The Associates: Have the years been kind?

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Having recently bought (and fallen in love with) the Associates' album 'Sulk', I realised I have absolutely no idea how I'd come to have heard of them, as they're never mentioned by anybody, not even in 80's retrospectives. So, the question is essentially do they deserve to have been almost written out of pop history?

DG, Monday, 1 January 2001 01:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

Certainly not. The Asscoiates were the band that took music to another plane back in the eighties ... the recent reissues of 'Sulk', 'Fourth Drawer Down' and the new compliation 'Double Hipness' should only remind or belatedly introduce the world of/to MacKenzie and Rankine's supreme legacy.

Guy Flower, Tuesday, 2 January 2001 01:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

Some of the press (Uncut) wrote about them again after Billy's death, but yeah, generally they've been ignored, except for those tedious 'maverick genius' space-filler articles which crop up from time to time. (You know the ones - they always mention Ian Curtis, Nick Drake, Jeff + Tim Buckley, Lee Mavers etc etc)

I reckon their best work is on the early singles compliation 'Fourth Drawer Down'. Amazingly each track is completely different from the rest ('White Car in Germany' ' Message Oblique Speech' 'Tell me Easter's on Friday', 'Kitchen Person' - each sounds like nothing else you've ever heard, yet after the first ten seconds could ONLY be by The Associates. I'm not all that fond of Sulk, mainly because they've ditched some of the experimentation. I don't really like the glacial, brittle production that they've used across the whole album. I respect the fact that they've gone for an extreme sound, It just doesn't work for me.

The Associates required you to enter their world to enjoy their music, not always easy, but worth the effort.

Dr. C

Dr. C, Wednesday, 3 January 2001 01:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

From my point of view the years have certainly been kind - what may well have sounded ridiculous (intentionally so) at the time sounds grand and playful now: a possible exception being "Breakfast", love it though I do.

I'd go against the grain of the good Doctor - I find the first two CDs much harder going than "Sulk" - rewarding to be sure but still tough ("White Car In Germany" though is tremendous with no equivocation). "Sulk" though sparkles - I love the 'glacial' production and the hysteria of it all. And "Party Fears Two" is one of those handful of singles I occasionally get worked up about and pronounce "THIS IS THE GREATEST SINGLE OF ALL TIME" which means in that instant it least, it is.

Tom, Wednesday, 3 January 2001 01:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

Do they deserve it? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Exchange the relative fame level of the Associates with U2 and the world would be a happier place. I couldn't imagine the Associates inspiring Creed, for one thing, and we'd all be better off.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 3 January 2001 01:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

Don't forget that Sulk was a Melody Maker Album of the Year. So they were critical awarded at the time.

Also in 1999, Uncut, Simon Reynolds reviewed the reissues and highly praised the ambition of Associates music. These reissues made album of the month feature in Uncut.

Associates along with Cabaret Voltaire will be remembered for many years to come.

Also I think their should be a national curriculum for kids in Secondary schools to sample the more creative pop and rock acts of the past years, then they would have a greater understanding of the context of interesting music.

The Associates would be on this curriculum.

DJ Martian, Wednesday, 3 January 2001 01:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

Martian, I'm going to forward your post to the Daily Telegraph, and bribe them into printing it, just for the pleasure of seeing the letters that will doubtless follow :).

Oh, and "Party Fears Two" *is* the greatest single of all time. One of the five, anyway.

Robin Carmody, Saturday, 6 January 2001 01:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

two months pass...
I was 18 in the summer of 1982. "Party Fears Two" was part of the soundtrack of that summer. And I was living it in DUNDEE. I've had some unhappy times since then, but I'll remember that wonderful year and the part that the music of the Associates played in it forever. Whenever I listen to Sulk I'm 18 again and the world is full of opportunities that I never eventually took up

The Associates WILL be remembered long after some of today's POPSTARS are long forgotten.

