Oct 07

THE RUBETTES – “Sugar Baby Love”

FT + Popular60 comments • 8,522 views

#349, 18th May 1974

“Sugar Baby Love” has been ruined for me – actually, no, I don’t know if ruined is the right word – it’s been colonised by The Auteurs’ 1999 single “The Rubettes”, which hollows it out from the inside like some evil necrotising virus, reducing the original to a malicious husk. One subtext of “The Rubettes” is that if you’re the kind of boy who spends long lonely hours in your bedroom listening to the Top 40, you’re likely to grow up disappointed: the emotional cheques pop writes you will always bounce, because pop is what happens to other people. Another subtext is that while the seventies were horrible, things have only got worse. (By the Auteurs’ standards it’s a pretty cheery record, mind you: at least nobody gets murdered.)

The misanthropy in “The Rubettes” may not impress you, but Luke Haines found a great record to pick on. “Sugar Baby Love” – by a studio act put together as a glam cash-in – is impeccably generic and a total candyfloss rush all at once: the rock’n’roll revival in a bubblegum pile-up. Its fabulous urgency is considerably amped by Paul Da Vinci’s lead vocal – falsetto shrieks, crazed pleadings, “Love her anyway! Love her anyway!” – he’s desperate to get his message over. And the message is – don’t worry about the mistakes, seize life, seize love. Whereas the Auteurs reply – already too late, sucker. Sometimes I don’t know which I believe, but I know which I want to.



  1. 1
    Tom on 22 Oct 2007 #

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWAeBEZk6vM – the video for “The Rubettes”.

  2. 2
    Rosie on 22 Oct 2007 #

    I’d forgotten about this one, until I downloaded it a few months ago. At the time I’d dismissed it as more pap pop for teenyboppers.

    It’s pure bubblegum, packed with every pop cliche going. Its obvious (to me) antecedent in this project is Sugar, Sugar. I’m not much interested in finding any depth in the lyric, such is it is. It’s pure fluff.

    Do you know what? I love everything about it!

    I love the bell sound. I love the little tripping downward sequence that punctuates it. I love the halting, syncopated rhythm. I love that soaring falsetto. I love the way that everybody involved in this record seems to be thoroughly enjoying themselves. It fills me with joy and hope and makes me wonder why the seventies were (inaccurately) regarded as such a gloomy time.

    Not original enough for a 10 from me, but every inch a 9.

  3. 3
    Marcello Carlin on 22 Oct 2007 #

    I’ve been through both and I say seize life, seize love, without the faintest shadow of a doubt. “If you love someone, don’t think twice – love your baby love, sugar baby love, love her every day, love her every way” – the DON’T DO IT subtext in da Vinci’s voice beautifully echoed by the climactic accelerating drum rolls.

    All the more astonishing then when you consider that “SBL” was KLF’s The Manual fourteen years ahead of its time – and it’s surely no coincidence that erstwhile Rubettes like Nick Coler, John Richardson and Tony Thorpe became key players in the KLF pop story – since Messrs Bickerton and Waddington basically sat down and compiled a graph chart of the most popular words used in the previous decade’s top five hits before conceiving this song.

    And yet it does not sound mechanical or calculated, even if everyone felt it at the time (Gambaccini was especially vitriolic about this one) and even if I were forcibly biased against it at the time since it kept my favourite single of 1974 at number two (“This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us”), it’s one of these number ones whose worth only becomes apparent with age and life. It sounds almost too big and bulging for 1974 (cf. “Beach Baby” from the same summer and also the other great Bickerton/Waddington masterpiece, “Nothing But A Heartache” by the Flirtations from 1969 but sounding like 1989).

    Yes, it’s aware of its own potential cliches (the Four Seasons, Showaddywaddy, American Graffiti bandwagon etc. – and Tubular Bells) but it gloriously TRANSCENDS them to mean exactly what the hopeful listener wants it to mean, to pervade heart and mind with precise and not inhuman acumen.

