23 April 2017

Muff - Sexy Sexy Lady/ Burnin'

Label: Bell
Year of Release: 1974

One of the unfortunate things about Operation Yewtree and its associated glam rock/ seventies pop investigations and arrests is that everything has been poisoned. Everything. For instance, we all know that a lot of glam rock artists were drawing on fifties rock and roll traditions for their lyrical inspiration, so it's not unsurprising that you will occasionally find songs about hanging out at the "hop" with the teenage boys and girls. None of these were indicative of any Savile-styled "hiding in plain sight" indidents, or anything else sinister. They were just teen bop hits, that's all. 

"Sexy Sexy Lady" by Muff, though, is highly unlikely to get any airplay today. For a start, the performer's name is subject to huge misinterpretation, and in combination with the song title might even get this blog internet visitors for all the wrong reasons (hello newbies! Soz, no lady pics here). Then there's the lyrical content, about a girl who is "hardly" sixteen, and is still at school, and drinks gin on the rocks, and is a "sexy sexy lady". Mmmmm. Possibly unlike the girl in question, this hasn't necessarily aged well, but these recordings do have to be put into some kind of context. They were targeted at a teen audience and tried to strike a chord with teenage lifestyles. At the time, nobody would have batted an eyelid. Imagine it in the soundtrack to "Grease" and you're in a more appropriate ballpark. 

Still, that thumping, thwacking glam beat and those keen guitar lines are indicative of a great noise, and something which possibly could have been a hit at the time. Bell Records were churning out smash after smash at this point in the seventies, and more sympathetic airplay could have pushed this one on to Top of the Pops.

As for who Muff is, it's almost certainly Muff Murfin who owned a recording studio in Kempsey, Worcestershire around this time, and also worked occasionally with songwriter Rod McQueen. Muff is a highly successful radio station mogul these days, who also writes radio and advertising jingles, and also co-ran a record label (Birds Nest) with Elektra/ Dandelion man Clive Selwood in the seventies. A fascinating and varied career, then, and while he may have had no actual hits despite having several other singles out in the seventies, he's a lot more successful than most other people who have featured on this blog. 


Arthur Nibble said...

Muff Murfin actually did have a top 20 hit in 1976, with a cover of "Let's Do The Latin Hustle" on the Creole label under the pseudonym of The M&O Band, the "O" being Chris Owen. Unfortunately, after a few weeks in the chart it was deemed that Mr. M and Mr. O had used the backing track of Eddie Drennon's original version wholesale and passed it off as home made (a very early and, at the time, unauthorised example of sampling), resulting in the single being banned from being pressed or sold in the shops.

23 Daves said...

Oh, good point! I must admit I had no idea that Muff had any involvement with that record. Thanks for raising it.

Gilles said...

I tried a google search on the history of Muff, didn't get very far but I can now heartily recommend a vintage movie called "Cherry Poppers"

Anonymous said...

The picture sleeve (German Polydor 2040127) shows a guy sitting on a motorbike. Muff ?

23 Daves said...

Yes, I think it is!