HAIRSTYLE OF THE DEVIL

It was back in May, as part of the Scottish Songs series, that I profiled Momus while admitting I had just the one album in the collection.

My recent forays into the world of Discogs enable me to pick up the 7″ release of The Hairstyle of The Devil a single from 1989 that was released on Creation Records. The 7″ came in a plain black sleeve, and retailed at the set price of 99p. The image at the top of this post is the sleeve of the 12″.

mp3: Momus – Hairstyle of The Devil

There’s a real sense of the Pet Shop Boys at play in the music but I thought that re-producing the lyrics would give the uninitiated an idea of what Momus is all about….

She was seeing two at exactly the same time
She never mentioned you when she was round at mine
But when you were round at hers you always made a scene
‘Cause you only had ears for descriptions of the stranger she was seeing

And what she saw in me was only what attracts
The many girls I see behind their lovers’ backs
But what she saw in you, I could never work it out
There was just one thing she found it turned you on to talk about

The inexplicable charisma of the rival
You said “Describe for me the hairstyle of the devil
Is he passionate? (Don’t answer!)
Is he detached? (Don’t answer that!)
Does he please you in the sack? (Shut up, don’t answer back!)
Just tell him I’m dying to meet him”

She called me up, she said she’d had enough
Of all the paranoia you mixed up with your love
We spent the night together, she woke me up at dawn
And called an all-night taxi
And when you came I was gone

You found my comb behind her chest of drawers
She said she’d slept alone but the bed was full of hairs
And when you matched them up, beyond a shadow of a doubt
The hairs belonged the Beelzebub
And you began to puzzle out

The inexplicable charisma of the rival
You said “Describe for me the hairstyle of the devil
Does he make you laugh? (Don’t answer!)
Does he earn a lot? (Don’t answer that!)
Does he dress you up in black? (Shut up, don’t answer back!)
Just tell him I’m dying to meet him”

The inexplicable charisma of the rival
With the luck and the hairstyle of the devil

And so you gaze at the people all about
In every stranger’s face you try to make me out
And when you meet me finally your horns will lock with mine
For the beast rules with rivalry
As the clock rules with time

For the beast rules with rivalry
As the clock rules with time

For the beast rules with rivalry
As the clock rules with time

Pleased to meet you, hope you’ve guessed my name
Pleased to meet you, hope you’ve guessed my name
Pleased to meet you, hope you’ve guessed my name

Unlike Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine, who ran into all sorts of problems when After The Watershed mimicked a line from Ruby Tuesday, the lawyers for the Rolling Stones didn’t come near Momus in 1989.  The fact that the single sold in minuscule numbers is just, I’m sure, one of those coincidences that happen……

Here’s yer b-side, which judging by the crackling and popping was played more than the a-side by its original owner:-

mp3: Momus – Amongst Women Only

JC

 

6 thoughts on “HAIRSTYLE OF THE DEVIL

  1. Another great song selection, JC. I’m off to work so I will comment more later, but I have emailed TVV with a couple of extras.

  2. Big fan of the wild and sometimes wooly world of Momus. He has definitely flirted with a Pet Shop Boys sort of sound in an arch sort of way, making it very Momus. There are so many pearls among the sand and shells of his work, there is always something to discover.

  3. Not sure how a copy of this ended up in the fairly mundane record shop in Bramhall (suburb of Stockport, unless you live there in which case it’s Cheshire, darling) across the way from where I was working in 1989. The owner quickly gave it a spin as I started my weekly browse, safe in the knowledge that I would be taking it away with me. Great song – still play it regularly.

  4. Feel you on the Pet Shop Boys comparison. Maybe half as well-produced as PSBs, but ten times more interesting.

  5. I read about Momus & “Hairstyle Of The Devil” in NME or one of the other music mags, but couldn’t get hold of the single at the time. I got the “Monsters Of Love” compilation a while after and for years assumed it included the original version. In fact, it’s a remix by The Grid and ups the PSB ante even more. The 7″ & 12″ singles are the ones I listen to the most, but it’s just a damn fine song in whatever version. Momus is so prolific that it’s hard to keep up with everything – at least an album a year – but Nicholas Currie is never, ever dull. Well worth checking out the Momus website and, as Echorich mentioned in his comment on the previous Scottish Songs/Momus post, his set of Bowie covers is also pretty amazing.

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