A RE-POST TO BUY MORE TIME (12)

SKELETONS IN MY CLOSET (Part 9)

originally posted on 24 June 2009

I may have thought I was really cool back in 1982 with my ever expanding record collection full of great indie music, but every now and again I fell for the charms of sheer radio fodder.

Blame it on the hormones as I couldn’t take my eyes off the telly screen whenever the bikini-wearing Coconuts were there doing their stuff on backing vocals to Kid Creole.

But let’s be honest listen to the sax playing on ‘Wonderful Thing’ and accept its not far removed from that which appears on Rip It Up…..

From seemingly out of nowhere (although it turned out he had been part of band or production teams for a few years), August Darnell hit payola with his alter ego as Kid Creole & The Coconuts had a triumphant year in 1982. Three Top 10 singles in the UK and a Top 2 LP that hung around the charts for some nine months, and loads of TV appearances in the days when we had just the three terrestrial channels in the UK.

mp3 : Kid Creole & The Coconuts – I’m A Wonderful Thing Baby
mp3 : Kid Creole & The Coconuts – Annie, I’m Not Your Daddy
mp3 : Kid Creole & The Coconuts – Stool Pigeon

Ha cha cha cha……

Don’t worry too much folks, I never adopted the bright shirts or zoot suits as a look…..I still wore my raincoat as I danced to this lot.

JC

11 thoughts on “A RE-POST TO BUY MORE TIME (12)

  1. Man, this blog continues to amaze me after all these years and posts. I would NEVER have guessed that anyone knew Kid Creole across the pond. I always considered him kind of a local uptown legend. Then again, the UK was always paying attention to good music from the States (which our mainstream radio totally ignored). Can’t say I own a lot of Coconuts music but I do remember dancing around to ‘Endicott’ quite a bit.

  2. Always loved Stool Pigeon and my eldest is a big fan of it as well – he was 16 when he first heard it, the sane age as I was in 1982! Thanks to JTFL for reminding me of Endicott, which I had long forgotten.

  3. They were actually big in Sweden as well and did a very memorable live set on one of the few music shows back in the days. Probably the only time I have ever danced in front of my telly…
    Still play my copy of this record, and the ZE Records labels has a special place in my heart – they released so much great (dance) music not the least by the Was “brothers”.

  4. The first three Kid Creole LPs on Ze Records were all excellent. Tropical Gangsters was as good as mainstream pop got in 1982 and remained on constant rotation in the shop for most of the year.

  5. I was walking home from The Poenix, Dundee, one night in 2004. As I passed City Square I spotted someone singing ‘I’m A Wonderful Thing Babe’, and it was the Kid himself! The lucky couple he was singing to had won a competition, and I was blessed to be present. His daughter was also there, taking photographs, but she’s never passed them on to me.

  6. I get where JTFL is coming from. For most New Yorkers, Kid Creole were part of the downtown Indie/No Wave scene and stayed a very local phenomenon in the US as well. Being a huge Ze Records fan, August Darnell in all of his many guises remained on my radar. When I found in the NME that Kid Creole was a chart success in the UK, I admit that it was a bit amusing. Darnell’s greatest moment, for me came during his time performing as Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band and the Disco one hit wonder Cher Chez La Femme. The Latin Disco feel of this massive Disco hit was the seed of what would become Kid Creole and the Coconuts.

  7. I’ve been buying Kid Creole albums willy nilly for the last 20 years or so and there are no duds that I’ve heard yet. Even the house influenced one was still August Darnell. He’s the Cab Calloway of the Disco/New Wave generation. In fact, I was once in a large record store in another city and some younger men were discussing Cab Calloway, whom they had seen in “The Blues Brothers,” so I guess that movie was good for something! I told them about how Darnell had performed shows with Calloway and had was influenced by Calloway for his own career, and pointed them to a copy of “Fresh Fruit in Foreign Places,” which they duly picked up!

    I’ve been working on the 12″ singles collection in anticipation for that Boxed Set Of God® I’ll make one day, too! Like Echorich, I also remember the emergence of Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band [1976?] and the early emergence of Kid Creole + The Coconuts in the 1980-’81 fertile time period that saw them on Saturday Night Live for my introduction to them. By the New Pop era, I was aware that they had become quite the thing in the UK pop scene. At the time, I had no idea that there was a continuity between Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band and Kid Creole and only discovered that years later.

  8. My local library in Pittsfield, Mass had a couple of KC albums which I discovered and devoured around 1980(?) That led me to his protegé Corey Daye (sp?) who I thought equally good. KC produced and wrote many of the songs. (My judgement may have been clouded by the cover photo of Corey who was gorgeous).

  9. I still have a Coati Mundi’s “Me No Pop I” 7″ on Ze which was the first Kid Creole and the Coconuts single I heard and utterly loved. The short-lived latin/ salsa outbreak in the UK charts in 1981/ 82 was utterly down to Kid Creole but he also totally creamed the opposition and the (non) competition. There was also an unmistakable vibe of crazy sideman about Coati Mundi which informed later adherents to this role such as Baz and Flava Flav.
    They also came and played in Flicks in Kilwinning which was unbelievable! Long live August Darnell.

  10. Lanark – You nailed it! There’s no comparison between the likes of Modern Romance, Blue Rondo Ala Turk and Kid Creole! He left them all sucking wind.

  11. I hated this (Annie …) song. I think I hate it now? Disconcertingly, whether, it’s time, age or growing appreciation I saw the song performed on one of those Top of the Pops 80s repeats. I watched it all the way through. I even found myself listening more intently and paying attention to the choreography. I might need help? I just read the 3 song titles and I could sing 2 of them, internally, of course.
    Maybe Kid and his Coconuts weren’t so bad after all? Help!

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