    My only regret is that da Vinci threw a hissy fit and went solo, and thus the Rubettes went in a different, and substantially duller, direction altogether (though note early openly gay mainstream hit with “Under One Roof”).

  4. 4
    Tom on 22 Oct 2007 #

    Massive in Germany! “Under One Roof” is a good weepie – I will link to the MP3 if anyone wants it.

    My first encounter with this was the MVE 10p basement, I think Alex T bought it based on the title (Waddington’s pop science paying off then) and we were totally floored by how terrific it was. Silly old Gambo eh!

  5. 5
    Marcello Carlin on 22 Oct 2007 #

    I wish I’d kept that particular Gambo NME article, actually (though I’m sure it’s up there somewhere in the attic at home), since it was a point by point comparison of that week’s Billboard and BMRB Top 20s; his conclusion was that the American charts were a thing of wonder and the British charts an unruly mess. It would be nice if someone would do a Chart Stats equivalent for the Billboard list so I can see exactly what was in the chart that week but even then I thought to myself, hang on, this can’t be right.

  6. 6
    Erithian on 22 Oct 2007 #

    A bit surprised, but not in a bad way, about the positive response to this one. A glorious piece of nonsense, and they followed it up with some great effervescent pop singles (“Juke Box Jive” being a favourite of mine). I was in an email exchange recently with a friend who’s a Luton Town supporter, and she mentioned their former player Tony Thorpe. I remarked that he shared his name with a Rubette. Her response: “You remember the names of the Rubettes? Words fail me.”

    Yes, “Under One Roof” was an astounding single for its content – it came out, if you’ll pardon the expression, around the same time as “The Killing of Georgie”, and should have been a lot bigger than a Number 27 or whatever it was.

    Mind you, none of us would have been too upset if Sparks had beaten “Sugar Baby Love” to the top. “This Town…” still sounds like it could have been recorded last week. The other record that was held off at 2 by the Rubettes was “Shang-a-Lang” by the Rollers. Enough said.

    Marcello, can you tell us more about the KLF connection?

  7. 7
    Tom on 22 Oct 2007 #

    Yeah, “This Town” wd probably have got more than an 8, but this doesn’t feel like one of the great injustices.

  8. 8
    Rosie on 22 Oct 2007 #

    Oh yes, and I love the spoken work bit (straight from Legend of Xanadu, and the recurring “Bop Doo Wop Showaddywaddy” back drop, and the opening which simultaneously looks back to Twist and Shout and forward to Let’s Dance

    I want to dance even now!

  9. 9
    Tom on 22 Oct 2007 #

    Did Showaddywaddy borrow their name from those backing vox?

  10. 10
    Marcello Carlin on 22 Oct 2007 #

    No, Showaddywaddy were already up and running on the Leicester club circuit by then (I would guess their name was an attempt to come over as the British Sha Na Na). Nice idea, though.

    The Rubettes/KLF interface is more fully discussed in The Manual itself, but essentially John Richardson was their engineer, Nick Coler their programmer/keyboard player and Tony Thorpe (also busy at the time helping to invent Brit House with/as the Moody Boyz) supplied the beats, and I’m pretty sure that there was quite a bit of discussion about how the Rubettes’ own number one was put together – don’t forget…

    …that the Rubettes did have another number one hit much later on, under an alias, and one in which the KLF may or may not have been involved (my feeling is “not” but one of the voices sounds a dead ringer for Bill Drummond).

    Appropriately, Coler went on to become one of the key players in the Xenomania set-up.

    I can assure Tom that Sparks stopping at number two was considered a major injustice at the time: I remember Shelley Winters on the Parkinson show the Saturday after they first appeared on TOTP, aghast about this pop group she’d seen on TV with Hitler on piano.

  11. 11
    Rosie on 22 Oct 2007 #

    And This Town.. wasn’t a glorious piece of nonsense? I’d like to enter a minority opinion. I couldn’t stand it then and I can’t stand it now. Well, that’s life.