Big Al, Sunday, 1 April 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

I remember being played the 12" of 'Party Fears Two' and my jaw dropping at its audacity - I wouldn't trust anyone who dislikes The Associates - 'Sulk' is a classic.

Geordie Racer, Sunday, 1 April 2001 00:00 (twenty-two years ago) link

three months pass...
*SIGH* The Associates are a band I've tried VERY hard to like. After reading about the reissues in several magazines, I was instantly sold and went out and bought Sulk. I've had this album for about a year now and I still can't get past track 2. Okay, I've flipped around a bit, but still nothing. Maybe the voice is just a little too 'flighty' for me. I don't really know. I just can't get past that voice.

JC, Friday, 20 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Hey! It's My First Thread! But anyway, whilst people are (possibly) paying attention, I pulled this from a Billy Mackenzie tribute site:
"WEA are in the planning stages at the moment pencilled in now for May/June 2001 is a double CD package,'The Glamour Chase' and 'Perhaps' available for first time on CD and there is also talk of hopefully a Rarities and possible 'Live at Ronnie Scotts', this is still early days!"
Does anyone know anything about this, as as far as I am aware this hasn't happened.

DG, Friday, 20 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Hey, "Party Fears Two" is one of the most fun songs of all time to (try to) sing along to. Please enlighten the non-Brits among us as to how the press treated Billy's death and his oeuvre. Did anyone note his great fashion sense--oh, yes, and the mad genius of "Sulk"?

X. Y. Zedd, Saturday, 21 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

'Sulk' still sounds fresh to me; 'Party Fears Two' delirious, manic, beautiful and poignant. Something profoundly honest in Billy's voice during that song, unease and self-doubt amidst all that vocal flamboyance.

But, like most of us i suspect, for all the genuine affection I have for 'Sulk' I have nothing else by the Associates or the late Billy Mackenzie. Any recommendations?

stevo, Saturday, 21 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Which of today's POPSTARS did Big Al have in mind: I will never forget Kym Marsh and Mylene Klass?

DG: I have seen this record you mention, I'm sure: in Tower or Virgin... Check Amazon (or somewhere...)

mark s, Saturday, 21 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

I did, and once again was disappointed. I think you saw something else, Mark.

DG, Sunday, 22 July 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

three weeks pass...
question how did billy die?

amanda jane turnock, Saturday, 18 August 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

My memory has gone painfully blank. Was it an overdose?

"Club Country" on TOTP2 just now *unbelievably* awesome: the sort of thing that justifies these mostly tedious clip shows in one transcendent moment.

Robin Carmody, Saturday, 18 August 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Wasn't he found hanging in his mother's garden shed?

Dr. C, Sunday, 19 August 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

I believe he took an overdose in the garden shed at his parents house. As for TOTP2 -NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I missed it!

DG, Sunday, 19 August 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

I think my video obsessed flatmate still has it on tape. I'll rummage around the pile of About A Boy video recyclage and drop you a line if it's still there.

Richard Tunnicliffe, Sunday, 19 August 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

I'd like to hereby retract my previous thought on the Associates made on July 20th.

I was wrong...boy was I EVER wrong.

JC, Monday, 20 August 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

I agree, The Associates are one of the forgotten bands of the 80's but for people who really remember, (not just the sub-celebrities they use on these nostalgia-trip TV shows, reading from scripts), they were one of the best. If I could just bottle the feeling I had when catching them on some long forgotten late night chat show, around 81, doing Party Fears Two and Skipping,...well anyone who's heard those tracks must know.

I think The Associates did 4 albums in total, the last was after Rankine left. In fact they did a complete re-mix of their first LP and re-released it, anyone remeber that, it wasn't a patch on the original though.

