Sunday, June 25, 2017

Malcolm the hitmaker

never saw that video

single got to #3 in the UK charts

never saw that one either

single got to #32

implausible but true: one of the most important records in hip hop history (nd still being sampled to this day)

single got to #9

single got to #54

A Malcolm believer right up to this point (although never bought Duck Rock - funds were tight) but I got off the boat with this next project

a number 13 hit though

by the time he was vaunting a "return to romance" he seemed a very silly individual

but it still got into the UK Top 40 (just)

as did this (#29!)

He must have been so galled by Madonna's much greater success in coopting vogue

(only got to #89)

another single (and flop) off of Waltz Darling

(peaked at #75)

His last real almost-hit (#42)

from this project which I believe in conception dated back to his Sixties art school years

a thief, a scoundrel, a mis-manager - but hard not to think fondly of  McLaren, for the ideas, the rollicking music paper interviews, for the Sex Pistols, Bow Wow Wow (and Adam Ant, effectively), for "Buffalo Gals"

Here'a striking fact - out of the ex-Pistols, and yes I include him as a member of the band - Malcolm McLaren has had more hit singles than Glen Matlock or Jones + Cook, and more or less an equal showing in terms of success as John Lydon *

Which corresponds to my own post-Pistols apportionment of interest: Malcolm and Johnny's later exploits I followed obsessively, deep into the Eighties; the other three, not so much, not so much....

I.e. the lure was the vision + attitude, rather than the sonic substance, per se

* Lydon's hits are "Public Image" (#9), "Death Disco" (# 20), "Flowers of Romance" (#24), "This Is Not A Love Song" (#5), "Rise" (#11) and there's a dribble of semi-hits with the name-shaming later PiL of Happy? and 9. If anything, MM has the edge over JL with the hugeness of "Double Dutch" and "Buffalo Gals".

Matlock, with Rich Kids, had just the #24 "Rich Kids" **

Jones + Cook, as The Professionals, got to #43 with "1-2-3" and had a novelty Xmas minor hit "A Merry Jingle" as part of the Greedy Basstards (with Thin Lizzy), a punked-up medley of "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" and "Jingle Bells",

** a mystery worth pondering at a later point: how come there's no Matlock melody as immortal or potent as the tunes he wrote while in the Sex Pistols. The mystery of group energy. Something about the way the notes Glenn wrote interacted with the properties (limitations / powers)  of Rotten's voice and also what Jones was doing to generate magic. Reconstituting a group of able and compatible talents in a later situation, and in presumably a much less frictional setting, led to nothing like the same results - despite it being the same core musician with the same melodic and harmonic traits.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I know, I know but I can forgive him almost everything for Buffalo Girls.