And as quickly as we premiered "She Makes Me Laugh", here now is another brand new track from The Monkees' forthcoming album, "You Bring The Summer" - this one written by Andy Partridge of XTC. A stunningly perfect/apt track for the oncoming warm weather and
He denies being the man who murdered love, but he is one of the men who served as a member of XTC. That’s right, he’s Andy Partridge, and this upstanding musical legend was kind enough to take on the daunting task of answering the questions of the Popdose readership…questions which, it must be said, ranged from the obscure to the ridiculous and hit virtually every spot in-between. Mr. Partridge was a gem throughout the conversation, however, and endured them all with great aplomb, never failing to come back with a witty retort.
(“You bastard” still counts as witty, right?)
Join us now as we enter into the Popdose Interview with the one and only Andy Partridge…
I can still remember stumbling upon the CD for Voice of the Beehive’s Let It Bee for the first time. I guess you could argue that it stood out because, comparatively speaking, there just aren’t that many artists filed under “V” to catch your eye, but, no, I’m pretty sure it was the combination of the bluish tint of the cover photo and the glistening lips of the two really cute girls in the band. I mean, the blonde was blowing me a kiss, for God’s sake! How can you forget that? Granted, it wasn’t until the group started to score airplay on “120 Minutes” that I realized that they were more than just looks, but it would be a lie to suggest that the looks of Tracey Bryn and Missy Belland – they’re sisters, you know – weren’t directly responsible for bringing me into their orbit for the first time.
Although they scored some college radio hits in the late ’80s and early ’90s, Voice of the Beehive were never as huge in the States as they were in the UK. Maybe it’s because they had a slightly kitschy look about them (the Brits love a gimmick), or maybe it was their vaguely retro, harmony-laden sound, but I’ve always figured it was something to do with the fact that they had two former members of Madness – Woody and Bedders – in their line-up. Whatever the reason, they ended up with two top-20 hits (“Don’t Call Me Baby” and “Monsters and Angels“), had three more enter the lower half of the Top 40, and even made it to #12 in Australia with their fun cover of The Partridge Family’s “I Think I Love You.”
Unfortunately, after the requisite support for 1991’s Honey Lingers, the band went into stealth mode…and stayed there for half a decade!
When the third Voice of the Beehive album, Sex & Misery, emerged in 1995, a fair amount had changed. For one, the band had shifted from London Records over to the Warner Brothers subsidiary label, Discovery Records. More importantly, though, the sisters were now doing it for themselves, as it were. Bedders had been gone for awhile (he came quick and didn’t stay long), but now so was Woody; also MIA were Mike Jones and Martin Brett, who’d also been stalwarts within the group. Tracey and Missy now had a new songwriting collaborator: keyboardist Peter John Vettese, who also produced and arranged the album. Vettese had some impressive pop credits to his name, having contributed keys to The Adventures’ Sea of Love, The Bee Gees’ One, Simple Minds’ Real Life, and a trio of Jethro Tull albums (The Broadsword and the Beast, Under Wraps, and Rock Island), but was he a good fit for the sensibilities of the Belland sisters?
If there’s anything more deadly to a band’s career in the States than being pegged (however briefly) as the next big thing in the British press, it’s having a bit of a dodgy name. This problem was particularly bad for the band Dodgy, but given how politically correct America likes to think it is, you can imagine how well they responded to a group who called themselves Dogs Die In Hot Cars. (And, yet, it could’ve been so much worse: the band’s bassist, Lee Worrall, assured Designer Magazine that “you really don’t want to hear the suggestions we came up with before that, but the one that sticks out is Robert Plant in Poo Poo Land.”) Despite their decidedly non-PETA-friendly moniker, however, Dogs Die in Hot Cars – henceforth to be referred to as DDIHC – still managed to earn a certain amount of buzz in the U.S., with MTV2 picking up the video for their song “I Love You ‘Cause I Have To.” Unfortunately, it wasn’t nearly enough. The band and their fine debut, Please Describe Yourself, soon disappeared into the same abyss which houses 95% of the Britpop artists who’ve managed to eke out a Stateside release, but if you were one of those who dared to investigate the record, then you know already what a great piece of pop it is.