  12. 12
    Waldo on 22 Oct 2007 #

    “Sugar Baby Love” was nothing short of alarming. I remember a school mate remarking that the falsetto opening to it “makes that bloke wot sings ‘Sherry, Baby’ sound like the voice of the Mysterons”. I agreed entirely. You can only try to sing along to that intro (or rather howl along to it) if you want to give yourself a seizure. And since my voice broke when I was about ten, blessing/bedevilling me with a bass-baritone delivery from pretty much late infancy, this was never one for me.

    “Cheesy meets scary” sums it up succinctly, I think.

  13. 13
    Alan on 22 Oct 2007 #

    i’m loving the connection to xenomania. i see nick coler is credited on, eg sugababes Hole In The Head.

    love this song – though possibly as much for the ‘madeleine’ quality and this era of tiny me. (i was more impressed by some telly performance of ‘this town ain’t big enough’ though)

  14. 14
    Alan on 22 Oct 2007 #

    OMGZ and GA’s “No Good Advice”

    [ed] i was getting way too excited – coler was a rubettes collab from early 90s on (when he was also doing amazing things with KLF http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~stuey/klf/kollab.htm#Coler

  15. 15
    Marcello Carlin on 22 Oct 2007 #

    Does anyone else remember Paul da Vinci’s solitary solo hit from later that same year, “Your Baby Ain’t Your Baby Anymore”? It’s an extraordinary thing – it starts off like Bob Sharples and the Op Knox Orchestra playing Bolero and then speeds up for a “Sugar Baby Love” clone, only more hysterical, with a climactic dog whistle-pitched squeal of “more” which might have worked if it hadn’t been several microtones out of tune. On the Continent it was actually a bigger hit than “SBL”!

    Funnily enough, da Vinci did go on to have another number one hit as uncredited lead singer whose vocal was mimed by someone else on TOTP…but more about that when we get there!

  16. 16
    Billy Smart on 22 Oct 2007 #

    Even as somebody who wasn’t really there at the time, I do find this very evocative, chiefly due to the astonishing intensity of Da Vinci’s falsetto – like a human car alarm!

    I know ‘Your Baby Ain’t Your Baby Anymore’ through the chartbusting 1974 Ronco LP ‘Dance, Sing or Anything’ and in the way that it absolutely hammers home its message it is only rivaled by Michael Jackson’s ‘She’s Out Of My Life’.

  17. 17
    Marcello Carlin on 22 Oct 2007 #

    As bizarre 1974 singles go, “Your Baby…” is definitely up there with Roger Wootton’s “Fiesta Fandango” and Mike Reid’s “Freezin’ Cold In 89 Twoso.”

  18. 18
    Billy Smart on 22 Oct 2007 #

    I’ve never heard anyone with a good word to say for it, but I always find Footsee by Wigan’s Chosen Few (also 1974) a compellingly strange project, in being a recording of a record being played in a club, complete with cheering crowd and blaring klaxon sounds.

  19. 19
    mike on 22 Oct 2007 #

    Well, as a soprano in the school choir at the time (my solo slot in Captain Noah and his Floating Zoo being a thing of great wonder, especially considering that my signature style was to belt everything out at maximum volume, consistently half a tone flat), I took great pleasure in being able to hit all the notes in “Sugar Baby Love” (albeit half a tone flat, as previously discussed).

    It was a curious coincidence indeed that SBL’s bop-showaddywaddys charted at more or less the same time that “Hey Rock And Roll” became the debut hit for yer actual Showaddywaddy – but hey, that’s the Magic Of Pop!

    This also marked the period when I discovered Radio “Fab 208” Luxemburg, becoming a devoted night-time listener of the classic “tranny under the bedsheets” ilk. It was Fab 208 which also alterted me to the just-bubbling-under “Judy Teen” from Cockney Rebel, whose “she made us happy” I misheard as “striking Top A”… something I did with foghorn-like regularity (albeit etc etc) during this memorable time.

