Black Box Recorder consisted of Sarah Nixey, Luke Haines (of The Auteurs), and John Moore (formerly of The Jesus and Mary Chain).
Debut LP, England Made Me, got a fair bit of critical acclaim upon its release in 1998 but didn’t sell all that well, perhaps because it was a very downbeat take on the struggles of everyday life where the gap between the haves and have-nots was ever-increasing and life for many seemed to be mundane and not worth bothering about.
By 2000, the band had come to the conclusion that sex sells, and so while the music itself on the follow-up LP The Facts of Life was little different from the debut, many of the lyrics were a bitter commentary on the peculiar attitude us Brits – or more precisely the demograph referred to as Middle England – have to sex and pornography.
The band enjoyed a Top 20 hit single with the lead track off the LP and as follow-up they selected LP opener The Art of Driving, a song which is not really so much about moving a motor vehicle from point A to point B as ironic advice on how best to ensure a developing relationship goes along at the right pace.
There was little radio play for the single and it stalled at #53. Black Box Recorder never threatened the charts again.
I thought I’d feature the single as the 2 x CDs made up a great little package. You got a radio edit of the track, the album version and you could also access the promo video. There were also two cover versions of hit singles from the 70s, both of them delivered in ways that would make you believe they were Black Box Recorder originals.
And then there was a very interesting, funny and occasionally perverted remix of the band’s hit single – a remix by the Chocolate Layers, aka Jarvis Cocker and Steve Mackey of Pulp.
mp3 : Black Box Recorder – The Art of Driving (radio edit)
mp3 : Black Box Recorder – The Facts of Life (remixed by the Chocolate Layers)
mp3 : Black Box Recorder – Rock’n’Roll Suicide
mp3 : Black Box Recorder – The Art of Driving (album version)
mp3 : Black Box Recorder – Uptown Top Ranking
Not long after this, Nixey and Moore got married and had a child, much to the chagrin of Haines. His bitter take on how it affected him and the band can be enjoyed within the pages of his second volume of memoirs, Post Everything.