Everyone knows that the hatchet faced Swede has not burst fully formed on to the UK pop scene with her number one hit “With Every Heartbeat”. Indeed she has been flogging the song for about a year, with the involvement of DJ Kleerup, who seems to have misunderstood the meaning of his own name by leaving Robyn’s vocals on the track. That’s not clearing up! But any cursory look at the strangely Bibi Andersson-esque singer will note she is no spring chicken. And those of you with nothing better to do will remember her previous dalliance with the UK charts. Yes hers was the thoroughly anonymous voice on “Show Me Love” back in 1999 – the song which spoiled the Lukas Moodysson film Fucking Amal for me. Fucking Robyn!
But yes yes, you say. Everyone knows this. Her tedious tale of how she was dropped by her label due to musical differences (they wanted her music to sound different* One assumes better). But very few people know of her even earlier career in pop. Yes “Show Me Love” was not her first time in the UK charts. Indeed so horrific was her first chart success that most sane people have obliterated it from their memories. But it was indeed her, with a radical make-over, who sang “Halfway Down The Stairs” in 1977. This weedy sounding Top Ten hit was an attempt to gain sympathy for the fact that she was born green and tiny, and was lucky to be allowed to live at all (what with the Swedish authorities backdoor eugenics programme). This sappy song hit the top ten and pretty much scarred everyone who ever heard it. And so now, whenever I hear Robyn in her Konichiwa Britches, I cannot help but think of this rubbish A A Milne poem put to evil music. With Every Heartbeat? Not until that heartbeat stops.
*As do I. I’d prefer it to not sound like music. Or be music.