Single Of The Week 27/04/98

Single Of The Week is where I review a single I'm particularly enamoured of at the moment. It might be a brand spanking new release, or a classic from decades past that I just feel like going on about.

Sticky Music
Sandii & The Sunsetz

In their rather useful 1983 book The New Rock 'N' Roll: The A-Z Of Rock In The '80s, Stuart Coupe and Glenn A. Baker included special feature sections on the Australian and Japanese music scenes. The rationale behind this was that the world music scene was now such that the UK and the US were no longer the main sources of inspiration and direction. As the decade progressed, it became obvious that (a) the UK and the US still were the main sources of inspiration and direction (b) Australia did end up having a mild influence via a handful of acts (c) no-one cares very much about Japanese music outside of Japan and a handful of rock critics.

Practically the only example I can cite of a Japanese record which managed to make it outside Japan during the decade is 1983's 'Sticky Music', a minor Australian chart hit in 1983 for Sandii & The Sunsetz. This was an insanely catchy piece of pop, with virtually nonsensical English lyrics, remembered fondly by all 80s obsessives. "Ooh ooh ooh sticky music," cooed Sandii, and we sang along. They even appeared on Countdown.

It was all downhill from there, though. Sire Records, the band's international label, made a determined effort to make Sandii and cohorts The Next Big Thing; the addition of the 'Sandii &' was designed to heighten the sex appeal of the lead singer, and the band toured the UK, Australia and US throughout the early part of the decade. Unless I missed something, it all effectively amounted to nought. Like so many non-Anglo bands, Sandii & The Sunsetz seemed destined to achieve just one hit before fading back into the comforts of regional success.

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