  20. 20
    Lena on 22 Oct 2007 #

    The US #1s at this time were a mixed bag, it would be good to actually see some charts for this period – the best being “Bennie and the Jets” (though “TSOP” by MFSB is also up there in my books). The worst…sigh…I can’t mention.

  21. 21
    Marcello Carlin on 22 Oct 2007 #

    “Footsee” was actually early ’75 (and a top ten hit, complete with the Wigan Casino massive doing their business on TOTP) and a curious record indeed: something of a modified bootleg, recreating an obscure mid-sixties beat instrumental by the actual Chosen Few but using kazoos for a horn section and crowd/klaxon/cowbell noises which may or may not have been sampled from Wembley ’66 (I ought to know this since my Northern Soul Top 500 book tells you all about it, but I’m not at home right now to check it ergo alas). For a while it was a double A-side with Chuck Wood’s “Seven Days Too Long” but only “Footsee” got the airplay.

    And due to the BMRB’s routine ruling out of “regional sales” there is a feeling in certain Northern Soul circles that the triple-A side of “Long After Tonight Is All Over”/”Time Will Pass You By”/”I’m On My Way” (i.e. The Final Three) which came out in the spring of ’75 (on UK Records!) would have made number one except that it was discounted because it only sold in the North, though I’m not at all sure how much truth there is in that.

  22. 22
    Rosie on 22 Oct 2007 #

    As opposed to those records which sold largely in London, you mean? Well, us up north don’t count, do we!

    We’re a bit previous for my teaching career – heavens, I believe I might even have been teaching you, Marcello, had you been in Hull at the time! – but many if not most of the kids I taught were enthusiastic Northern Soulers, even right through the Punk era.

  23. 23
    Erithian on 22 Oct 2007 #

    How did that ruling out of “regional sales” work, MC? You’d imagine the Scotland World Cup Squad’s “Easy, Easy” round about this time would have suffered! A few years further on I remember reading that “So Macho” by Sinitta sold predominantly in the north of England (what that suggests about us Northerners I’m not sure). Were BMRB still in charge at that point?

    Mike – I guess Julian Clary (if not Dale) would say there’s nothing better than having a tranny under the bedsheets. (I’ll get me coat.)

  24. 24
    Marcello Carlin on 22 Oct 2007 #

    “Easy Easy” was number one for most of 1974 in the Scottish charts, but nationally only made #20 (conversely, you have to wonder how “Back Home” got to number one and stayed on the list for six months if nobody was buying it north of Carlisle). Similarly “Flower Of Scotland” by the Corries was released as a single that year and sold bucketloads in Scotland but did not chart nationally.

    By 1987 Gallup were running things so no doubt that did make a difference in several crucial quarters.

    The ’74 borderline case, however, was “There’s A Ghost In My House” by R Dean Taylor which was actually investigated by the BMRB after it went in at #33 with no radio airplay and no publicity. But since it was also selling in the Midlands, East Anglia and Yorkshire as well as the North West (and Scotland), the BMRB let it stand after they were told that it was Big In The Clubs and a genuine grass roots hit. The funniest thing was Radio 1’s belated ambulance chasing; Noel Edmonds had it as his Record of the Week on his breakfast show when it had already gone Top 20.

  25. 25
    mike on 22 Oct 2007 #

    Now, that’s the sort of thing that really makes me nostalgic: out-of-nowhere grassroots hits, that completely wrong-footed the Radio One jocks. At times, if you listened closely, you could even detect a certain wary uncertainty in the voice of whoever was reading out the chart countdown. (And you try telling that to the kids of today! They wouldn’t believe you!)

