ...
Formed in the early 1980s, after the member's sonic dabbling’s on the early Nurse With Wound records, Hastings Of Malawi took a decidedly busy and deta...
231122   Hastings of Malawi - Deliriou...
011122   Raffaele Pezzella - Pursuing ...
111022   Fouke - Bigfoot walled noise
150922   Joe Sherlock - The King of mo...
230822   Sdug Bsngal - Some Scars Run ...
020822   The Night Porter & Slowgurn p...
200622   The Worse Album In The World ...
240522   Noir On Powerhouse Films - Fr...
260422   Schloss Tegal - Back To The ...
230322   The Residents - Fifty Years ...
Go Up
(c) Musique Machine 2001 -2017. Celebrating 16 years of true independence!! Mail Us at questions=at=musiquemachine=dot=comBottom