barrow boy | flirting with disaster

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)


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