Rodger Kerslake, Wednesday, 22 August 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

I'm just a stoopid italian, but I think ASSOCIATES was the most intriguing and intelligent oblique pop music band of our century, SULK is an absolute masterpiece and bands as Pulp, Cousteau and - maybe - Stereolab have memorized tracks as 'Skipping', 'Nude spoons euphoria' and 'It's better this way' in their Dna. Of course 'Party fears two' was the Everest of pop singles, hard to sing for a fucking mortal but with a contagious butterfly melody spreading across the world. I Love this perfection.

Mic, Wednesday, 5 September 2001 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

two months pass...
still keep an original 'Sulk' musicassette in the car. play it to bits.Probably the album I've listened to the most EVER....

dave, Saturday, 17 November 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

three weeks pass...
No, but to hell with history and received wisdom. Y'all wanna know what makes Sulk such a fabulous album? The drums. A drum kit constructed out of snare drums only! How cool is that?

Ramon Mayor, Sunday, 9 December 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Why didn't I see this thread before?

Of course, Rankine-era Associates are one of the all-time GRATES.

Am I a fhoul for feeling that "Club Country" looms large over "Party Fears Two"?

Andy K., Sunday, 9 December 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

No. I'm coming to feel the same.

Robin Carmody, Monday, 10 December 2001 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

one month passes...
having stumbled upon the associates quite by accident, i can honestly say, yes, the years have been kind. i believe i "borrowed" a cassette copy of sulk in the early 90's and i have loved it ever since. i can also recommend the compilation "popera" for the associate neophyte. am i the only one who is genuinely fond of billy's later output including the faux-human league-melodrama of "waiting for the love boat" or the entire first side of the LP "wild and lonely"? also. i suggest you pick up the biography "glamor chase" for the gory details.

Stephen Dixon, Tuesday, 22 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

dave lee travis said he wish billy mckenzie, marc almond and kevin roland form a band together and let us know their tour dates so we can avoid them. he was a bitter man.

XStatic Peace, Tuesday, 22 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Wild and Lonely was gloopy fluff for the most part, I think. Great voice, terrible arrangements, alas!

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 22 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

i still have that "the 80s" thing that the late show did (3 hours on new years eve 1989) which was a fun retrospective of 80s music. (They were ahead of their time with nostalgia -- eat your heart out "i wuv the X0s"), and they do feature on it in the "Barking Mad" section alongside Grace Jones. it's a bit over-watched now and a bit blurry, but still fun from time to time.

Alan Trewartha, Tuesday, 22 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Though there has been a lot of interest in Sulk era Associates, I think I slightly prefered the post-punk era of the first album and the 12"s that ended up on 4th Drawer. Monoproperty Girl is their best song. Are their any live recordings from the early period?

Alexander Blair, Tuesday, 22 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link


Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 22 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

There's the Associates there - um, yes, that's right, the Associates with "Party Fears Two" which I think is really a silly pompous title for a song really, I mean why can't they do a good straightforward song title like "Classic" or "Censors Working Overtime", telling us exactly what they're thinking? And I bet they support the whingeing Labour Party and the nurses who take our lives into their hands with their arrogance that they want to get paid more than the newsagent down the road from my home in Cheam with the scary Alsatian, oh, what a bore, remember nurses, IF YOU DON'T WORK, WE DON'T WORK!!! More great Radio 1 pop music coming up after the news with the Goombay Hermes House, erm, Dance Band ...

Hairy Cockflake, Tuesday, 22 January 2002 01:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

four months pass...
I only just heard of the Associates but have known their work for sometime ever since I first heard the jingly goodness of Party Fears Two, which was endlessly repeated during the end credits of Radio 4's "Weekending" show for most of the 80s and early 90s.

I was pestering people in the office by humming the tune to see if anybody knew what it was but nobody knew. Then just the other day they played it on advert for the CD "Alternative Eighties" so I had to buy it. Now my mind is at rest! Strange CD, mind.

Zooty McFrooty, Wednesday, 29 May 2002 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

Since this has come up again, let me say (again) just how amazing the demos album 'Double Hipness' is.

