Smiths Complete - Available at Rhino.coma-ha "Hunting High & Low" and "Scoundrel Days" Deluxe Editions Rhino Handmade raids the vault!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

"life was so simple then/a kind of playtime/you made it easy then/we had a great time"

Like many a budding homo, I was quite the little fashion plate in high school. Yes, that's me with the grey pleather pants, white nylon vest, white leather skinny tie and man perm.

I won the Senior Class Superlative for "Biggest Individualist", which we all know was code for "Biggest Punk Faggot Who Hates Dressing Like Everyone Else". I also won "Biggest Gossip", but that's not germane to this discussion. I held the record for most different hairstyles in our senior yearbook - 11. Yes, 11. Short, long, dyed black, permed, dyed blonde, long in back, long in front, short in back while long in front, etc. Gee, and I'm bald now. Who knew. DAMN YOU, LADY CLAIROL MIDNIGHT BLACK!

My musical tastes followed fashionable trends - I've talked about my love of Frankie Goes To Hollywood and their t-shirts before, but I also was quite fond of the opening act at the second Frankie concert I attended - Belouis Some.

Born Neville Keighley, Belouis (pronounced "Blew-wee" - really) first appeared on MTV and your more cutting edge radio stations with the best Ric Ocasek/Iggy Pop club rip in years called "Imagination." "Imagination" was funky, dark and had one of the best opening lines in pop history: "She lit a cigarette, both hands behind her back". You could only go down from there. "Imagination" played peek-a-boo with the lower rungs of the Hot 100, then sank.

Then someone in marketing hit upon a grand idea - marry Belouis with Swatch Watches, the trendy, cheap ass plastic watches which were all the rage in 1985 (YES, I HAD 20. Whatever!). Suddenly, commercials featuring Belouis Some and moronic dancers modeling Swatches were all over MTV, bopping along to the follow-up single, "Some People". The commercials mimicked the video for the single, and vice versa, creating MTV/marking synergy. "Some People" rose a little higher than its predecessor, but still not high enough.

Belouis put on a great live show, though. I still remember it being quite good, almost eclipsing Frankie.

Another album followed in 1987, with "Let It Be With You" garnering some club play, but not much else. No Belouis activity followed until 1991, when the final Some CD was released, a techno-y mess. Find it now, I dare you.

And while you're at it, find all my old Swatches. I wanna put 'em on eBay.

Download "Imagination" and "Some People" by Belouis Some.

"Imagination" peaked at #88 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1985.
"Some People" peaked at #67 the same year.
posted by John, 4:14 PM