FASHION

FASHION – “PRODUCT PERFECT” (1979)

I’m including this, visit web because I was surprised to see it mentioned in the long list of “Zolo” musics (see my previous Cardiacs post about the whole “Zolo” thing.) I wouldn’t call this Zolo, denture except the band attempts a handful of different styles all on the same album.

To be honest, I heard “Product Perfect” about three months ago, and can’t remember a single thing about it, except that I had a good time listening to it. Maybe that’s the side effect of swallowing the volume of music that I do these days — but trust me, it was a good time! I think! Also, how can you go wrong with song titles like “Hanoi Annoy” and “Technofascist”? Trouser Press sez:

Fashion emerged from Birmingham in the late ’70s with a facility for clever pop that cannibalized aspects of reggae, punk and electro-pop and converted them into a mode that scarcely resembled the parent forms. “Product Perfect” verges on being cheerless, but Fashion infuses it with such good humor and imaginative effects that it seems a wry parody of everything from Madness to Joy Division. Lyrics and tunes are at first unmemorable, but subtle hooks become apparent after several listenings.

Fashion – Product Perfect LP (ZIP file)
“Product Perfect” on Amazon MP3 Store

This entry was posted in Album Sharity. Bookmark the permalink.

689 Responses to FASHION

  1. Nylon Klaat says:

    Wow. All the time I’m being blown away with the records getting dug up by/ on blogs; many of them that I have on vinyl and enjoy, but knew little or nothing about. Bought this LP at the start of college for, I dunno, a quarter or fifty cents or something because it looked interesting; still have it and just put it on. Yeah, not the most cheerful bunch; their first single was called “Steadyeddiesteady” and is sorta reggaeish and sorta sarcastic song about suicide (“Steady Eddie steady, Eddie hold the gun steady…” etc.). Keep up the good work. Cheers!!

  2. Jim Donato says:

    Fashion were a very interesting Brummy band. Believe it or not, when I was a DJ at my high school FM station, IRS Records was the ONLY label that furnished us with promos when requested to. This was one of the ’79 releases they sent us. I also remember having John Cale’s “Sabotage Live” in the batch they sent! I remember not liking the vocals but the music was an intriguing blend that sounded unique. “Hanoi Annoys Me’ is a great song that’s stuck with me to this day. Fashion had three different albums with a different vocalist on each album! Album #2 (“Fabrique” – 1982) is the killer for me.

    Infinitely more commercial than album #1, it is decadent techno-funk just made for cruising the slick, night streets of Berlin at 4:00 AM. in your DeLorean. If cocaine were music, this album would be the result. The band declared that this album was designed as accompaniment for “screwing and taking drugs” and I wouldnt dispute that. The slink factor here is off the map.

    Zeus B. Held’s production technique reached its acme here with the height of analog technology mixing beautifully with the nascent digital tech of the day. This album sounds like it cost a fortune in 1982 dollars and you can hear every cent spent. Vocalist De Harris’ surgical guitar licks heighten the tension. The result is my favorite white funk album ever [sorry Heaven 17!].

  3. Nylon Klaatu says:

    Fashion made a big deal out of reissuing this album themselves last year, but it was just a CD-R with good artwork. Might still be available, though.

  4. ReSearcher says:

    Just a CD-R ? What a shame. Anyway, here it still is and some more;
    http://www.fashionlukesky.com/

  5. ml Edwards says:

    This is exactly what i needed today.

  6. Emerson says:

    This is actually pretty good. I never bought it because based on the band name and cover art I figured it’d be bad New Romance or something.

  7. Luke Sky says:

    Wotcha – Luke Sky here – original singer/guitar strangler with Fàshiön #1. Ta very much for the chat and comments. There are a couple of articles about the original line-up on the blog at http://www.myspace.com/fashionlukesky. There you’ll also find excerpts from the upcoming book about my time with the band: “Stairway To Nowhere”.

    It’s sort of true that the rerelease of Product Perfect is a CD-R – it’s a bit impossible to remix master tapes from 30 years ago that don’t exist any more! So what I did was have my tech guru Stephen Lester run digitized tracks from the album through 20 gazillion bucks worth of post production software to try and give it a bit of a digital kick up the backside. I also included a couple of different versions of tracks from the original album.

    It’s also a bit difficult to record a new album when your drummer and producer are both unfortunately dead and you haven’t spoken to your bass/synth player since 1980 … but I managed it anyway. The new CD “Stairway To Nowhere” is available from all the usual (as well as some pretty unusual) outlets. And of course from the web site
    http://www.fashionlukesky.com

    Thanks to Egg City Radio for giving a toss and to all of you who commented … ta very much like and keep yer ears on!

    Cheers
    Luke
    Fàshiön

  8. Jim-L says:

    I dont believe it! I have had that song floating about in my head since I was about 13 & used to regularly listen to the John Peel show & until now intermittent searches have proven fruitless! I actually thought Fashion were German so this has been a revelation.
    Amazing to see a post from an original member, sad tho about the death of 2 of the team.
    This made my night! ;-)

  9. Jim-L says:

    Sorry, in my haste & excitement I didnt mention the song, being “Steady Eddie”! Just listened to it for first time in 30 years or so, sounds just as fresh & as I remembered it. Klass!!!

  10. Luke Sky says:

    Luke Sky’s Fàshiön memoir “Stairway to Nowhere” OUT NOW!

    Hello me pretties – hope all is groovy. I thought you might like to know that my book, the Fàshiön memoir “Stairway to Nowhere” is finally available through http://www.lulu.com at

    http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/stairway-to-nowhere/8498322

    This is the true, unexpurgated, twisted story (with pictures) of the original Fàshiön line-up (1978-80) On the road antics with The Police, B52s, U2, The Cramps, Squeeze, and host of others.
    Thanks for your support.

    Cheers
    Luke
    Fàshiön
    http://www.fashionlukesky.com

  11. This record is a long-lost gem. Billboard Magazine called this band “The thinking man’s Devo”.

    I have a review of this album taped to my original IRS (US) vinyl copy. I believe it was from Creem, specifically Lester Bangs, but I honestly don’t remember for sure:

    “Order of topics on first side: consumerism, imperialism, racism, sociopathy, “rock culture,” apathy (right-wing), apathy (left-wing). Sounds predictable, but it isn’t – all of these songs are based on post-Marcusian cliches sophisticated enough to get the average post-Marcusian thinking hard. Sounds unmusical, but it isn’t that, either – the singing is clever and impassioned, the punkish, futuristic reggae-synthesizer fusion often catchy and always apt. If only I were a post-Marcusian myself, I’d be in heaven. And a second side as good as the first might convert me.”

    A pretty spot-on review, I must say. Some very catchy tracks, especially “Red Green and Gold”, the “Big John” trilogy, and “Technofascist” – at least to these ears. You may like others. Thanks to Luke for helping us catch up. This record has been my companion for 30 years, and I thank you. I’ll be in touch!

  12. According to Luke’s website, the above review was by Robert Christgau. Uh, OK. Thanks.