Dr. C, Wednesday, 29 May 2002 00:00 (twenty-one years ago) link

ten months pass...
i've had kitchen person buzzing around my brain for two days now

gaz (gaz), Wednesday, 9 April 2003 02:52 (twenty years ago) link

five months pass...
I needed something, I was at a loss, I decided now was the time for Sulk. "No" stalking and floating out of my speaker like a delirious revenant and all is again right with the world.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 22 September 2003 03:51 (nineteen years ago) link

i might play it when i get home too

gaz (gaz), Monday, 22 September 2003 04:01 (nineteen years ago) link

just some info for hardcore associates fans: there's two spanish bands, hidrogenesse and astrud (actually their whole label, that are completely fond of billy mckenzie's music and vocal style, and they do it really well and get a new sound out of their tribute to the associates. i absolutely recommend it to all.

joan vich (joan vich), Monday, 22 September 2003 11:49 (nineteen years ago) link

Anyone got a take on Glamour Chase, which indeed found its release last year?

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Monday, 22 September 2003 13:33 (nineteen years ago) link

"The Glamour Chase" was well worth the wait - even if the impact of it was inevitably dulled from hearing various MP3s over the last few years.

It's probably a better album than "Wild & Lonely", but probably less than essential if you've already got the Rankine-era albums.

I seem to remember that there is still supposed to be another album's worth of unreleased Boris Blank collaborations. That must be the last of the releasable stuff in the vaults.

With regard to the posthumous releases, I would have prefered "Smile"-esque compilations of the Winter Academy and Outerpol albums, as opposed to the scattershot approach of "Beyond The Sun" et al.

BTW, I've still got a sealed copy of the deleted "Eurocentric" if anyone is after it.

Marcel Gallingez (Marcel Gallingez), Monday, 22 September 2003 15:24 (nineteen years ago) link

Eurocentric, that was his solo album followup to Wild and Lonely? I am definitely interested...

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 22 September 2003 15:38 (nineteen years ago) link

Do you mean like this. I'd love one, but I have mouths to feed.

Billy Dods (Billy Dods), Monday, 22 September 2003 16:43 (nineteen years ago) link


Didn't realise it was already worth £130. At this rate it's going to overtake my other two 'nest egg' records (Radiohead's "Drill" EP (vinyl) and XTC's "Wrapped in Grey" CD single).

Ned, you might be confusing "Eurocentric" with "Outernational" - Billy's only 'proper' solo album, released in 1992. I've got one of those as well, but it's far too good to sell...

Marcel Gallingez (Marcel Gallingez), Monday, 22 September 2003 17:32 (nineteen years ago) link

Ah, clarity is mine. :-)

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 22 September 2003 17:36 (nineteen years ago) link

one month passes...
i have had 4th drawer down burnt for months, and after spending all of that time trying to parse the music, i realized i have no idea what the lyrics mean at all. i have found a website with the the actual words, which has made the music seem even more cryptic to me.

it still sounds fresh as hell to my ears btw.

Aaron Grossman (aajjgg), Wednesday, 29 October 2003 05:49 (nineteen years ago) link

actually not all of the songs are frustrating, but explain "property girl" if you can. "no managerial talks"?

Aaron Grossman (aajjgg), Wednesday, 29 October 2003 06:07 (nineteen years ago) link

i happened to hear "tell me easter's on friday" for the first time the other week, on a compilation tape. i've been completely in love with it ever since, so i'll definitely try to pick up an associates album before long.

Justyn Dillingham (Justyn Dillingham), Wednesday, 29 October 2003 06:17 (nineteen years ago) link

i am thinking that at this point, it seems the most essential are:
1. Fourth Drawer Down
2. Sulk
3. Radio One Sessions Volume One

all remastered in the last three years.

