Classics and some curiosities in the history of music.
"Love Missile F1-11" is a song by British band Sigue Sigue Sputnik released in March 1986 as the first single from their debut album Flaunt It. It was the band's biggest hit, reaching no. 3 on the UK Singles Chart. Producer, Giorgio Moroder.StyleThe bass line, repeated on their follow-up single "21st Century Boy", is similar to both Devo's earlier "Girl U Want" and Suicide's 1977 track "Rocket USA". The song features vocals with high echo and uses multiple sound effects to create a futuristic atmosphere. It begins with a sample from Stanley Kubrick's 1971 film A Clockwork Orange where Malcolm McDowell's character Alex, professes his fondness for a bit "of the old ultra-violence".Cover versionsDavid Bowie covered the song as an outtake during the sessions for his 2003 album, Reality. It was then released as a B-side for the single "New Killer Star". Pop Will Eat Itself released a cover of the song as a single in May 1987, before including it on the Box Frenzy LP in 1988. Thermopyle released a cover version as a CD single in 1998. There is also an electronic version remixed by WestBam released on a single in 2000. The Stone Roses also used to occasionally cover "Love Missile F1-11" at some of their earlier concerts.VideoThe music video features many shots of a futuristic city and references The Terminator, Star Wars, Star Trek, Blade Runner and Scarface. The video is primarily set in a future war; the band are depicted as soldiers armed with weapons and space ships. In some countries, the video censors a scene in which the members of the group installs a silencer on a MAC-10 (which is censored with a censor bar over the gun), and fires it later in the video (which is censored with stock war footage), due to it being deemed as an "Instruction in the Use of a Firearm".Popular cultureAn extended version of the song was used in the film Ferris Bueller's Day Off and the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. A version of the song is featured in the South Park episode Super Fun Time, with Eric Cartman singing along "I'm having a super fun time". The song also features in the trailer for the film Stretch.
Sigue Sigue Sputnik were a British new wave band formed in 1982 by former Generation X bassist Tony James.HistoryEarly yearsThe band was formed by Tony James, who had just left the band Gen X, and Neal X (Whitmore), who recruited "post-punk drag queen" Martin Degville. Degville was a clothes designer and supplied the band's wardrobe, and YaYa, the store where he worked, became the band's base. Their first gig was in Paris, supporting Johnny Thunders, with James' former Gen X colleague and then drummer for Thunders, Mark Laff, on drums.Mick Jones, formerly of The Clash, worked with the band as live sound engineer, helped manipulate their sound, and appeared with them when they opened for New Model Army. Fachna O'Kelly, manager of The Boomtown Rats who had provided much of the band's equipment, provided the band with the name Sigue Sigue Sputnik, as a supposed reference to a Russian street gang and supposedly meaning "burn, burn satellite". The band's sound was, according to James, arrived at by accident, when he inadvertently mixed elements of film soundtracks with their demo track "Love Missile F1-11" while putting together a video compilation from his favourite films.Commercial success (1984–1989)Interest in the band increased sharply in 1984 after James was interviewed by the NME, with several record companies sending representatives to their next performance at the Electric Cinema in London, and they were invited to perform on The Tube. The band were signed by EMI, with the band themselves claiming in the press that they had signed for £1m, though in actual fact revealed to be £350,000. The band's first single, the Giorgio Moroder-produced "Love Missile F1-11", was released in February 1986, and reached number 3 in the UK Singles Chart, number 2 in South Africa and was a major hit in several countries in Europe and Asia. Its popularity was boosted by its inclusion in the John Hughes film Ferris Bueller's Day Off. The samples used in the single had not received copyright clearance, and were replaced in the US version. The follow-up, "21st Century Boy" reached number 20 in the UK and, despite largely negative reviews, the album that followed, Flaunt It, again with Moroder at the controls, went top ten in the UK, and also reached number 96 in the US. The album included paid commercials between tracks, James stated prior to its release that they would sell 20-30 second advertising slots for between $2,500 and $7,000. He explained this by saying "commercialism is rampant in society. Maybe we're a little more honest than some groups I could mention," and "our records sounded like adverts anyway". Advertisements that did sell (including spots for i-D Magazine and Studio Line from L'Oréal) were complemented by ironic spoof ads including one for the Sputnik corporation itself claiming that "Pleasure is our Business". A subsequent tour was characterised by poor ticket sales and crowd violence.It was two years before the band followed this up, and subsequent releases fared less well. The Stock Aitken Waterman produced "Success" peaked at number 31 in late 1988 and the singles that followed peaked outside the top 40. Second album Dress for Excess peaked at number 53 in the UK but sold well in Brazil. The band split up in July 1989, with James joining The Sisters of Mercy later that year. Chris Kavanagh went on to Big Audio Dynamite II joining Mick Jones. Mayhew formed Mayhem Deranged. Degville claimed to have spent the next few years travelling and making a couple of "specialist" porn films.A collection of early demo recordings from 1984 and 1985, along with three tracks from 1990, First Generation, was released in 1991.