On the back of the Steinski piece, I remembered I had an Age Of Chance white label kicking around along similar lines. It was part of my record shop booty haul and remains a real gem. White labels seemed incredibly precious, they made me feel like I was owning something very limited, something few others would own. And even though they were nothing of the sort, I still loved getting them during my Maker days.
Age Of Chance were the bastard little brothers of bands like PWEI, their mess of metallic guitars, shouting and falling down stairs beats seemed intoxicating at the time. Peel championed them early doors, and they went on to sign for Virgin who bottled releasing this mix because, as we’ve mentioned before, ‘copyright difficulties’ might rear their ugly head. Might. Rock and roll eh? it’s hard to fathom these days why labels were running scared of this sort of dazzling creativity. Why not just clear the samples? Must have been a good reason.
After signing for Virgin, AOC covered of Prince’s chartbusting ‘Kiss’. These days, with every indie Tom, Dick and Harry covering pop smashes, the very idea seems pedestrian, but back in 1987 it was a revelation. It was how you’d expect – punk ethic, hip hop beats, car crash guitars, shouty northern vocals, it was cheeky, irreverent and, like everything AoC did, it was brilliant fun.
It’s amazing that during their six-year career they never landed a hit single, but that just fuelled the music press fire where commercial success was a no-no. NME championed AoC, inviting them to appear on the legendary C86 compilation, a tape revered for inventing indie. You can perhaps imagine how far AoC stuck out alongside the fey jangle of early Primal Scream and The Shop Assistants.
The white label version of ‘Kiss’ – ‘Kisspower’ as I’ve just discovered it’s called – rides roughshod over their own cover… and the original. It’s an absolute, joy mashing up Springsteen’s ‘Born In The USA’, Janet Jackson’s ‘Nasty’, Aerosmith and Run DMC’s ‘Walk This Way’, Diana Ross, twice, and perhaps my favourite, Xavier’s ‘Work That Sucker to Death’ and there’s more, I think MARRS’ ‘Pump Up The Volume’ might be in there. A pat on the back for anyone who fancies adding to the list. Listen and enjoy.
- There’s a bit of stuff knocking around on amazon including, fantastically, some cassette versions of singles and albums from about £50! Cassettes eh? How brilliant were they?
- Once again we have to turn to the collector sites for more reasonably priced stuff, check out eil.com for vinyl bargains.