So Part 1 of a look back at one of the most enigmatic and weirdest bands of the 80’s. Using samples and studio trickery, punk ethos and just plain good marketing of both product and image. This was Sci-Fi Rock and Roll, out doing KLF by a good few years in terms of duping the record buying public and coming ten years after the Sex Pistols managed it.
The band was formed by Tony James, who had just left the band Gen X, and Neal X (Whitmore), who recruited “post-punk drag queen” Martin Degville. Degville was a clothes designer and supplied the band’s wardrobe, and YaYa, the store where he worked, became the band’s base.
Sigue Sigue Sputnik – Love Missile F1-11 (US 12″)
Quite different to the UK version with different samples (the movie samples in particular) and sounds. So simple but so effective, a homage to Suicide. Unbelievable but people forgot it was produced by Giorgio Moroder. Went absolutely massive worldwide.
Manhattan Records – V-56021
||Love Missile F1-11 (Extended Version)
||Love Missile F1-11 (Dance Version)
||Love Missile F1-11 (Single Version)
Sigue Sigue Sputnik – Love Missile F1-11 (Bangkok Remix) (Spanish 12″)
Another variation on a theme but with a shed load of samples, classical orchestra, gunshots and a very loud drum machine plastered over the top. So this limited edition version has another Dance Mix as well as “Hack-Attack” (Dub Version) (a more rock and roll influenced track but still using that bass sequence and very heavy use of a sampler on Degvilles vocals)
Parlophone – 12-SSS-1
||Love Missile F1-11 (Bangkok Remix)
||Love Missile F1-11 (Dance Mix)
||Hack-Attack (Dub Version)
Sigue Sigue Sputnik – 21 st Century Boy (12″)
Second single “21 st Century Boy” was nearly exactly the same tempo and just as minimal but with plenty of samples, when I first heard a clip I thought it was the same as their debut! My favourite by them, the normal 12″ is about as inventive as you were to get for 1986. B-side is again a parting shot at the other labels that tried to sign them. The rumour at the time was they were signed for a million pounds!! (it turned out to be a not untidy £350,000)
Parlophone – 12 SSS 2
||21st Century Boy (T.V. Mix)
||Buy EMI (£4,000,000 Mix)
Sigue Sigue Sputnik – Massive Retaliation (US 12″)
The next release was only released in America, to push sales of the album , “Flaunt It”. A change of sound and tempo, more of a hip-hop tempo and a more complex layering of sounds, amazing for 1986 and probably wanting to emulate Art Of Noise. Again Moroder is producing and co-writing, the mixes are provided by sound wizard, Brian Reeves. B-side “Teenage Thunder” see’s the band return to their Rock ‘n Roll roots and a cut from the album, not sure about that tinny bass and organ percussion though. Degville does his best punk vocals.
Manhattan Records – V-56037
||Massive Retaliation (The Super Massive UK Remix)
||Massive Retaliation (The Massive Edit)
||Massive Retaliation (Shut Up Dub Remix)