Monday, August 03, 2015

Power Chords and Pigtails

From 1979, on Stiff Records (motto: The World's Most Flexible Label), here's Angie (with Pete Townshend, for heaven's sake) and the quite amazing "Peppermint Lump."

This single's provenance totally baffled me at the time, but thanks to the miracle of the Google, here's a little background info from Angie's management updating the story to 1998.

Artist: Angie (real name: Angela Porter)
Formerly a pupil at the Corona stage school who appeared on numerous British TV programs, Angie Porter is no stranger to the singing game. As a child she worked with legendary producer Trevor Horn, providing backing vocals for The Buggles number one hit, ''Video Killed The Radio Star." Aged eleven, she teamed up with The Who's Pete Townshend and released a single, ''Peppermint Lump'', on the seminal Stiff label. It was Radio One''s Record Of The Week. Stiff's press release at the time read: " A blatant attempt to corner the market of pre-teen and post-punk singles buyers".

Another Google search revealed she was still singing professionally as late as the end of the previous decade, but of her recent activities I have so far found nothing.

Anyway, it's still not completely clear who who wrote the record, but it's amazing, and Townshend's arrangement is pretty much my favorite thing he did in his solo career up to that point.

I should add that I first posted this here in 2009, but given that it was even before I had discovered the now shuttered Divshare, the audio link has long since expired. So enjoy this new one, you ungrateful bastids.

[h/t Keith Kuhnel]


Mark said...

Not ungrateful.

Just heartless.

DrBob said...

Primordial Who with poppy kickin' lyrics!

edward said...

According to the label, the song was written by J. Asher, as was the b-side "Breakfast in Naples" performed by Angie's Orchestra! Both arranged and produced by Townshend.

According to the backside of the sleeve it's a "James Asher Conception, Produced by Pete Townshend."

So, unless James Asher is a clever disguise, I don't think there is any question about who wrote the song.

Oh wait, according to Be Stiff: The Stiff Records Story by Richard Balls (Dick Balls? Really?): "The two songs on the record had been written by James Asher, then a staff writer for Pete Townshend's production and publishing company, Eel Pie."

Anonymous said...

Yep, James Asher's a real person. Played drums on a couple of numbers on Empty Glass. Townshend's overwhelming arrangement leaves little of Asher's identity intact.


Anna said...

I dunno...there were a few Towsertunes on "Who Came First" that I kinda prefer. And *very* definitely his songs on the collaboration with Ronnie Lane, "Rough Mix", though you might not think of that as "solo" Pete. (Though I *do* still have the original single of "Peppermint Lump" in my collection, while "Empty Glass" and everything that followed are long gone...with the obvious exception of the "Scoop" collections.)

Didn't know about the Buggles connection, though.

But thanks for putting it'd been years since I'd heard it. Guessing that James Asher was a fellow Meher Baba acolyte, given the "don't you worry, be happy" bit.

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Anonymous said...

Pete wrote the lyrics. Asher is just the keyboard bed that Townshend built the song around. Pete also selected Angie to sing it.


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