Friday, May 22

Jukebox: British Blondes from the 80s

It’s time to break out the summertime jams. And what do you think of when you think of summertime jams? That's right: pasty white British bands from the late 80s. More specifically: the “blonde pop” scene in England that was all the rage in the British music tabloids for at least a few months.

This scene included three bands: The Primitives from Coventry, the Darling Buds from Wales, and Transvision Vamp from London. Their defining characteristic was, duh, female lead singers with blonde hair, whose songs betrayed an utter devotion to the sounds of Blondie, Jesus and Mary Chain, and the Buzzcocks. Each made their mark on the British charts with songs like “Crash” (the Primitives), “Big Head’ (the Darling Buds), and “I Want Your Love” (Transvision Vamp). They enjoyed many Melody Maker and NME covers.

Ginned-up pop scenes can’t last forever, though. Tracy Tracy, leader of the Primitives, died her hair red in advance of the band’s second album in 1989 and, just like that, the scene was over. So sad. With Tracy gone, the scene’s followers quickly realized that Transvision Vamp’s Wendy James was just a hot mess who couldn’t really sing and that the Darling Buds’ Andrea Lewis, great as she was, couldn’t really constitute a scene by herself.

They were sweet days while they lasted, though. Let’s go to there!

This was the finger-snapping follow-up to their best-known single "Crash" and it deserved more attention than it ever got. More importantly, it's the last video Tracy ever made as a blonde.


How hot is guitarist Harley Farr in this video? How can Andrea even concentrate on her tambourine playing with him standing right behind her looking that good? Good God.


Wendy James was Courtney Love without all the heroin.