Aaron Grossman (aajjgg), Wednesday, 29 October 2003 06:19 (nineteen years ago) link

my theory which is mine: they slid a little out of institutional memory bcz they didn't generate much good writing (morley's is mostly the fizz of his high enthusiasm and plus no great music writer is patchier anyway lol) and they didn't generate much good writing bcz they're very hard to write about -- and *that's a mark of how good they are*

i don't think musicality is ineffable but i do think it's highly evasive and that we often write abt anything but (even when it looks like we're doing striahgt-up musicology) and musicians that slip this leash are worth paying attention to precisely bcz of the challenge they present

mark s, Friday, 2 September 2022 12:43 (eight months ago) link

thread that garnered few non-baffled responses lol:
Can a music matter if its fans don't especially want to read about it?

mark s, Friday, 2 September 2022 12:44 (eight months ago) link

i'll have a drink and then not phone my brother up

seo layer (Noodle Vague), Friday, 2 September 2022 12:46 (eight months ago) link

bap de la bap!

mark s, Friday, 2 September 2022 12:50 (eight months ago) link

The first two records are a good example of how baffling experiencing them in real time must have been. Can’t think of a stylistic evolution quite like going from The Affectionate Punch to the Fourth Drawer Down singles to Sulk in only two years. And they are all magnificent!

I love Perhaps but McKenzie and Rankine were a real team.

sweating like Cathy *aaaack* (Boring, Maryland), Friday, 2 September 2022 13:33 (eight months ago) link

Paperhouse haunts me, such a beautiful tune. Love Billy’s scat breakdown at the end, lest it get too majestic.

sweating like Cathy *aaaack* (Boring, Maryland), Friday, 2 September 2022 13:35 (eight months ago) link

sund4r being very extremely wrong abt the associates has an upside: i have been listening to them all day

Excellent approach. And yeah, very hard to write about. I've done my best over time but it's hard to approach the ineffable, really.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 2 September 2022 14:57 (eight months ago) link

"my theory which is mine: they slid a little out of institutional memory bcz they didn't generate much good writing (morley's is mostly the fizz of his high enthusiasm and plus no great music writer is patchier anyway lol) and they didn't generate much good writing bcz they're very hard to write about -- and *that's a mark of how good they are*"

The second part is a very good point. I grew up listening to a lot of music that simply wasn't written about, because what was there to say about it? How could the typical NME / Melody Maker writer cover Lifeforms or 76:14? What would they say? "It sounds good and I like the noises". A bit of Googling suggests that Melody Maker really liked 76:13, but my hunch is that whatever coverage it had was dwarfed, utterly dwarfed - that's not offensive, by the way - dwarfed by the same newspaper's coverage of Martin Rossiter, because he was good for a quote and his lyrics could be unpicked. He worked on the page.

But I disagree with the first point, because I don't think pop music writing really translates into a legacy. Viz Martin Rossiter, who isn't written about nowadays. There has to be at least a couple of crowd-pleasing hits. Bands develop a legacy because their music catches the ear of people on the radio and before long "Weather With You" and "Somewhere in My Heart" are radio staples, because they're crowd-pleasing hits. Or alternatively they develop a following on YouTube.

The Associates' problem is that they had a particular style. Their songs have a swoopy, almost jazzy feel. They don't have punchy, simple melodies, they feel tailored for McKenzie's voice, so they swoop. That's the best word I can think of. Their singles (I'm not familiar with the albums) have swoopy, meandering melodies, which is great because it's unexpected but doesn't lend itself to penetrating people's skulls.

Ashley Pomeroy, Friday, 2 September 2022 22:02 (eight months ago) link

Alan Rankine did a really good C86 show interview a few months back

Stevolende, Friday, 2 September 2022 23:31 (eight months ago) link

Can I point out here that the Associates did actually have hit singles. And "Sulk" was a Top 10 album.

