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.
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