1980: Jona Lewie You’ll Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties Unfairly remembered as the “stop the cavalry guy” because of his hit song which has been a Christmas radio staple since its first release, Lewie had already established himself as a maker of novelty records with Kitchen At Parties, a Top 20 single the year before Stop The Cavalry. He had been active in the music industry for some years before either. Subsequent singles with titles like Re-arranging The Deckchairs On The Titanic and I Think I’ll Get My Hair Cut did little to enhance his reputation.
1981: The Associates Kitchen Person “I was always a kitchen person myself,” declares Billy MacKenzie. I’m not quite sure what a ‘kitchen person’ is and I should think I’ll never find out, because I find this single – one of several The Associates released during 1981 – almost unlistenable. I’m still yet to hear it through to the end. (The Independent’s 1997 obituary said, “Once you’d heard MacKenzie, the singer with The Associates, you were either hooked and became a fan, or your teeth were on edge every time one of his records came on the radio.”)
1982: Blancmange God’s Kitchen1982: Blancmange God’s Kitchen A double A-side (with the track I’ve Seen The Word) and the first minor hit for the Harrow synthpop duo Neil Arthur and Stephen Luscombe who would go on to enjoy three Top 10 hits over the next year or so. Both the tracks from this single, and their biggest hit Living On the Ceiling, featured on their album Happy Families. Unfortunately the hits dried up in the middle of the decade and they split in 1987.
1985: The Pale Fountains …From Across The Kitchen Table The title track of the post-punkers’ critically well-received second album, also released in the same year. It was produced by Ian Broudie, producer for acts such as Echo and the Bunnymen, who at the end of the decade would form his own group The Lightning Seeds, for which he was the singer, lead guitarist, producer and principle song-writer.
1987: UB40 Rat In Mi Kitchen Uncommonly for a UB40 single, the lead vocal on this one was performed by Astro, who also wrote it. Apparently, the song was inspired by an actual rodent problem being experienced by usual lead singer Ali Campbell at his new home. In the song, one of the wittiest and catchiest reggae hits of the year, Astro wonders what one should do when there’s a rat in the kitchen. He concludes: you’d better fix that rat, that’s what you’d better do – you’d better fix that rat.
1989: Frazier Chorus Dream Kitchen The influence of Nanette Newman is all over this single from unconventional post-ironic pop stars Frazier Chorus: “It’s just that there was I/Pretending I was tied to the kitchen sink and I thought/This stuff’s so kind to my hands/I’m never going to change to a different brand,” which was just what the delightful Ms Newman spent several years telling us about Fairy washing-up liquid in 80s television commercials. Dream Kitchen opened Side 1 of their debut album Sue; Side 2 began with Living Room, the only instance I can find of an 80s pop song using that room as the inspiration for its title. Unless anyone knows otherwise?
NEW SINGLES on sale from Aug. 7
The ASSOCIATES Kitchen Person (Situation 2 SIT7)