Just as Towers of London was beginning to fall out of the charts a very peculiar decision was made regards the next single in November 1980.
A film called Times Square had just been released. It was not a critical or commercial success and you can read about it here. It’s not one I imagine many people can recall.
The film was accompanied by a 2xLP of 20 songs with what was mostly a mix of new wave and chart acts, mainly from the UK but also featuring NYC acts such as Talking Heads and The Ramones, and as part of the efforts to promote the movie and the soundtrack it was decided to issue a 7″ single. The tracks chosen were by XTC and The Ruts. The strange thing being that the XTC song was one that wasn’t available anywhere else while The Ruts effort had been a Top 10 hit only a year or so previously.
That it was released while the band were in the middle of their efforts to promote Black Sea seems baffling but then again it was a track that had been given to the film project some time previously and neither XTC nor Virgin Records were in charge of the timing of the release of Times Square.
The single was a flop. It’s not the band’s finest moment and was also out of step with much of the material on their new LP, albeit there was a hint of the ‘whistling’ that had helped make Generals and Majors such an enjoyable tune.
Worth saying that the song by The Ruts is still one of the best songs of the immediate post-punk era.