aka The Vinyl Villain incorporating Sexy Loser

#009 – The Bodysnatchers – ‚Ruder Than You’ (Chrysalis Records, ’80)


Hello friends,

first of all I would like to thank you for all the comments on Blancmange and B-Movie in particular, but ultimately I am of course grateful for every comment that comes in – it shows me that this series isn’t completely useless. It’s interesting though, isn’t it, that especially the two last episodes have struck a chord with so many people. I mean, both featured rather ‘eupeptic’ music: which normally is nothing that the usual reader of this blog would fancy by and large.

But there you are, I’m happy of course. And if I were clever, I would not change this winning horse and continue in some similar reader-friendly vein. But no, today we are back with some Ska again. Or some Rocksteady, to be precise. ‘Oh no, not again!’, I hear you cry, but for those of you who never read the first post: the singles come in alphabetical order, there is no clever segue in one form or another. So I am contractually obliged to follow with this line, I’m afraid:

The Bodysnatchers often get a bit neglected when it comes to the ‘big’ names within 2 Tone. Everyone knows The Specials, The Selecter, The Beat and Madness. But who could name one of the four tunes The Bodysnatchers did back then? Not many of you, I’m sure. And this is a mistake, believe me!

The combo did indeed consist of seven girls, as the below sleeve (of my German pressing) suggests. Alas, they weren’t septuplets, as on the sleeve, now, that would have been awesome!!

The story, well, goes as it so often goes: Fruit seller Nicky Summers saw The Specials and was so hooked that she recruited a civil servant, a fashion designer, a lifeguard, a secretary, a freelance illustrator and a schoolgirl. Together they formed a band, the fact that some of them could barely play their instruments and others couldn’t play them at all didn’t hinder them in learning to play as they went along

Rhoda Dakar Vocals

Nicky Summers Bass

Stella Barker Rhythm Guitar

Sarah-Jane Owen Lead Guitar

Pennie Leyton Keyboards

Jane Summers * Drums

Miranda Joyce Saxophone

* later replaced by Judy Parsons

The Bodysnatchers got their first gigs in 1979 and started with covering some old Rocksteady tunes, ‘007’, ‘Monkey Spanner’ and ‘Let’s Do Rock Steady’, the Dandy Livingstone number. The latter then became the A-Side of their first single, issued on the Two-Tone Label in the following year. The B-Side though was an original Bodysnatchers-composition, and as brilliant the A-Side is, I always preferred the B-Side:



mp3 : The Bodysnatchers – Ruder Than You

They had a second single in 1980, ‘Easy Life’ (a tune of theirs) with ‘Too Experienced’ (a Winston Francis cover) on the flipside. And that, much to my dismay, was the end: an album never saw the light of day, although I’m sure it would have been a massive corker. The Bodysnatchers disbanded in October of 1980, but their career in music was not over: Rhoda and Nicky had intended to work together after the split but the idea came to nothing while four other band members found some success in the form of The Belle Stars: Stella, Miranda, Sarah-Jane and Judy. Quite often they used old Bodysnatchers-numbers in their repertoire, so did Rhoda a bit later in her collaboration with Jerry Dammers under the Special AKA – moniker together with the original Specials’ leftovers.

You see, every day is a school day, as they say. Then again I don’t care if you learned something today or not. For me, the only thing that counts is if you have enjoyed the song.

And by God, I do hope you did!!

Take care,


10 thoughts on “ONE HUNDRED AND ELEVEN SINGLES : #009

  1. While I would have gone with “Easy Life” which I think was their best number, just that they show up here is something.
    I agree that had they put out an album it would have been a corker. I have to say that when I found out what kind of musical tyros they were, it amazed me that they could have put out two such stellar 45s.
    I had such high hopes for the Belle Stars when I heard that it was comprised of most of the ‘snatchers, sadly it was not the talented ones, judging by how flat that album was. Or maybe it was just that the original members had a synergy that just couldn’t be replicated.

  2. I remember going down this rabbit hole when I got my copy of This Are Two Tone. All the usual suspects except this one band I’d never heard of. What a nice discovery. Would love to find these 45s one day (though I doubt they will be at a price I’m comfortable with…)

  3. It’s nice to be re-introduced to a song that I probably haven’t heard since it’s release. The naivety is the first thing that struck me but then original rocksteady/ska, in my opinion, is naive and all the better for it.

    I was unaware of only two singles and no LP or if ever aware I’ve be forgotten. I wish I could forget The Belle Stars.

    To overlap on Insane Cost of Vinyl series the singles can be bought for under £20. It’s still a lot of money but less than I thought they’d go for.

  4. Like Eric , I first came across these on This Are Two Tone. Another good choice/single. Poor old Belle Stars aren’t well remembered but I always liked Sign Of The Times – still do.

  5. Always a sure way to put a smile on the morning face with a little bit of rock steady! Great tune, I confess to the group of not-aware – but I do remember Sign Of The Times by Belle Stars being appreciated at the time. Haven’t heard it in ages, need to look it up again.

  6. Can’t remember if I heard this song before. But I agree it’s definitely better than the A-side. Nice one, Dirk!

  7. My favourite and most played album for many years was Dance Craze, the early Two-Tone story soundtrack. Featuring Specials, Selecter, Madness, Bad Manners and The Beat, plus Easy Life by The Bodysnatchers, just brilliant. I have this Rocksteady single as well, although with the standard issue Two-Tone paper sleeve.

    I also have the VHS of the Dance Craze movie which I see (as announced yesterday coincidentally) has been restored and Is on a limited UK cinema release later this month.

  8. A good song. With a tendency to very good rather than satisfactory.

    I’ve met “Ruder Than You” twice so far. For one thing, it’s part of the “Make More Noise!” compilation that I got myself a few years ago (I didn’t unpack it because I want to sell it for double the price, but listened to all the songs on Youtube). And second, it’s part of one of my favorite mixes (“Here Come The Girls”).

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