My first celebrity crush wasn’t Debbie Harry or Linda Carter. I didn’t ‘feel funny like when I climbed the rope in gym class’ for Kylie Minogue or Sam Fox. Princess Leia and Kim Basinger did not distract me from comic books and Star Wars movies.
But when I first saw Wendy James looking like an East End Marilyn Monroe in a leather jacket and torn jeans singing Baby I Don’t Care on Top Of The Pops… I suddenly then sat up and started paying attention. I mean they were pop and yet they were punk. What was a boy to do with this?
It’s a good song that, Baby I Don’t Care. This one is even better. I was a fan of Transvision Vamp before I knew I was a fan of Transvision Vamp. When I was just buying the singles and albums because the peroxide enchantress pictured on the sleeve hand me hanging on her every word I didn’t really appreciate the Pop Art influence. Nor the retro styling and the Wall Of Sound pastiche. I didn’t get this was a shallow Blondie does Motown on a budget copyism. I did get the 2000AD references though.
Wendy was cooler than every other pop star out there, she spoke in a real accent and she talked tough. The band got to play vintage guitars, wear DM’s and act like they were The Clash. It was like a Marvel’s What If? comic made a record.
Landslide Of Love was the track they went full on Phil Spector tribute on. It’s got all the hall marks of a big haired Girl Group tune from 20 years previous, but it can’t hide it’s late 80’s budget for production.
Layers of polish are slopped over the strings, the major lift and the breathy vocals. This is girl pop for the ages. The die was cast. I was obsessed with records and how they sounded like each other, compared to each other, ranked along side each other from there on.
This is pop art wrapped in crushed velveteen and lip gloss.