Album review

Would-Be-Goods - Marden Hill

Marden Hill

CADAQUEZ

Various Artists

THE COOL MIKADO

ALL ÉL

In the '80s, Mike Alway's él records were a beacon of intelligent perversity, elegantly absurd and non-commercial. How bizarre, then, that the record label came to have such an enormous impact in other countries, kickstarting the Japanese j-pop scene and spawning copycat labels including the likes of Siesta, Apricot and Sarah.

The Camera Loves Me is a surreal, quintessentially English album of posh-totty girlie pop in a style later taken down-market by Shampoo.

Cadaquez is an explosive collision of spaghetti western themes, beat music and creamy orch-pop, happily now available on CD for the first time.

The Cool Mikado kicks off a program of long-deleted original soundtrack reissues. Michael Winner's 1962 Gilbert & Sullivan film parody starred Frankie Howerd and Tommy Cooper, and the album has contributions from Mr Howerd and lauded composer John Barry.

A tantalising glimpse of él's future.

Rating: 3 / 10


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