IN WHICH MARC ALMOND FORETOLD THE FUTURE

Marc-Almond-The-Idol---Digipa-50236
It was back in July 1995 that Marc Almond released a belter of a single that really should have been a smash hit instead of stalling at #44 and spending just two weeks in the pop charts.  The first three seconds start off as an homage to The Jean Genie before it turns into a sort of Stars on 45 tribute to the glam rock that I recall from the early 70s.  Great guitar riffs, amazing backing vocals, and a pumping chorus.

It was tailored made for radio,when it was released in 1995, but got absolutely no exposure on the mainstream daytime shows. Just too dark a subject matter for them y’see…..I had forgotten just how good this is:-

mp3 : Marc Almond – The Idol (Part 1)

Oh and if you did make the effort to buy the single, there were real treats tucked away on the b-side:-

mp3 : Marc Almond – Law Of The Night
mp3 : Marc Almond – Adored and Explored (Live at Radio One)
mp3 : Marc Almond – Bedsitter (Live at Radio One)

The ‘Unplugged cover’ of the Soft Cell hit is particularly wonderful. No synths – just acoustic guitars and harmonicas. And proof that Marc was a better singer than most gave him credit for.

But if you want to see how great the full version of this single was, here’s the full 9 and a bit minute version from the LP Fantastic Star:-

mp3 : Marc Almond – The Idol (All Gods Fall) (Parts 1 & 2)

I’m taking the unusual step of reproducing the full lyric.  The last line might have taken 14 years to come true….but there’s no denying he got it right:-

Hail Hail the Idol
Hail Hail the Idol

Idol be bad
Idol be wild
Martyr your heart
Father a love child
We need all your kinks
And your dark attitude
We live on your sins
And your volatile moods

We love you, we love you
We love you, we love you
You’re a pop up poster of a teenage dream
We love you, we love you
We love you, we love you
A fur inferno on a twisted scene

Go for the gold
Never grow old
In the bed or the car
It’s the end of the star
Burn yourself out
Do yourself in
Don’t try to mend
All gods fall in the end

Hail Hail the Idol
Hail Hail the Idol

We loved you in black
We adored you in pink
Up in the dock
Or drowned in the drink
Wrapped up in foil
Anointed in oil

We love you, we love you
We love you, we love you
Rip out your soul as
you’re playing the role
We love you, we love you
We love you, we love you
Nail up your hands to fulfil our demands

Go for the gold
Never grow old
In the bed or the car
It’s the end of the star
Burn yourself out
Do yourself in
Don’t try to mend
All gods fall in the end

Sweet crucifixion

We hate you, we hate you
We hate you, we hate you
Watch them turn cold as you
start to grow old
We hate you, we hate you
We hate you, we hate you
Vinyl to burn as the crowd starts to turn

Go for the gold
Never grow old
In the bed or the car
It’s the end of the star
Burn yourself out
Do yourself in
Don’t try to mend
All gods fall in the end

Be what you are
In the bed or the car
In the bath or the bar
It’s the end of the star
Burn yourself out
Do yourself in
Don’t try to mend
All gods fall in the end

Fail Fail the Idol
Fail Fail the Idol
Fail Fail the Idol
Fail Fail the Idol

All gods fall in the end

Valentino the sheik was the God of them all
But his macho was dented and he took a fall
Garland sang tragedy touching our hearts
But her life was a tragedy more than her art
Fabian and Avalon gold lamed and cute
Kissed fickle fame and went straight down the chute
Elvis the cat loved us tender with youth
But what we were seeing was never the truth
Just wanted to sing but fame made its demands
And died while still young trying to please all his fans
James was a rebel that stood for an age
A drink and a drive and then death took the stage
Poor Billie Holliday paid all her dues
When her close friend the needle gave her the blues
Janis at night cruised for boys on the strip
But death by the bottle is what made her hip
Marilyn’s beauty showed age every day
But her sinister end helped her keep age away

We love you, we love you
We love you, we love you
We love you, we love you
We love you, we love you

Brian Jones had an aura that Mick soon would crave
But pills and a pool set the scene for the grave
Jim lived his life to put edge to his songs
But he died in the bath to reach where he belongs
Jimi played notes that were all heaven-sent
But the drink and the drugs made sure that’s where he went
Osmond and Cassidy records all gold
But they made the mistake of growing too old
Bolan got fat was not pleasant to see
But we loved him again when he met with a tree
Kurt was unhappy with fame and success
A gun in the mouth and one hell of a mess
And who will be next on the big cross of fame?
A white sequinned glove and a big famous name?

8 thoughts on “IN WHICH MARC ALMOND FORETOLD THE FUTURE

  1. Considering I was busy selling records for a living at the time, I have absolutely no recollection of this single (or the ‘Fantastic Star’ LP) whatsoever. My bad, as our American cousins might say. What a corkers it is. Dark themes, clever lyrics and enough musical nods and winks to keep this old glam-rocker occupied and entertained for a few minutes. Is the rest of the LP as good as this?

  2. Thanks for posting this. I’d forgotten all about it.
    Have you read Marc’s autobiography? It’s one of the best music books I’ve ever read.

  3. In answer to all of the above,

    Yes, it’s a decent album but nothing quite matches ‘The Idol’ which I consider to be as good a 45 as any of the Soft Cell classics

    Yes, Marc’s autobiography is of the finest of its type. Up there with the Cope books IMHO……

  4. When Marc Almond and Neal X (Whitmore) found each other in the 90’s it was a match made in Rock + Roll heaven to these ears. They get each other and Neal X brings out a certain rocker bravura in Marc Almond that, I think, even he wasn’t aware he could carry off so well.
    When you add Mike Thorne into the mix, well, it all just really comes together. I agree that some parts of Fantastic Star are dated sounding now, but I give Almond credit for staying contemporary at least. But there are some classic moments in The Idol, Caged (shades of Soft Cell), We Need Jealousy (an updated Mambas sound), Child Star (crooner Marc) and The Edge Of Heartbreak (Marc does Wall of Sound pop in true Ronnie Spector glory).

  5. Echorich….once again demonstrating why he is the finest observational and concise commentator out there. Thank you.

  6. I liked the Fantastic Star album when it came out, though even then I thought it was too sprawling (16 tracks, 2 producers – Mike Thorne in New York and Martyn Ware in London). However there are some good tracks in there, the full version of The Idol definitely being my favourite. Interesting also that David Johansen (New York Dolls) plays harmonica on a few of the songs!

    Some of the extra tracks on CD singles were great too – the live version of We Need Jealousy (Child Star) knocks spots of the LP version and Lie (Out There) are particular favourites.

  7. Marc did “The Idol” live in LA on Saturday and it was amazing! I’ve followed him for decades and interviewed him once, but I was unfamiliar with this song (he’s so prolific). Now I’ve gotta buy it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s