The Girls Of 120 Minutes

Let’s be honest for a moment, shall we?  One of the reasons we boys who got into weird music and the bad haircuts associated with said music was we hoped to attract the fairer sex.  We weren’t like the jocks or the freaks or Steff from Pretty in Pink.   No, we were sensitive sorts, unafraid of hairspray, mascara, and shopping for the perfect vintage jacket.  And though generations to come will undoubtedly thank us for opening exploratory holes in the ozone layer as a result of sculpting our hair to Daniel Ash-like perfection, we can tell them that we did it in the name of love.  Or at least in the name of horniness.

Being honest for a moment further, one of the reasons we watched 120 Minutes was in hopes of catching a glimpse of one of the few lovely lasses who tickled our eardrums with their musical mysticism and dreamy hairdos.  All week long, MTV was saturated with the likes of Madonna, Tina Turner, Pat Benatar,and Bonnie Tyler.  But for two hours every week, there was a chance we got to see the girls we found attractive.  Tina Turner may have had awesome legs for someone old enough to be your mom.  But she was no Siouxsie Sioux.

Siouxsie was no less than a goddess.  A siren.  From the hardcore punks and goths to the posiest poseurs, male and female alike all adored Siouxsie.  The look was so original and striking.  The voice was not of this earth.  And the Banshees actually made great music for nearly a decade before becoming merely OK.  I saw them several times, including once in the ’90s when they had long past their sell-by date and they were always good.

It took me a while to warm up to the Cocteau Twins.  At first, I struggled with the ethereal quality of the production.  I could tell there were interesting things going on with the guitar, which intrigued me.  But it sounded like someone poured honey on the master tapes, which annoyed me.  I eventually fell in love with Elizabeth Fraser’s voice, which everyone I knew at the time had done to varying degrees.  It’s a voice you can live in and I think she’s only gotten better over the years.

Now, genuine eggheads will stroke their beards in disdain over the fact that the above video for Lush’s “De-Luxe” is not the original 4AD version.  To which I say, congratulations.  You have earned your Genuine 4AD Egghead badge.  But this is the version I remember from 120 Minutes.  I remember it because I wore out the VHS tape I recorded it on.  I was completely and totally smitten with Miki.  And I was in love with the entire De-Luxe album.  There wasn’t a bad song on it.  I went to see them live fully expecting to be disappointed, but they were incredible.  They sounded great and they rocked.

She’s demeure.  She’s tough.  She’s cute!  Ahh, Tracy Tracy from The Primitives.  It is with no small amount of shame that I admit to buying this record when it came out.  It was fun, catchy, crunchy pop that sounded good on my babyshit brown 1980 Ford Fairmont’s cruddy speakers on a hot summer day.  The music was disposable, but Tracy was adorable.

From the first time I heard The Sugarcubes, I knew there was something special about their strange, alluring female lead vocalist.  Did anyone like the male singer?  Anyway, hers was a voice to be reckoned with, a genuine instrument played by a fearless artist.  But I don’t think anyone could have guessed that Björk would become Björk.

So, ladies, I salute you.  Thank you for the music and late Sunday night eye candy.


1 Comment

Filed under 120 Minutes, Music, Sound + Vision

One response to “The Girls Of 120 Minutes

  1. Rawsco

    Nice article. It’s really easy to forget that 80’s music didn’t just pop up out of nowhere. But it did have a very long transition from 70’s glam rock and punk to finally arrive at the distinct anxious and cathartic sound, mood, and look of the likes of Siouxsie. I didn’t know much of the other artists mentioned here. Although, I was working in a record store (back when there were record stores) when The Sugarcubes came out and I was just struck by their sound. It felt and sounded like something I’d been waiting for. I still prefer them to Bjork solo. I haven’t found her music as fun and interesting, I think, as say “Delicious Demon”. And by then, the 80’s were over.

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