Friday, September 17, 2010

monkey business

Dr. Robert, he of the Jonathan Ross school of speech and debonair lead singer of The Blow Monkeys, is back with his bandmates for their seventh studio album.

They are in deepest Brussels fine tuning the hi hat sounds and fiddling with the reverb. The cover art and tracklisting has been released, and we proudly present both of them here for your perusal.

1. Steppin' Down
2. Hanging On To The Hurt
3. The Killing Breeze
4. Seventh Day
5. Staring At The Sea
6. What It Takes
7. Prayin' For Rain
8. One Of Us Is Lying
9. Face In The Rock
10. All Blown Down
11. A Lasting Joy

No release date has been announced yet. The first single will be "Steppin' Down".

I've been a huge fan of ver Monkeys out of the gate with "Digging Your Scene" way back in 1986. Each of their albums is packed to the teeth with funky sounds, fabulously sophisticated arrangements and clever lyrics. Right up my alley! So to speak.

They went from indie upstarts to posh pop stars and seamlessly blended into the house music scene by the time the 90s rolled in. What a ride!

I was thrilled when they announced they were returning with "Devil's Tavern" in 2008. Unfortunately, I didn't warm up to that album after repeated listens. Here's hoping "Staring At The Sea", which shares its title with a CD retrospective by The Cure from 1986, is more my cup of tea.

Here is "Choice", my favorite, funky Monkey moment.

Dr. Robert was quite the looker! Nice quiff.


  1. Sixth studio album? Are 'ye surrrre, laddie?
    My count says:
    1) Limping For A Generation
    2) Animal Magic
    3) She Was Only A Grocer's Daughter
    4) Whoops! There Goes the Neighbourhood
    5) Springtime For The World
    6) Devil's Tavern
    7) Staring At The Sea

    This list discounts various and sundry live albums and comps, many of which are essential. I've really enjoyed all of their albums, with "Grocer's Daughter" being the only one where the production style made it take a hit in my eyes, though the songs on it still can amaze. I revisited their canon recently and while the production tropes of "Grocer's Daughter" caused eye-rolling, I have to say the material didn't.

    Stay tuned for that Blow Monkeys BSOG®! I've had all of the material for a year now, and only lack the time for such a big job. It'll probably be the next big 'un following The Associates

  2. @postpunkmonk - Thanks for correcting my mistake. I counted all the albums up to but not including the new one.

    I don't include hits collections and live albums. But Dr. Robert's crew has certainly had their fair share of them! And I didn't even touch on some of the doctor's excellent solo work.

    I really like "She Was Only A Grocer's Daughter" despite the dated production. For some reason I really bangs and crashes (to quote Go West) in all the right places. But I understand your comment completely. It does turn off some people.

    BSOG® on The Blow Monkeys?! Gadzooks! I think I have it all. Who really ever knows? I'm drooling at the mere thought of the BSOG® for The Associates. You are such a tease!

  3. The song I DO play from the last one is "Save Me" - the slinky 8 minute lounge track. It has a good vibe.

  4. "Save Me" is so good I only noticed it was 8 minutes long after a few months of digging the album! But I especially love "The World Can Wait." I dig that double bass hitting the solar plexus.

  5. Sorry guys whats BSOG mean ?

    I also am a big fan of Robert (solo) and The Blow Monkeys.

  6. @JohnO11 - Sorry. That's a little inside language. BSOG stands for "Box Set Of God". In other words, a box set the way it oughtta be produced. Everything including the kitchen sink. Perhaps @postpunkmonk can elaborate.

  7. @ John011 - You can only make a Boxed Set Of God® without lawyers, for a start. Pick a favorite group. Buy every recording by them that offers a track not already present on the group's straight albums. B-side? Buy the single. Remix? Buy the single. Soundtrack song that appears nowhere else? Buy the soundtrack. Guest appearance on someone else's album? Buy it. Hundreds of dollars later, you have the contents for a BSOG®. Now record and remaster all of the tracks from vinyl digitally. Remove any noise with a light touch to the best of your ability/technology. Open a spreadsheet. Research the group on the web to make sure you have everything you need. If not, buy the rare tracks you lack. Go back to the spreadsheet. Proceed to order the material in a flow pleasing you. Pick a name for this BSOG®. Design and case inserts and the artwork for the disc itself. Write the liner notes. Will there be a fold-out insert, booklet or deep PDF file to feature these liner notes? Burn the collection to CD(s). Print the art on the discs. Print the inserts. Assemble the package. 2-10 years after you first thought of this project, it's all done!

  8. Ah, Choice! I had the 12" of that and was rather obssesed by it, along with the Robert Howard & Kym Mazelle 'Wait' which seemed to be practiclaly a Blow Monkeys record too. This has inspired me to dig out my late era Style Council music as it shares a similar vibe.

  9. @DanProject76 - "Choice" is the jammy jam. I loved all those bands when they decided to house it up. "Wait" is another dance classic. I cut a rug everytime it turns up on my iPod.

    Love TSC, too! You have good taste, sir.

  10. Ok I'm with you guys now thanks. Postpunkmonk, I would love a BSOG of The Blow Monkeys so I will buy it when you get around to doing it :).
    Cheers Johno11

  11. You must let us know track listing you are planning for this Blow Monkeys BSOG postpunkmonk.

  12. When I get to the BM BSOG® I'll post about the making of it on my blog. Probably some time in 2011, if I'm lucky!

    As for "Choice" versus "Wait" I'll have to go with "Wait" for $500, Alex! Most house music bored the hell out of me, but I never tire of the sleek lines contained in "Wait!" "Choice" was a fine song but "Wait?" That's magic.