Cruella de Ville

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Not to be confused with Cruella de Vil, the villain from The Hundred and One Dalmatians.
Cruella De Ville
Also known as "Cruella"
Origin Northern Ireland
Genres Post-punk, gothic rock
Years active 1982–1984
Labels Good Vibrations/EMI/CPL
Associated acts Roy Wood
Past members Colum Muinzer
Philomena Muinzer
James Clenaghan
Stephen Mulholland
Mike Edgar

Cruella De Ville was a band from Northern Ireland that presented a mixture of post punk and goth rock from 1982–1984. Their members consisted of Colum Muinzer (now styling himself Colin Gibson) on vocals, guitar (often bowed), and violin; his twin sister, Philomena Muinzer, known as "Phil" or "Mena", (a Princeton University geology major (1978)} who won awards for her creative writing), on vocals and keyboard, James Clenaghan on bass guitar and backing vocals, and Mike Edgar on drums and backing vocals. They released a number of singles, but their album was never released after Edgar absconded with the recordings.[1] Their best-known song is "Those Two Dreadful Children", which has appeared on The Dr. Demento Show and was included (transferred from a copy of the vinyl single) on a Basement Tapes members-only compilation.

The name of the band is taken from an altered spelling of villain of the same name from the book and movie The Hundred and One Dalmatians.

Their other songs include "Drunken Uncle John", "Hong Kong Swing", "Blues, Blues, Blues", "Gypsy Girl", "I'll Do The Talking", "Oceans", and "Who's At The Door?". "Drunken Uncle John" and "Oceans" have a similar dark comic flavour to that found in "Those Two Dreadful Children"--the latter being an absurdist satire on drug dealing. "Hong Kong Swing" is a send-up of Ugly American Naval officers' mangling pan-Asia into a cartoonish red-light concept. There are three versions: the first recorded was the "Manic Mix", with breakdancing cues, which was followed by the regular version. The last, "Hollywood Hong Kong Swing" is a new recording that adds three new introductions: a string soundalike to Alfred Newman's 20th Century Fox Fanfare (with Cinemascope extension), a long guitar solo, and a new verse introducing the song as if being featured in a Hollywood revue. "I'll Do the Talking" is a serious song of sibling devotion. The Muinzers, usually individually, did all the group's songwriting.

In addition to television performances, the group cut a music video for "Gypsy Girl" that UK television was not allowed to show before 10 pm because it depicted a bonfire. A more simple video was made for the song that simply depicts the band performing was used for daytime showings. In this video, Philomena's underwear is shown briefly under her dress in a couple of dance breaks.

Phil and Colum cite their major influences as coming from their father's old record collection, artists like Spike Jones, Danny Kaye, and Pete Seeger. Colin in particular modelled his guitar playing on Brian May of Queen. When EMI signed the band, Queen heard Colum perform "Gypsy Girl" solo, and he reported that May really liked it.

The original demo of "Who's At The Door?" has recently been transferred to digital and cleaned by Colum Muinzer.

A pre-FM copy of a BBC Radio 1 session (possibly broadcast on the Annie Nightingale show in ?1984) has recently been rediscovered, a copy of which has been passed on to Colum and Philomena.

Drummers[edit]

Roy Wood played drums on "Hong Kong Swing" and Stephen Mulholland played them on "Those Two Dreadful Children." A drum machine was used on "Drunken Uncle John," with Mike Edgar overdubbing the bass drum; and a drum loop used on "Gypsy Girl," again with Mike doing a few overdubs. All the drums on the unreleased album were played by Roy Wood.

After the breakup[edit]

Phil has written a book (Memories of the Irish-Israeli War) and a play (Together Against Him, which was awarded a bursary by The Arts Council of Great Britain) under the name Phil O'Brien (O'Brien is the Munizers' mother's maiden name) and has served as dramaturge for the Royal National Theatre. She is married to Colin Bennett.

Discography[edit]

7" Singles[edit]

Year Record Label Catalogue Number Songs
1982 Good Vibrations GOT 16 Drunken Uncle John/Those Two Dreadful Children
1982 Good Vibrations/Polydor GOOD 1 Those Two Dreadful Children/Drunken Uncle John (Alternate Mix)
1982 Good Vibrations GOOD 2 I'll Do The Talking/Blues, Blues, Blues
1983 EMI (Great Britain) EMI 5412 Gypsy Girl/Blues, Blues, Blues (Alternate Mix)
1983 EMI (West Germany) 1 C 006 1078177 Gypsy Girl/Blues, Blues, Blues (Alternate Mix)
1984 Parlophone R 6075 Hong Kong Swing/Drunken Uncle John (Rerecording)
1984 CPL/Pinnacle CPL-5 I'll Do The Talking(Alternate Mix)/Hollywood Hong Kong Swing/Oceans
1984 CPL/Priority CPL-5 I'll Do The Talking(Alternate Mix)/Hollywood Hong Kong Swing/Oceans
1984 CPL/EMI CPL-5 I'll Do The Talking (Alternate Mix)/Hollywood Hong Kong Swing/Oceans