Buckfast At Tiffany's (Tom D.), Friday, 2 September 2022 23:56 (eight months ago) link

Despite everything that's ever been written, Perhaps is a blindingly good album

PaulTMA, Saturday, 3 September 2022 00:23 (eight months ago) link

I started listening to The Associates because of sreynolds' Rip It Up and Start Again, but I don't remember what he wrote there that made them sound so compelling.

eatandoph (Neue Jesse Schule), Saturday, 3 September 2022 01:51 (eight months ago) link

Lol, glad to inspire a revive. Tbf I only heard one song once in the context of a thread about a different band.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Saturday, 3 September 2022 01:58 (eight months ago) link

Go & Listen to the first 3 lps . Especially the 2nd 2 I think.
Sulk is so great, 4th Drawer Down hangs together pretty well for a compilation of singles tracks.
& the first one is pretty fantastic too. Just difficult to rival Sulk cos that is something else.
& everything got expanded a couple of years ago.

Stevolende, Saturday, 3 September 2022 08:37 (eight months ago) link

But there are Van der Graaf records.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Saturday, 3 September 2022 11:57 (eight months ago) link

I always flick between Sulk and Fourth Drawer Down as favourite. And seemingly so does everyone I know.

you can see me from westbury white horse, Saturday, 3 September 2022 13:11 (eight months ago) link

I prefer the first album but, then, you don't know me.

Buckfast At Tiffany's (Tom D.), Saturday, 3 September 2022 13:24 (eight months ago) link

arent you tom d of ilx?

mark s, Saturday, 3 September 2022 13:40 (eight months ago) link

That's just a nasty rumour.

Buckfast At Tiffany's (Tom D.), Saturday, 3 September 2022 13:45 (eight months ago) link

First album is amazing, it arouses emotions in me that I didn’t know I had.

sweating like Cathy *aaaack* (Boring, Maryland), Saturday, 3 September 2022 15:47 (eight months ago) link

Associates are not so far from a glam/post-punk Peter Hammill/VDGG - complex melodies, dramatic vocals, harsh textures, creating a "sound-world" as much as a band performance:

What I said in another thread about Killing Joke combining sardonic attitude with hysteria applies to this band too, with an extra dash of camp.

Halfway there but for you, Saturday, 3 September 2022 18:19 (eight months ago) link

three weeks pass...

I think my favorite moment of theirs may be the close to Skipping where Rankine is playing that glacial roller rink synthesizer line and Billy just starts belting out “SKIP SKIP/SKIP SKIP SKIP /SKIP SKIP/SKIP SKIP SKIP /SKIPPING!?!?” It literally gives me chills.

Naive Teen Idol, Saturday, 24 September 2022 19:16 (eight months ago) link

The four chords they repeat at the end of the song are like a stairway rising up into nowhere.

Halfway there but for you, Monday, 26 September 2022 17:15 (eight months ago) link

three weeks pass...

Cleaning house to The Affectionate Punch🧼🕺

willem, Friday, 21 October 2022 13:48 (seven months ago) link

cleaning Paper House?

dan selzer, Friday, 21 October 2022 14:07 (seven months ago) link

Don't forget to clean the mattress downstairs full of brown peppered holes.

Fronted by a bearded Phil Collins (Tom D.), Friday, 21 October 2022 14:10 (seven months ago) link

Cleaning house to _The Affectionate Punch_🧼🕺

Sad to see that you're suffering, work hard at being a something.

big movers, hot steppers + long shaker intros (breastcrawl), Friday, 21 October 2022 14:14 (seven months ago) link

wrong album obv, and also just an affectionate punch

big movers, hot steppers + long shaker intros (breastcrawl), Friday, 21 October 2022 14:15 (seven months ago) link

Don't forget to tidy up the fourth drawer down.

giraffe, Friday, 21 October 2022 14:20 (seven months ago) link

Amused as always by y'all ❤️

willem, Friday, 21 October 2022 14:29 (seven months ago) link

After all the cleaning, you'll be sweaty and dirty so you'll have a shower...