  26. 26
    Mark G on 22 Oct 2007 #

    Here I play catch-up again on the starboard bow, jim. I also love that “Footsie”, i believe it’s based on an american football anthem played twice-over (with the tick tick klaxonybit in the middle…)

    I’m on my way was a separate single on UK/USA records (I have one)

  27. 27
    Mark G on 22 Oct 2007 #

    Naturally I remember “Your baby aint”, notable purely for the “here goes, listen everyone where’ve you heard this noise before” note (as described already… It’s Tina Charles and “I’m on fire” all over again!

  28. 28
    mike on 22 Oct 2007 #

    I have only fragmented memories of “Your Baby Ain’t Your Baby Anymore”, but I seem to recall that not even my oxyacetalene soprano could reach the top notes. Top C, was it? Or higher still? (I suspect the latter.)

  29. 29
    Marcello Carlin on 22 Oct 2007 #

    Neither could Paul, by the sound of it…co-written by Eddie Seago, who later co-wrote the flop musical Matador. “To be a matador, you have to understand/A bull must fight to kill a man” wins this week’s No Shit, Sherlock lyric award.

  30. 30
    byebyepride on 22 Oct 2007 #

    10 out of 10 for me — I love this one, having picked it up for 10p, as Tom describes above, and being blown away. Don’t think I had any idea when it was released, although I could have looked at the small print I suppose! Somehow it doesn’t seem to matter – one of the few records I would say have a ‘timeless’ quality, if we understand that that really means ‘sounds like how I imagine the the music from before I remember to sound like’. Of course from what you all say this is a precisely calculated effect, but hey, good on them.

  31. 31
    fivelongdays on 22 Oct 2007 #

    Regardless of the original track (I’d give it a 6/7 borderline), I have to thank Tom for the tip off about “The Rubettes” by The Auteurs.

    Bloody hell, it’s a corking song. Damn you!

  32. 32
    intothefireuk on 22 Oct 2007 #

    Now if you are going to have a blue print for ‘pop’……….this would be pretty damn close. Hard to dislike and near impossible to forget. Excellent production and great soaring vocals – I attempted it as well – unsuccessfully. Am I right in thinking Da Vinci never appeared on TOTP it was Alan Williams ? And live did he reproduce the falsetto ? Anyway they also followed up with some great singles ‘Juke Box Jive’ & ‘I Can Do It’ although I don’t recall ‘Under One Roof’ at all (maybe if I heard it I would – the link please Tom ?).

    The only problem with it is that it competed with (and beat) ‘This Town…’ which was a crying shame as it was so freaky and wildly wonderful and their TV performances were so out there (although I actually prefer the less quirky more melodic ‘Amateur Hour’).

    Great slew of singles in the chart at this time as well, some already mentioned in other posts (‘There’s A Ghost…’ ‘Beach Baby’ ‘Judy Teen’ etc. the summer of ’74 was one of my favourite times for pop. It’s difficult to imagine, for instance, why the sublime ‘Summer Breeze’ wasn’t a huge hit for the Isleys.

  33. 33
    Snif on 23 Oct 2007 #

    Another boffo tune that had me ostracised by America and Supertramp-loving friends. Philistines. And to these tiny ears “Your Baby…” was even better. And as for “This Town…” the entire Kimono My House album is a goldmine of poptasticness.

  34. 34
    Caledonianne on 23 Oct 2007 #

    Gosh. Think I’m on my lonesome on this one. I loathed and detested it in 1974, and a quick listen courtesy of Youtube confirms that I haven’t changed my mind.

    It makes my teeth hurt! Hated the song, hated the production, hated the white suits (and the stupid hats even more).

    In fact I think I may – gulp – hate this more than anything we’ve had so far (with the possible exception of ‘Grandad’).

    My dislike of this is visceral!

  35. 35
    Marcello Carlin on 23 Oct 2007 #


    Yes it was Alan Williams on TOTP, but he mimed da Vinci’s vocal, about which da Vinci was very brassed off.

