In 1992, The Wedding Present had set a then record for the number of chart appearances in a calendar year by releasing a new single on the first Monday of each month. As soon as December 1992 was out of the way the band announced that they were parting ways with RCA Records and taking much of 1993 off.

In early 1994 it was revealed that the new label would be Island Records but that original bass player Keith Gregory had left the line-up meaning that David Gedge was now the sole member left from the original line-up. They decamped to the USA to record the new material for the new label with the first release being this 4-track single in September 1994:-

mp3 : The Wedding Present – Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah
mp3 : The Wedding Present – Le Bikini
mp3 : The Wedding Present – Flame On
mp3 : The Wedding Present – Him Or Me (What’s It Gonna Be)?

I think it was a major disappointment that the single stalled at #51; indeed the follow-up It’s A Gas fared even worse while the parent album Watusi barely broke the Top 50. These turned out to be the only recordings for Island Records who dropped the band in early 1995.

Looking back, the world wasn’t quite prepared for the sounds made on Watusi. As wiki reports, the songs ranged from warm lo-fi pop (“Gazebo”, “Big Rat”) to semi-psychedelic, Velvets-like workouts (“Click Click”, “Catwoman”). There were also the two fantastic pop singles released as 45s which really deserved better.

Worth mentioning that while the TWP song Flame On is different from that of Captain America featured here three days ago, Him Or Me (What’s It Going To Be)? is a cover of a 1966 hit single (#5 on the US Billboard chart) by Paul Revere & The Raiders.

Have a listen to the original and compare.  TWP make their version so different it sounds like one of their own.

mp3 : Paul Revere & The Raiders – Him or Me (What’s It Gonna Be)?




  1. I never got on with ‘Watusi’, and still don’t, if I’m being honest. Of all their releases, this one sits at the bottom of the pile. I know some people love it, and I honestly thought it would grow in me, but 20+ years on I still don’t get it.

  2. I know a few people who still feel this way too.

    ‘Watusi’ does sometimes seem to be regarded as the cousin nobody talks about. It’s odd though: take a look at most of the tracklisting and it really should work.

    Perhaps it doesn’t kind of hang together as an LP for some reason. Possibly too diverse a sound across one record (‘Watusi: all the songs don’t sound the same’).

    Anyone fancying a spikier, noisier incarnation of what JC’s ‘Yeah Yeah… ‘ A-side would eventually become should check out/revisit the great ‘Softly Softly’ from a Peel Session recorded a full two years earlier.

  3. I really think Watusi suffered from the choice of single. Yeah yeah whatever is really one of the weakest tracks on the album. I really thought this was the true end of TWP when it came out. Thanks to this post I put it on for the first time in decades and am realizing it’s got some fantastic songs. So Long, Baby is a total winner and the album version of Spangle is up there with some of Gedge’s best work.

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