Wednesday, May 26, 2010

barrow boy | flirting with disaster

In spite  

of the glam jacket, Surrey boys Mud were too steeped in chips and gravy to turn a convincing trick in the US when hitmakers Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman came calling.

Between their formation in 1966 - out of the ashes of Ramainder and Les Gray's The Mourners - and their signing with Mickie Most's RAK label six years later , even domestic success proved elusive. All attempt to ride on the coattails of the prevailing fashion failed miserably. Of the four singles first CBS then Philips were persuaded to finance - beginning with 1967's optimistically pitched "Flower Power" - not one charted. When "Jumpin' Jehosophat" did not dent the top 30, despite securing favourable airplay, it seemed that the gig was up.

A new decade was upon them and their name was, irretrievably, mud.

The van stalled somewhere in the region of Finchley, and the working men's club circuit loomed. Butlin's Holiday Camp for a couple of months in the summer.

Against the odds, Chinn and Chapman - renowned for glueing the glitter dust on Sweet and Detroit exile Suzi Quatro - were looking for a new act to expand their portfolio; Mud were signed to RAK in late 1972 as a result. 'Act' was key; a non-negotiable part of the job dscription.

Chinn and chapman did not f@ck around.

A complete overhaul was deemed essential. With lime green polyester suits conjured out of nowhere and a brand new number tailored to fit, Mud dragged the disposable "Crazy" to the lip of the Top 10 in January, 1973.

Meanwhile, just around the corner, Malcolm McLaren took his cue and plotted. Itching to refine the the formula with just a dash of the MC5; lusting after some New York Dolls to make his own.

MUD: CRAZY from "Crazy b/w Do You Love Me" 45 (RAK) 1973 (UK)



I had so forgotten about this Glam Gem. Had to Dig out Mud Rock. Have been jumping around to it all day.
Thanks, brother.

ib said...

I remain fond of the Chinn / Chapman production machine. And Mike Leander's occupancy of the British arm of Bell.

No frills, cheap and nasty pop.

Very cool that you have "Mud Rock"; while Mud travelled as far afield as Australia, they seem to have bombed in the States. I couldn't source a label image of their domestic RAK debut, but I found this Bell issue. A Canadian release ?

It seems incredible that Les Gray famously once drove a Rolls Royce. Before it got repossessed.

The palace of excess that was the 70s.

Löst Jimmy said...

Have you got that straight jacket in my size?
This is off topic is per my usual...
A straight jacket... I need one...for this week I made a right mistake at work. Not a deliberate error but an error nonetheless. I fear the worst, being cursed with pessimism I worry myself to distraction. Nor is it life or death but I worry. Surely one is allowed a mistake once in 26 years of work?
As for the angst of worry, prepare me the padded cell!

ib said...

Surely it can't be that bad, Löst Jimmy ?

I am a veteran myself of shooting myself in the foot. I tried limping around in a strait jacket, but one handicap is enough for anyone.

That's the good thing about weekends. One has three night's to sleep on it while one's trangressions become last week's news. May your dreams serve as a distraction.

Löst Jimmy said...

I'm simply laying low at the moment, Rome burns and all that. It is lunchtime and all quiet so far... The weekend has lightened my mood somewhat. Thank goodness for that as I have a pre-dereliction for expecting the worst doom. A thoroughly peverse game my mind often plays on me, I swear it is a heritable curse.

ib said...

Well. Whatever it was, it can't have been that bad. CEO's can lose a million between breakfast and lunch and still not miss a wink of sleep.