They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But is it worth ten dollars? Because that is what I paid* on Saturday for this second-hand LP:
This is 1986 self-titled album by Strange Cruise, a short-lived British band featuring Steve Strange â€“ leading luminary of the New Romantic/Blitz movement â€“ and Wendy Wu (billed here as Wendy Cruise). Unfortunately, this group lacks the bizarre charms of either vocalist’s previous outfits, Visage and the Photos, respectively. “Rebel Blue Rocker” sounds like a rehash of old Generation X and Clash clichÃ©s, while opener “Hit And Run” suggests someone has listened to the first Wham! album too many times. A cover of Sonny and Cher’s “The Beat Goes On,” released as a single to deafening indifference, just seems desperate. Suffice to say, this Cruise sank quickly; it barely merits a mention in Strange’s blabbermouth autobiography Blitzed!
But I couldn’t pass up that jacket. No, not the one he’s modeling on the cover â€“ although that black, white and silver number is pretty sweet â€“ but the actual album sleeve. Because if you look very closely, below the iridescent lipstick and two-tone hair extensions and handgun earrings, you’ll notice this:
That’s right: Dude is wearing a miniature whisk as an accent to his leather tie. How hot is that? I miss the days when musicians all tried to outdo each other with ridiculous looks, rather than just hiring the same stylist all their peers use. Of course, back in the mid-’80s, young people didn’t have cell phones or the Internet to entertain them, so of course they were raiding the kitchen for ad hoc fashion accessories.
Is this record worth ten dollars? No. Strange Cruise is appallingly mediocre. I doubt I’ll ever have occasion to play it on the air. But that tie slays me â€“ and now you can savor it for free. Enjoy!
|*||KEXP members receive discounts at businesses that support KEXP, such as Easy Street Records Queen Anne â€“ which is where I made this purchase, thus saving 10%.|
DJ El Toro is the host of the overnight show â€œIn Between Sleep & Reason,â€ Wednesday mornings from 1 AM to 6 AM on KEXP 90.3 FM Seattle and kexp.org.