    “Summer Breeze” didn’t do too badly here (#16) though its chances were probably hindered by another of Pan’s People’s “literal” dance routines.

  36. 36
    Rosie on 23 Oct 2007 #

    Alan Williams, perhaps the only chart topper ever to come from Welwyn Garden City!

  37. 37
    Waldo on 23 Oct 2007 #

    Didn’t George and Andrew come from rural Hertfordshire? Not that I care particularly.

  38. 38
    Marcello Carlin on 23 Oct 2007 #

    Bushey, if we’re talking Wham! rather than Hinge and Brackett.

  39. 39
    Mark G on 23 Oct 2007 #

    Hurd’s group includes Paul Prewer, a session musician who sang the original version of Sugar Baby Love.

    As opposed to the opposing Alan Williams’ Rubettes.

  40. 40
    crag on 24 Oct 2007 #

    have just got a hold of Sugar Baby Love and i’d give it a 6. The spoken word bit reminds me more Viv Stanshalls recitation on the Bonzo’s Canyons of the Mind. Check out the clip on youtube featuring the drummer performing the narration complete w/ flashing bowtie!

    Enjoyable enough as SBL was though what i REALLY want to hear is the very interesting -sounding Footsee and Your Baby Ain’t Your Baby Anymore which of course i cant find anywhere
    Damn you Popular- dangling these enticing musical sweetmeats under my nose when i have seemingly no way of locating them!
    Can anybody offer any tips?

  41. 41
    Marcello Carlin on 25 Oct 2007 #

    Footsee periodically turns up on sundry Northern Soul compilations, e.g. Wigan Casino Soul Club: 30 Years Of Northern Soul Memories which is still available.

    Your Baby… is a trickier one to pin down; I have it on one of those no-frills 8CD Various Artists sets from Holland’s indispensable Disky label (More Greatest Hits Of The ’70s) which is available but pricey unless it’s sale time.

  42. 42
    crag on 26 Oct 2007 #

    thanks for that- much appreciated

  43. 43
    Billy Smart on 27 Oct 2007 #

    If Crag has a turntable, Your Baby is featured on the 1974 K-Tel compilation ‘Music Explosion’, which can frequently and inexpensively be found in charity shops or at Music & Video Exchange.

  44. 44
    stewart on 12 Jan 2008 #

    i still love the song ‘sugar baby love’

    like many i have got it on a few CD’s and an MPG file.

    however, i do remember the origional Top of the Pops clip had the lead singet (Alan Williams ? ) jump up and lay across the arms of other members of the group in one shot.

    anyone else remember that one?

  45. 45
    tim davidge on 4 Mar 2008 #

    It always struck me that the true antecedent to this record (even down to the name of the group) was “Little Darlin'”, a half-spoof by a Canadian outfit called the Diamonds. The release date? 1957.

  46. 46
    Marcello Carlin on 4 Mar 2008 #

    Which was a cover of the original by the Gladiolas, who later became Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs.

  47. 47
    tim davidge on 1 Apr 2008 #

    That explains the ‘M.Williams’ author/composer credit on my Mercury 78 of ‘Little Darlin” Talking of things falling into place, this (the Diamonds’ Little Darlin’) must have been issued on a 45 but my copy is an ‘unbreakable’ 78, made of a similar material to the then relatively new 45rpm discs. Apparently, this idea was once presented to the assembled ladies and gentlemen of the Press and, by way of demonstration, a record was dropped on the ground. Dear readers, I think I need not continue…

  48. 48
    wichita lineman on 26 Jul 2008 #

    When Britain’s original shock-jock Brian Hayes was the Radio 2 breakfast show dj he’d play Sugar Baby Love frequently and say that – even though friends and colleagues always thought he was winding them up – it was one of his favourite records and he couldn’t find any fault in it.

