Animal Magic (The Blow Monkeys album)

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Animal Magic
Animal-magic-cd-cover.jpg
Studio album by
Released7 April 1986
Recorded1985–1986
GenreNew wave, sophisti-pop[1]
Length44:03
48:15 (cassette version)
LabelRCA/Ariola
ProducerPeter Wilson
Dr. Robert
Adam Moseley
The Blow Monkeys chronology
Limping for a Generation
(1984)
Animal Magic
(1986)
She Was Only a Grocer's Daughter
(1987)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic2.5/5 stars[2]
The Montreal Gazettefavourable[3]
Schenectady Gazettefavourable[4]

Animal Magic is the second album from the British band The Blow Monkeys, released in 1986 by RCA/Ariola (now BMG). It gave the group their commercial breakthrough after their debut album, Limping for a Generation, had won critical acclaim but had only sold modestly.[5]

Sales of Animal Magic were boosted by the hit single "Digging Your Scene", which charted in the UK (peaking at No. 12), the rest of Europe and the US.[6] The album's first single, the ballad "Forbidden Fruit", had been released almost a year before the LP. After "Digging Your Scene", two more singles were taken from the album, both of which, though catchy and cleverly built, didn't replicate the same level of commercial success: "Wicked Ways" reached No.60 in Great Britain, and "Don't Be Scared of Me" chart at No.77 in UK.

Animal Magic displayed an intelligent collection of slick, soul-influenced, mid-tempo tunes. A couple of ballads offered some diversity: one of them, "I Backed a Winner (in You)", is a heartfelt track, mostly a cappella, with lead singer Dr. Robert, softly playing acoustic guitar while giving the lyrics its perceptive rhythm, where his vocals, and especially those of an aptly named ensemble, The Demon Barbers, acting as a sort of doo wop choir. Amongst the album's many gems is also a duet with Jamaican toaster Eek-A-Mouse on the duet "Sweet Murder".

In 2012, Cherry Red announced the release of a 2-CD deluxe edition with a whole bonus disc of previously unissued demos and B-sides.[7]

Track listing[edit]

Words and music by Dr. Robert.

  1. "Digging Your Scene" – 4:13
  2. "Animal Magic" – 3:07
  3. "Wicked Ways" – 4:14
  4. "Sweet Murder" – 6:31
  5. "Aeroplane City Lovesong" – 4:52
  6. "Walking the Blue Beat" – 4:12 (on cassette edition only) [1]
  7. "I Nearly Died Laughing" – 3:37
  8. "Don't Be Scared of Me" – 3:29
  9. "Burn the Rich" – 4:17
  10. "I Backed a Winner (in You)" – 2:39
  11. "Forbidden Fruit" – 3:59
  12. "Heaven Is a Place I'm Moving To" – 3:05

Singles from the album[edit]

  • "Forbidden Fruit" (1985)
  • "Digging Your Scene" (1986) [UK Singles Chart: Number 12; USA Billboard Hot 100: Number 14; USA Hot Dance Club Play: Number 7; Germany: Number 25]
* Used in the 1999 movie Splendor.[8]
* Cover versions have been released by Ivy on Long Distance (2001) and Guestroom (2002),[9] and by Rahsaan Patterson on the Japanese edition of Love in Stereo (1999).[10]
  • "Wicked Ways" (1986) [UK Singles Chart: Number 60]
  • "Don't Be Scared of Me" (1986) [UK Singles Chart: Number 77]

Personnel[edit]

The Blow Monkeys[edit]

  • Dr Robert - words & music; vocals; electric guitar tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9; acoustic guitar tracks 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12
  • Neville Henry - tenor saxophone tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11; alto saxophone tracks 2, 5, 8
  • Mick Anker - bass tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11; double bass track 9, 12
  • Tony Kiley - drums tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11

Musicians[edit]

  • Dixie Peach, Morris Michael - background vocals track 1
  • Sylvia Mason-James - background vocals tracks 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12
  • Mary Cassidy - background vocals tracks 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 11, 12
  • Bernita Turner - background vocals tracks 2, 8, 12
  • Yogi - background vocals track 3
  • Morris Michael - background vocals track 3
  • Vicky St. James - background vocals tracks 4, 5, 7, 11
  • Luís Jardim - percussion tracks 1, 4, 5
  • Peter Wilson - keyboards tracks 1, 8; honk box, brass arrangement track 4; string machine track 6; Hammond organ track 7; barroom piano & background vocals track 9
  • Eek-A-Mouse - vocals track 4
  • Guy Barker - trumpet track 5, 7, 11
  • Morris Micheals - background vocals track 6
  • Joe Brown - slide guitar track 9
  • The Demon Barbers - background vocals track 10
  • Mickey Finn - bongos track 11
  • Dick Morrissey - soprano saxophone track 12

Production[edit]

  • Peter Wilson - production except tracks 3 & 6; string arrangement except track 12
  • Dr. Robert, Adam Mosely - production tracks 3 & 6
  • Michael Baker - mixing track 3; additional recording and mixing track 1
  • John Mealing - string arrangement track 12
  • Axel Kroell - drum programming

Staff[edit]

Release details[edit]

Country Date Label Format Catalog
UK 1986 RCA/Ariola CD PD 70910

Charts[edit]

Chart (1986) Peak
position
UK Albums Chart[11] 21
US Billboard 200[12] 35
Song Chart Peak Date
"Animal Magic" US Billboard 200[13] 35 9 August 1986
"Digging Your Scene" UK Singles Chart[11] 12 1 March 1986
"Digging Your Scene" US Billboard Hot 100[13] 14 2 August 1986
"Wicked Ways" UK Singles Chart[11] 60 17 May 1986

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Top 15 Sophisti-Pop Albums". 20 August 2018.
  2. ^ Cooper, William. "Animal Magic – The Blow Monkeys". AllMusic. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
  3. ^ Griffin, John (24 April 1986). "Record Roundup". The Gazette. Retrieved 14 November 2011. smart, compelling, entirely disposable dance/pop
  4. ^ Wolff, Carlo (5 August 1986). "Blow Monkeys Breeze into SPAC Sunday". Schenectady Gazette. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
  5. ^ Adzgery, Sandy (7 August 1986). "Blow Monkeys Hoping for Another Big Success". Associated Press. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
  6. ^ Mason, Stewart. "Digging Your Scene". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
  7. ^ Theblowmonkeys.com – accessed September 2012
  8. ^ "Splendor (1999) – Soundtracks". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
  9. ^ Wilson, MacKenzie. "Guestroom – Ivy". AllMusic. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
  10. ^ Proefrock, Stacia. "Love in Stereo [Bonus Track] – Rahsaan Patterson". AllMusic. Retrieved 14 November 2011.
  11. ^ a b c "Blow Monkeys". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
  12. ^ "Animal Magic – The Blow Monkeys". Billboard. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
  13. ^ a b "The Blow Monkeys Music News & Info". Billboard. Retrieved 14 November 2011.

External links[edit]

  • Myspace: The Blow Monkeys' Myspace page, with audio clips to four representative tracks by the band, including the smash hit from Animal Magic, "Digging Your Scene".