Ned Raggett, Friday, 21 October 2022 14:53 (seven months ago) link

zed is the black sheep of the alphabet.

wait am I doing this right?

dan selzer, Friday, 21 October 2022 16:27 (seven months ago) link

Are you cleaning your property girl?

Lord Pickles (Boring, Maryland), Friday, 21 October 2022 22:52 (seven months ago) link

two months pass...

Just read that Alan Rankine died yesterday.

PaulTMA, Tuesday, 3 January 2023 13:00 (four months ago) link

Yeah, news spreading rapidly. A damn shame, too young and he was such a vocal supporter of the band’s legacy and Billy’s genius. So strange to think that the remaining core musicians that created _Sullk_ are Michael Dempsey and Martha Ladly.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 3 January 2023 13:55 (four months ago) link

On FB a few years ago, there were some whisperings that he and Dempsey were considering a tour with another singer, possibly David McAlmont. Clearly nothing came of it, but I would have been OK with checking it out.

PaulTMA, Tuesday, 3 January 2023 14:43 (four months ago) link

It would have made a lovely tribute show, and McAlmont did work with Mackenzie in the years before the latter's passing. Ah well.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 3 January 2023 15:12 (four months ago) link

Oh fuck no! RIP Alan, thanks for the beautiful music

o shit the sheriff (NickB), Tuesday, 3 January 2023 17:09 (four months ago) link

RIP Alan Rankine, creator of amongst the most joyous magnificent pop music of all time.

No Associates = No Ladytron.


— Ladytron (@LadytronMusic) January 3, 2023

StanM, Tuesday, 3 January 2023 18:34 (four months ago) link

very, very sad news. lots of people i know locally were taught by him and all, without exception, found him an incredibly inspiring human being. he'd really go above and beyond to help people out.

stirmonster, Tuesday, 3 January 2023 22:52 (four months ago) link

I heard a couple of pretty great podcast interviews with Rankine a few months ago. I think this was one of them, think there was at least one other

would have been great to get a memoir from him.

Did love his instrument playing on the Associates material. Wish there was more elsewhere, not sure if his solo material was anywhere near as good. He seemed to touch on Krautrock among a number of other things in the textures on that Associates stuff anyway

Stevolende, Tuesday, 3 January 2023 23:23 (four months ago) link

would have been great to get a memoir from him.

he was quite often a 'talking head' on scottish televsion music programmes and always had the best stories.

he was also such a phenomenal producer and i wonder if he was the first person in the world ever to distort an 808 kick drum?

stirmonster, Tuesday, 3 January 2023 23:40 (four months ago) link

as much as i loved billy's voice, their eponymous instrumental was always a favourite of mine. what a great chuggy groove:

o shit the sheriff (NickB), Wednesday, 4 January 2023 00:07 (four months ago) link

yes! so great! one of my fave 12"s ever.

stirmonster, Wednesday, 4 January 2023 00:26 (four months ago) link

Having only discovered the Associates and Billy McKenzie a few years ago (one of those, why didn’t I discover them sooner things) this is sad. Rankine and McKenzie were such a great team.

Lord Pickles (Boring, Maryland), Wednesday, 4 January 2023 01:16 (four months ago) link

Hey, never too late to realize how great they were.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 4 January 2023 02:11 (four months ago) link

I only discovered them a few years ago on a documentary about 80s scottish music. Sulk is by far my favorite thing by them and I really wish it could have kept going with that lineup. Will watch the Glamour Chase documentary soon and hope I can track down his solo albums someday.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 7 January 2023 18:43 (four months ago) link

Do they appear in the recent book Hungry Beat oral history thing on Scottish independent music. Presumably must do. I think the Pop Group do but had a very short look at the book.

Stevolende, Saturday, 7 January 2023 18:48 (four months ago) link

Very briefly.

dan selzer, Saturday, 7 January 2023 21:17 (four months ago) link

four months pass...

BA Robertson is so fucking weird.

MaresNest, Thursday, 18 May 2023 22:31 (one week ago) link

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