9 November 2016

Spaghetti Head - Glad and I Wanna Be Seen

Label: Pump
Year of Release: 1992

If Stiltskin hit number one by being a Smashing Pumpkins tribute band for the benefit of a Levis advert, Spaghetti Head could perhaps be regarded as the era's Miller Lite advert EMF clones. The beer's advert during the early nineties - frustratingly unavailable on YouTube - had this single as its soundtrack, presumably created in order to persuade fans of bands who bashed their synthesisers around angrily to quaff light lager. Well, it was a huge youth market, after all (for about six months).

"Glad" undergoes a major lyrical transformation for this single, but otherwise the track sounds much as it did on the ad. It's hyperactive, busy, slightly funky and frivolous. While all involved obviously anticipated a hit single, it's also clear that nobody was taking this terribly seriously. Still, with its truly nagging catchiness it could actually have been a "Jeans On" for the nineties, but sales were clearly disappointing and the track was most commonly encountered by listeners on the Indie compilation LP "Precious" - sequenced between Pale Saints and My Bloody Valentine, for some baffling reason.

The man behind the track is Tony Gibber, who appears to have had a long career in soundtracking films and television programmes, perhaps being most famous for the 2003 "Top of the Pops" theme "Get Out Of That". Somebody with the name Tony Gibber also seems to have been associated with the production and arrangement of some Bucks Fizz singles in the eighties, and had two singles of his own out on WEA in 1979 and 1980. I can't prove that it's definitely the same person, so this speculation on my part would have Wikipedia's "citation needed" alarms ringing, but it seems likely.

If it is, we can only assume he would have at least been in his thirties by the time this came out. Had it been a hit, he might have looked a bit "interesting" performing the song on "Top Of The Pops" with his baseball cap on backwards, so it's a shame that appearance never came to pass.

(Blog entry continues beneath the sound files) 

Label: Pump
Year of Release: 1992

Of more interest to me is actually the follow-up single "I Wanna Be Seen", which appeared to have no advertising campaign tied to it at all. Rather, it seems to have been an attempt on the record label's part to continue to try their luck with the Spaghetti Head name.

It's arguably the better of the two singles, with frantic wah-wah pedalling action, vocal whooping, itchy beats and House styled piano riffs. None-more-early-nineties in fact, and a complete and total clone of the most commercial elements of British indie at that point - but where it might have sounded unoriginal and lacking in credibility at the time, it sounds effervescent and a little bit thrilling now.

After "I Wanna Be Seen" flopped, it was game over for Spaghetti Head, and Tony Gibber moved on to other more profitable work.

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