Reason #316 Why The ’80’s Didn’t Suck: Dress For Excess

SSSSigue Sigue Sputnik, to me, represents the best and the worst of music in the 1980’s. They were brash, overly colorful, synth-driven, materialistic, repetitive, fashion obsessed, over produced, over-hyped, and goofy as hell. As for the bad…. please refer to the above. Think Suicide with a platinum VISA card at their disposal and you wouldn’t be far off.

Dress For Excess, released in 1988, was their second and last album. I am aware that some incarnation of the band carried on with mash-up albums (and more) I can’t consider them as “official” LP’s in their discography. DFE was, of course, similar to the debut, with loud Chuck Berry Meets The Jetsons guitars, drum machines (‘natch!), lots and lots of pop culture sampling, and produced to within an inch of its life by Stock-Aitken-Waterman, a name synonymous with the ‘80’s music (and not necessarily the good kind). But it works because these guys were so British, and their punk roots were so deep (Brian James) that the music never comes across as manufactured or phony in any way, even though I think they meant come on like crass, commercial capitalists. It’s not Mozart, it’s just good, clean, subversive dance music and a clear precursor of what was to follow in the late ‘80’s/early ‘90’s clubs of London.