30 April 2011
Funktion - Dance of the Clangers
Year of Release: 1972
A perplexing mystery of a disc, this one. Released initially on Pye in 1972, then again on the Beacon label in 1973 under the name "The Clangers", this single is a very obvious attempt at cashing in on the phenomenon of those moon dwelling, dustbin lid clashing beasts who were all over British children's television in the seventies.
Anyone expecting a child-pleasing record akin to The Teletubbies is going to be confused, however. "Dance of the Clangers" is actually a bass heavy, organ driven reggae track with a few Swanee whistles tacked on as an afterthought. The whistling effects aren't especially Clanger-like - as many a media pundit has pointed out before now, The Clangers always sounded as if they were talking in their own rhythmic language, whereas here it's just a bunch of tootling and pootling noises looking for a place to fit in the mix. It may fail as a tribute, but in fairness it cooks a decent enough groove and holds its own with some of the strongest instrumentals of the period. Therefore, it's a failed novelty single, but a perfectly good reggae track. It's not often that something clearly marketed as cheap tat ends up coming up trumps as a genuinely good piece of forgotten music instead, but you can count this among the very small pile of records that applies to.
I'll finish on a standard plea - if you were behind this record or know who was, please do let me know.
sixties seventies eighties novelty nineties second hand record dip psychedelia The Beatles one hit wonders glam rock KLF comedy easy listening library music garage noughties reggae Bill Drummond compilations disco eurovision romo/ new romantic Microdisney earl brutus mark wirtz animals that swim cover versions Morgan Studios Wales bob morgan creation embassy the spectrum Bam Caruso C86 KPM blessed ethel dora hall elton john Inaura Joe Meek Medicine Head john pantry peter cook Birdie Lieutenant Pigeon Peel Sessions Salad The Critters The Tages czech rock skunk rock the lover speaks British Gas Walham Green East Wapping Steam Beating Carpet Cleaning Rodent and Boggit Exterminating Association one of these days I'm going to cut you into little pieces pete the plate spinning dog