The only previous occasion that Bow Wow Wow have appeared on this blog was in April 2015 when I had this look back at their biggest hit single, Go Wild In The Country. I was pleasantly surprised at the level of positive feedback and this posting has been inspired by the comment left behind at that time by postpunkmonk:-

I am comfortable with all phases of Bow Wow Wow’s career. First of all, the former Ants were just outstanding! The rhythm section was powerful and accomplished and Matthew Ashman’s guitar tone was fluid and rich. When the band were fronts for McLaren’s philosophical japes they were visceral yet fascinating. “W.O.R.K.,” especially in its 12″ form was a powerhouse of a groove, and remains my favorite BWW tune…..

W.O.R.K. was the band’s second single, released in March 1981, when it reached #62, a bit of a disappointment given that the debut C-30, C-60, C-90, Go had reached the Top 40 and Malcolm McLaren was in full hype mode. I’ve dug out the 12″ tracks:-

mp3 : Bow Wow Wow – W.O.R.K. (No Nah! No! No! No! My Daddy Don’t)

It is incredibly energetic, driven along by frantic drumming and chanting, not forgetting the slaps applied to the bass guitar.

Fun fact….the producer on this occasion was Alan Tarney who the previous year had written and produced the ultra-smooth We Don’t Talk Anymore, a #1 hit for Cliff Richard. In later years, he would be on production duties as a-ha enjoyed a period of chart dominance in the mid 80s.

The b-side was a lingual re-working of the debut single:-

mp3 : Bow Wow Wow – C-30, C-60, C-90 Anda!

Consider yourselves educated!!!


4 thoughts on “W.O.R.K.

  1. BWW were terribly underrated. I suppose it was hard not to make a big deal about an over-sexualized 14-year old front girl, but the band were just outstanding. Killer drummer playing 100 toms and a choked snare, versatile guitarist and super funky bassist. Very few acts to compare them to. Wish I’d seen them live.

  2. I totally love this single but hate the pink swastika cover. More of Malc being “difficult” or am I just seeing things? but I’m right there with JTFL. The band were immense and made it all work.

  3. A great band unfortunately afflicted by McLaren. They had a most distinctive sound: a big, bold, brash danceable mash-up that the band deserve credit for.

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