    Me neither. A friend who now manages the Chemical Brothers once confided that Mouldy Old Dough had a ‘holy shiver’ moment for him which would make him well up involuntarily. I once had to cover my face listening to Sugar Baby Love on a train from London to Cambridge for similar reasons – the EXACT point being on Paul Da Vinci’s high note after the pleading “love her anyway” part.

    This was introduced on TOTP after MFSB’s TSOP with the words “from the sound of Philadelphia to the sound of London”. Which, for some years afterwards, I assumed Sugar Baby Love was. Why wouldn’t I believe DLT?

    All things considered (yes, even the white berets), a 10.

  49. 49
    Tracer Hand on 18 Apr 2009 #

    I have never, to my knowledge, heard this song.

    I had always thought my birthday song was “The Streak”! (In America it’s “Half Breed” by Cher.)

  50. 50
    Conrad on 1 May 2009 #

    This is the greatest pop single ever released.



  51. 51
    wichita lineman on 31 Mar 2011 #

    Nick Coler recently confessed over a shandy that he only did one gig with the Rubettes, but did work on an Alan Williams solo album. The Rubettes were SO BIG in Germany in the nineties that Williams still had a private jet.

    Re 47: Little Darlin’ was only released in the UK on a 78 and as an EP track, Mercury being a late adapter of the new fangled format.

    Re 50: It’s between this, Public Image, and Keith West’s On A Saturday.

  52. 52
    punctum on 1 Apr 2011 #

    I’m always very careful to distinguish between “greatest” and “favourite.” Couldn’t begin to pronounce upon the former; the latter for me is “Everything’s Gone Green.”

  53. 53
    wichita lineman on 1 Apr 2011 #

    Yes, I wasn’t being entirely serious, but EGG is up there too (though being a screaming rockist I still think Ceremony is their ‘best’ single)

  54. 54
    DanH on 19 Jan 2013 #

    I do not know what to say about this one. On one hand, it really is one of those ‘pull out all the stops’ pop singles, which is admirable. One the other hand, i can no longer listen to the song for personal reasons. And it kept one of the best songs ever recorded at #2 (yes, Sparks), so there’s more trouble. Oh wel;

  55. 55
    Larry on 2 Nov 2014 #

    I don’t think the Auteurs song (which is great, thanks Tom!) vitiates “Sugar Baby Love.” You don’t make an answer record to a record you don’t care about.

  56. 56
    Tom on 2 Nov 2014 #

    Funny you should comment on this (I’ve been enjoying your occasional comments on the readthrough, by the way!) – as the blog is now up to the release era of “The Rubettes” and there will be an Auteurs cameo of sorts in a few entries time…. (a link existing only in my brain, I don’t want anyone to go looking for it)

  57. 57
    wichitalineman on 4 Nov 2014 #

    I always thought the Auteurs’ The Rubettes was so conceptually close to Denim’s The Osmonds that I couldn’t really listen to it. Surely not a coincidence given that Lawrence is literally the only person to come out of Bad Vibes without so much as a withering glance. I’ve still never heard it!

  58. 58
    Mark G on 4 Nov 2014 #

    I admit I fell for Luke’s Rock and Roll Animals, particularly when they were Jimmy Pursey the Fox, Nick Lowe the Badger, and Gene Vincent the Cat. Well, I bought one. I played it at least once anyway.

  59. 59
    weej on 2 Dec 2015 #

    RIP Wayne Bickerton, A&R&Songwriting mastermind behind The Rubettes, ‘Sugar Baby Love’, ‘Nothing But A Heartache’ and lots more.

  60. 60
    lonepilgrim on 21 Oct 2019 #

    I couldn’t bear this at the time largely because the whole group seemed to treat the whole thing as an in joke with half-hearted formation dancing, ironic headwear and a winking delivery. There was a similar attitude from Les Grey of Mud and Gary Gl*tter – as if they considered their audience saps for falling for their schtick.
    Listening now without visuals I can admire the craft and the unearthly falsetto but as someone who doesn’t care for The Four Seasons I can’t enjoy this pastiche

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