Thursday, 2 October 2014

RIP Lynsey De Paul

Genuinely gutted to hear that my second favourite diminutive 1970s blonde with unfortunate political leanings has passed away (my no.1 being Mary Millington of course). Cassette tape versions of her albums ‘Love Bomb’ and ‘Taste Me, Don’t Waste Me’ take pride of place in the gavcrimson archive, and are no doubt due for a trip off the shelf in the next few days by way of a tribute.

‘Sugar Me’ is the super-sexy 1972 hit she is likely to be remembered for first and foremost, I defy anyone to watch her performance of the song on Musikladen without falling in love with her just a little bit. Follow up ‘Getting a Drag’ is despite its conservative and reactionary tendencies the female equivalent of The Kinks’ Lola, and its equal in terms of comedy value “I found that I had kissed a mister just as pretty as a sister and its getting a drag” complains De Paul. ‘Doctor,Doctor’- hard to dislike a mainstream pop song that finds a way of working references to ‘incurable disease’ and ‘instinctive copulation’ into its lyrics. ‘Sugar Shuffle’ and ‘Sleeping Blue Nights’ find LDP singing the soundtrack of those who spend their nights doing the zombie walk in search of true love. ‘Dancing on a Saturday Night’ was later murdered by Arthur Mullard and Hylda Baker on their Band on the Trot album “what a shocking sight, dancing on a Saturday night” indeed.

For a journey to the kooky side of the De Paul repertoire, there is the fabulous ‘Just Visiting’ which sees LDP tackling the same themes of human evolution and space travel in 3:19 that it took Stanley Kubrick over two hours to come to grips with in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Ending with De Paul powerfully proclaiming “I'm not your maker, an angel or a saint divine, not your creator, giving you a holy sign. I am a spaceman, and I'm just visiting the earth. You are an apeman, and I've been visiting you, ever since your birth.”

If you’re looking for people with unlikely career side-lines, fast forward to the early 1990s and check out her excursion into the world of the female self-defence video. Conceived to help women fight off muggers and rapists ‘Taking Control’ finds De Paul taking on a series of brutish men who look like they’ve stepped off the set of a Cliff Twemlow film, only to be kicked in the balls by Lynsey De Paul. ‘Taking Control’ proved De Paul to be quite the Cynthia Rothrock on the quiet, a career in straight to video action films was perhaps a missed opportunity. With her death, the magic of the 1970s now feels that just bit more farther away, sigh.

RIP Lynsey De Paul, never to be forgotten.


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