Sigue Sigue Sputnik

From Academic Kids

Sigue Sigue Sputnik are a British Cyberpunk band who achieved moderate fame in early 1986 with the song Love Missile F1-11, which appeared in the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off. They created a unique style of new wave music filled with sound effects and with futuristic lyrical themes of war, sex, and dehumanisation that rarely seem to make obvious sense — but the music was much less important than the hard-sold image.

Led by former Generation X bassist Tony James, the original line-up also featured Martin Degville, Neal X (Whitmore), Chris Cavanagh, and Ray Mayhew. While searching for members, in 1983 Tony James invited Andrew Eldritch from The Sisters of Mercy, and tried out Annie Lennox, not yet famous. "She had a brilliant voice but I didn't want a girl singer. One of the songs we jammed together surfaced years later as a huge hit for the Eurythmics", remembers Tony James.

The band was also known for their outlandish appearance, which included towering, multicoloured mohawk hairstyles, and multiple piercings, as well as gender-bending clothing made of plastic, rubber, fishnet, chains and other materials. (This was carefully considered well before the band ever performed in public.) The band were nicknamed "Sick Sick".

The band famously auctioned advertising spaces between the tracks on their first album 'Flaunt It!' (released in 1986). Advertisements that did sell (including spots for iD Magazine and Studio Line from L'Oreal) were complemented by spoof ads.

The group split soon after the release of their second album, Dress for Excess. "We couldn't sustain this pretend bastardized version of Sputnik", explains Tony James who also blamed the media for the band's fall from grace.

Tony James went on to become a member of The Sisters of Mercy in 1989-1991. Chris Kavanagh went on to Big Audio Dynamite.

Tony James reformed the band twice, albeit without all the original members: once in the 1990s and once again in 2001 with Martin Degville and Neal X releasing Piratespace. They continue to play live, and have also produced a number of remixes of other artists' work.

Discography

  • Flaunt It -- 1986
  • Dress for Excess -- 1989
  • First Generation -- 1992
  • First Generation - Second Edition -- 1997
  • The Ultimate 12 -- 1998
  • Sci-Fi Sex Stars -- 2000
  • Pirate Space -- 2001
  • 21ST CENTURY BOYS -- 2001
  • Blak Elvis -- 2002
  • Fin de Siecle - This is what I Like -- 2003
  • Ultra Real -- 2003

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