What: Ruff Mix
Where: Music and Video Exchange, Camden High Street
"Bitten by a radioactive flea when but a puppy, Bark Kent, a mild mannered mongrel from Mutropolis became possessed of super canine powers, and thus became Wonder Dog.
Scorning the tediously traditional role of super hero, and sometimes reporter for the Barking Gazette, he embarked on a career as a musical artiste to start with, it was ruff, but with dog-eared perseverance he clawed his way to the top.
Wonder Dog commenced his career doing shows for the terriertorial army, but his first bite at success came supporting Bow Wow Wow and the Korgis with his girlfriend and backing vocalist Lois Dane. Whilst streaking towards stardom Wonder Dog never forgets his first commitment - truth, justice and the canine way!"
Rrrright.... There's fiction, and then there's the reality, if you'll excuse the slightly obvious pun. You see, Wonder Dog was obviously the work of some music industry chancer, but precious few people seem to realise that yer man in question happens to be Simon Cowell, and this was his first proper music industry release.
What you get here is something which made me nearly cry with laughter as a child, but actually bores me terribly as an adult (proving perhaps that Cowell had an early knack of marketing records to children). It's an entire single of sampled dogs barking to a rather unmemorable disco tune, like the Singing Dogs of the fifties updated for the electronic eighties. There's really nothing more I can add beyond that - to analyse the musical content of this disc in even the most flippant fashion would be a criminal waste of my evening, and yours too.
"Ruff Mix" just about charted inside the Top 40 and set Cowell's career up as a music industry hustler, leading us towards the path of Zig and Zag, Robson and Jerome, and the entire TV talent show revival. On top of that, the ridiculous blurb on the back of the single quoted above does make me worried that Wonderdog might have been the inspiration for the Ford Timelord character The KLF cooked up for "Doctorin' The Tardis". There's enough of a difference for us not to be too concerned, as well as considerably more humour and inventiveness on Bill Drummond's side, but even so...
Then see the Youtube clip here... and observe how much the dog character even looks like, and has the mannerisms of, his creator...