Released today in 1980: Danced

Safari SAFE32

Safari SAFE32

Toyah Willcox first made the cover of Smash Hits on 27 November 1980, the day before her band Toyah released a ‘live’ album. It had been recorded at Wolverhampton’s Lafayette Club on 17 June 1980; the gig was also filmed for inclusion in a television documentary about Willcox and her band. Of the documentary (a ‘fly-on-the-wall’ in which she was followed around over a period of months), she spoke about her unhappiness at being under the control of ATV, the station producing it: “The director wouldn’t give me all the shots I suggested. For example, when we were playing Blue Meaning on top of Battersea Power Station he wouldn’t take a camera up in a helicopter. A lot of it is quite personal though, down to fights with the band in the dressing room.”

One of the tracks performed at the Wolverhampton show, Danced, was issued as Toyah’s fourth single: “A live album – Toyah! Toyah! Toyah! – contains further tracks recorded at this concert but Ghosts and Neon Womb [the B-side songs] are available only on this single,” the sleeve notes ran. Studio versions of all three songs had already been released. Neon Womb and Danced were on the first Toyah EP, Sheep Farming In Barnet, and Ghosts was a track on the album The Blue Meaning which had given the band their first taste of chart success when it reached #40 on the album chart in the same week the gig at the Lafayette took place.

She wasn’t happy with every aspect of The Blue Meaning. “That glam pretty picture on the back,” she told Smash Hits. “When I did that record I felt anger and ugliness, depression. The picture was kind to me but not true to the product.” She had also decided that most the other members of Toyah who appeared on the album, and who performed with her at the Lafayette, weren’t right for her; it was not by chance that the television cameras had caught those inter-band fights. She retained only her guitarist and recruited new members, unnamed at the time of the interview. Some of the outgoing musicians had been unhappy with her ideas and about her acting engagements, which had brought her more attention at this stage in career than her music. (The Smash Hits piece opened with a list of her best-known acting credits.) The single Danced did nothing to change this: like those released before it, it failed to chart. “It’s because I’m not doing it right,” she said. “But I’ll never give up. I know what I hear in my head and I’m trying to perfect it.”

NEW SINGLES on sale from Nov. 14
The BOOMTOWN RATS (Bob Geldof) Banana Republic (Ensign BONGO1)
MADNESS Embarrassment (Stiff BUY102)
THOMPSON TWINS She’s In Love With Mystery (Latent LATE1)
TOYAH (Toyah Willcox) Danced (Safari SAFE32)
SIMPLE MINDS (Jim Kerr) Waterfront (Virgin VS636)
DEXY’S MIDNIGHT RUNNERS (Kevin Rowland) Because Of You (Mercury BRUSH1)
Rick ASTLEY Take Me To Your Heart (RCA PB42573)
BOMB THE BASS featuring MAUREEN (Tim Simenon) Say A Little Prayer (Rhythm King DOOD3)
PET SHOP BOYS Left To My Own Devices (Parlophone R6198)
SADE (Sade Adu) Keep Turning My Back On You (Epic SADE4)


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