12" Singles[edit]

Year Record Label Catalogue Number Songs
1983 EMI 12EMI 5412 Gypsy Girl/Blues, Blues, Blues (Alternate Mix) /Gypsy Girl (Edit)
07/1984 Parlophone 12R 6075 Hong Kong Swing (Manic Mix) /Hong Kong Swing/Drunken Uncle John (Rerecording)

Known Acetates[edit]

Year Record Label Catalogue Number Songs
1984 Abbey Road Studios Hong Kong Swing (Alternate Mix)

Known Demos[edit]

Year Recording Songs
1984 Original Cassette Who's At The Door

Known Recordings[edit]

Year Recording Songs
1982 Good Vibrations / Polydor: master tape Drunken Uncle John / Those Two Dreadful Children
1984? BBC Radio: Pre FM master tape Gypsy Girl / I'll Do The Talking / Marching
- Trident Studios, 2” master Opus1 / Gypsy Girl
- JAM Studios, 2” master Gypsy Girl / Blues, Blues, Blues
- DJM Studios, 2” master Hong Kong Swing / Uncle John / Two Dreadful Children / I'll Do the Talking / Meena Mina / I Can Hear The Tanks Roll / Oceans of Potions / Big Boy
- DJM Studios, 2” master Who's At The Door / Toy Box
- Trident Studios, ¼" master Tones / Gypsy Girl (Red Hot Polka)
- SARM Studios, ½" master Hong Kong Swing No. 1, No. 2 & No. 3
- ¼" master tape Drunken Uncle John / Those Two Dreadful Children
- DJM Studios, ½" master Drunken Uncle John / Who's At The Door / Oceans of Potions / Hong Kong Swing / Marching / Still She Wished for Company / Hong Kong Swing (2nd mix)
- DJM Studios, ½" master Hong Kong Swing / Oceans of Potions
- DJM Studios, ½" master Hong Kong Swing 7” / Hong Kong Swing 12" / Marching – Gig mix / Gypsy Girl – Gig mix
- DJM Studios, ½" master I'll Do The Talking
- DJM Studios, ¼" master Hong Kong Swing
- DJM Studios, ¼" master I'll Do The Talking / Gypsy Girl / Hong Kong Swing
- EMI Studios, ¼" master Toy Box / Hong Kong Swing
- ¼" master Away We Go
- Downtown Radio, ¼" master I'll Do The Talking / Line Up
- Downtown Radio, ¼" master Red Hot Mamma / Piano & vocal / Melody Medley

CD[edit]

In the absence of an official release, a fan based CD has been compiled with the following songs:

1 Hong Kong Swing
2 Gypsy Girl
3 Blues, Blues, Blues
4 I'll Do The Talking
5 Hollywood Hong Kong Swing
6 Who's At The Door
7 Oceans
8 Those Two Dreadful Children [2007 remix]
9 Drunken Uncle John [second version]
10 Hong Kong Swing [manic mix]

Most songs have been restored from a vinyl source, others have been donated by Philomena and Colum, who encouraged the fan to sell the discs for a profit because he had put so much work into it.

CD Single[edit]

The GOT 16 single; Those Two Dreadful Children/Drunken Uncle John, has been turned into a CD single by the same fan. Using a copy of the original Polydor master tape (kindly provided by Colum) - artwork for this CD has been reworked from a scan of the original poster cover (kindly provided by John).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ted Hynds. "Cruella de FILE on Radio Ulster Boss: Band Threaten Action Over Edgar's Tapes." The Sunday Mirror 3 February 2008, page 9.

Videos[edit]

The following video clips of CDV are known to exist

  • Drunken Uncle John: Promo video (a slightly different version than the GOT 16 single release)
  • Gypsy Girl: EMI's famous "fire" video (which got semi banned by the BBC)
  • Gypsy Girl: As above, though with a different intro section
  • Gypsy Girl: The bands video recorded on the stage of UK's The Tube
  • Hong Kong Swing: Promo video for the single
  • I'll Do The Talking: TV appearance on an unknown show (possibly from 'Anything Goes' in January, 1983)

External links[edit]