AOTW: Associates – Fourth Drawer Down
21/06/2010 § 22 Comments
As Barbryn brought back AOTW – seems a shame not to try & keep it going, so let’s go back to 1981 & the 2nd Associates Album, Fourth Drawer Down.
The Associates, Billy Mackenzie & Alan Rankine, got their start by self-releasing a version of Boy’s Keep Swinging, days after Bowie released the original. Bowie’s publisher signed them & they got a deal with Fiction, toured with the Cure & released their first album The Affectionate Punch. Major labels became interested & gave the band money to produce demos for a new album. Instead the boys used the cash to release a bunch of singles, that they later compiled on Fourth Drawer Down. They probably used some of the cash on coke and speed as the music and production became increasingly mad. There’s only 8 songs on the original album (you get a few extra B-Sides on the CD & the Box). Not too many synth pop fans on here, especially when it’s early 80’s tech – so you’ll have to make do with the voice that sounds as if it’s from a Europe on another planet & not from Dundee.
Anyway, the Majors eventually got their album (Sulk), even though the band didn’t compromise their sound. Despite this, The Associates found themselves in the charts and on Top Of The Pops. Things soon got out of hand, Alan Rankine left, and it went downhill from there. The Associates were now just Billy, and despite putting out some great songs here and there, it was never the same. Sad ending, Billy died on Jan 22, 1997 (overdose), age 39. It’s unlikely that “William It Was Really Nothing” was about Mackenzie. Billy did record a tune called “Morrissey, You’re Really Something” & he trained whippets.
It’s boxed. Reactions anticipated with interest.