I write about songs.

Archive for the ‘Dolly Mixture’ Category

Dolly Mixture, “Been Teen”

We’ve been on a budget—the real kind, sketched out on a spreadsheet, with predetermined amounts for groceries, household goods, gas and the like that we can’t go over. We’ve been doing it for the past month and it works fantastically. We each have a set figure budgeted for books and music combined, and of course I run through my share pretty quickly. But that’s okay. I buy my allotment of media right away, and then spend the rest of the month planning what to buy when the coffers are refilled—making lists, adding and subtracting, and placing things in and taking them out of various digital shopping carts.

Last night, though, only three days before the month’s allotment will be refreshed, all of my will power wasn’t sufficient to stop me from borrowing against future income to buy the new Dolly Mixture box set, released yesterday. Dolly Mixture was a pretty obscure British band that was around between 1978 and 1984. (The trio was named after some kind of English old-lady candy.) They sang backing vocals on “Happy Talk,” a 1982 single by Captain Sensible that was later sampled by Dizzee Rascal for his 2004 song “Dream”—that might mean more to you than it does to me, as I haven’t heard either one. Dolly Mixture’s own songs were speedy and ebullient, modeled on the girl group bands of the ’60s but new wavier. A year before they broke up, they self-released their single long-player, an exhilarating double album of low-fi recordings called The Demonstration Tapes. I have a download of a mid-’90s reissue of the album, which is pretty much all we’ve had of their work to listen to in the CD era.

The new box set, Everything and More, includes a remastered version of The Demonstration Tapes, plus all of the band’s rare singles and EPs, unreleased tracks, and a booklet. The thing is, it’s a limited edition of I don’t know how many (or how few, I should say) copies. I know it’s doubtful that there are thousands of Dolly Mixture fans just waiting to snatch up all of the copies of a 20-quid box of the band’s recorded output the day it goes on sale, but I didn’t want to take any chances, and now one is winging its way across the Atlantic to me as I write this.

Debsey Wykes, the lovely-voiced singer of Dolly Mixture, went on to become a part-time member of Saint Etienne, which is how I heard of her early band in the first place.

Written by peterterzian

July 13, 2010 at 12:18 pm


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