Psychomodo

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"Psychomodo"
Cockney Rebel Psychomodo 1974 Belgian Single.jpg
Single by Cockney Rebel
from the album The Psychomodo
B-side "Such a Dream"
Released 17 May 1974
Format 7"
Genre Rock
Length 4:03
Label EMI Records
Songwriter(s) Steve Harley
Producer(s) Steve Harley, Alan Parsons
Cockney Rebel singles chronology
"Hideaway"
(1974)
"Psychomodo"
(1974)
"Mr. Soft"
(1974)
"Hideaway"
(1974)
"Psychomodo"
(1974)
"Mr. Soft"
(1974)

"Psychomodo" is a song by the British rock band Cockney Rebel, fronted by Steve Harley. It was released in 1974 as the lead single from their second studio album The Psychomodo. "Psychomodo" was written by Harley, and produced by Harley and Alan Parsons. On The Psychomodo, the song is preceded by the opening track "Sweet Dreams", which segues into "Psychomodo".

Background[edit]

Having released their debut album The Human Menagerie in late 1973, Cockney Rebel returned to the studio in February-March 1974 to record the follow-up The Psychomodo. In early March, the non-album single "Judy Teen" was released and would break the band into the UK charts, reaching the No. 5 in June. In mid-May 1974, "Psychomodo", the forthcoming album's title track, was released as the first single.[1] However, soon after being released, EMI quickly withdrew the single from sale in the UK. Although it remains unclear as to why, it is possible it was withdrawn as "Judy Teen" was still climbing the UK charts. Regardless, the single was given a full release across Europe,[2] and became a hit in Belgium, where it peaked at No. 28, lasting on the chart for two weeks.[3]

In 1980, the post-punk band Scars recorded a version of the song as the B-side to their single "Love Song", released on the PRE/Charisma label in May 1980.[4][5]

Release[edit]

"Psychomodo" was released by EMI Records on 7" vinyl in Belgium, France and the Netherlands. The single featured the B-side "Such a Dream" which was written by Harley, and produced by Harley and Parsons. It was initially exclusive to the single, but soon appeared as the B-side to the band's following single "Mr. Soft". "Such a Dream" was later included as a bonus track on the 1990 CD release of The Psychomodo,[6] and on the 2012 compilation Cavaliers: An Anthology 1973-1974.[7] All versions of the single came with a colour picture sleeve, which each had different photographs of the band on them.[8]

Following its original release as a single, and on The Psychomodo album, the song has since appeared on various Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel compilations, including the 1975's A Closer Look,[9] 1980's The Best of Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel, 1987's Greatest Hits, 1998's More Than Somewhat – The Very Best of Steve Harley and 2006's The Cockney Rebel - A Steve Harley Anthology.[10]

Promotion[edit]

The song has consistently been a popular inclusion of Harley and the band's concerts.[11] As a result, live versions of the song have also been recorded and released. On 28 May 1974, the band performed it during a BBC session for John Peel, which was later released on the 1995 compilation Live at the BBC[12] and Cavaliers: An Anthology 1973–1974.[13] In 1976, the song was included as part of the band's set, live in Bremen, Germany, which was later released on the 2000 live compilation ...In Pursuit of Illusion.[14] Another live version appeared on the band's 1977 live album Face to Face.[15] In 1989, the band's concert at Brighton, which included the song, was released on the VHS The Come Back, All is Forgiven Tour: Live.[16] An acoustic version also appeared on 2003's Acoustic and Pure: Live.

Track listing[edit]

7" Single
  1. "Psychomodo" - 4:03
  2. "Such a Dream" - 5:03

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1974) Peak
position
Belgian Singles Chart (Vl)[3] 28

Critical reception[edit]

Upon release, the Belgian magazine Popshop said: ""Psychomodo" is for us the third hit single by Cockney Rebel. It is also the title of their second LP. A few weeks ago Cockney Rebel entered the UK charts for the first time with the song "Judy Teen". "Sebastian" flopped in England despite huge promotions from their record company. With "Psychomodo", Steve Harley and his boys have gone in the rock direction. In their "Sebastian" period they were being written up somewhat as successors to the Beatles and the Stones. We don't really see it like that anymore after "Judy Teen" and "Psychomodo". With songs like this Cockney Rebel could well become a one hit wonder."[17] In a review of The Psychomodo, Record Mirror stated: "The great merit of Steve Harley's insanity though is that it's laid bare here for every lost blimp to indulge. "The Psychomodo": "I've been losing my head, I've been losing my way, I've been losing my brain cells at a million a day, I'm so disillusioned, I'm on suicide street..." Harley cleans out his soul and wherever he's going, he's going to take a lot with him."[18]

Donald A. Guarisco of AllMusic retrospectively reviewed the song and stated: "One of the highlights of the Cockney Rebel style was the wild lyrics of Steve Harley, who often fused serious ideas with dazzling wordplay along the lines of Marc Bolan. An interesting example of this approach is the title track from 1974's The Psychomodo. The lyrics to this song play like a trip through the mind of a mentally frazzled rock star who name-checks everyone from the Beatles to St. Peter as the narrator lists off his crazy adventures. Throughout the song, he exhibits a jadedness that manifests itself in turns of phrase like "I seen my epitaph/I been to heaven and back." The music keeps up with these dense, wordy lyrics by underscoring them with quick-paced verses that wrap them in plenty of twisty melodic frills. It also adds an attention-getting chorus that elongates its notes to release the song's tension. Cockney Rebel's recording of "Psychomodo" gives the song equal amounts of energy and artiness: nimble electric piano riffs and steady drums give the song a quick pace, but the usual guitar riffs are replaced with an electric violin, and Harley's stylized vocals lend the lyrics a theatrical touch."[19]

Dave Thompson of AllMusic retrospectively reviewed The Psychomodo album and highlighted the song as an album standout by labeling it an AMG Pick Track. He stated in his review: "Reversing the nature of The Human Menagerie, the crucial songs here are not those extended epics. Rather, it is the paranoid vignette of "Sweet Dreams," surely written in the numbing first light of that precipitous fame; the panicked brainstorm of the title track; and the stuttering, chopping, hysterical nightmare of "Such a Dream"."[20] George Starostin retrospectively reviewed The Psychomodo album for his website, and picked "Psychomodo" as the best song along with "Mr. Soft". He stated "The album opener "Sweet Dreams", is kinda chaotic and hookless, but that's no big problem because its real purpose is to merely serve as a short prelude to the record's quintessential track, the title one. "Psychomodo" is simply a magnificent song, built on a series of crunchy repetitive poppy guitar and violin riffs, with a top-notch descending vocal melody on top - and, of course, it announces the album's theme well enough. "Psychomodo" is like a haplology of 'psychic Quasimodo', and Steve does compare himself with Quasimodo, obviously using his being 'physically devastated' as a metaphor for his own state of mind. All the same, the song itself sounds pretty cheerful and even carnivalesque - it's only after you spend some time working on the lyrics that the truth becomes apparent."[21]

Personnel[edit]

Cockney Rebel
Additional personnel

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cockney Rebel - Psychomodo / Such A Dream - EMI - UK - EMI 2161". 45cat. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  2. ^ "Cockney Rebel - Psychomodo at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  3. ^ a b "Cockney Rebel - Psychomodo". ultratop.be. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  4. ^ "Scars - Love Song / Psychomodo - PRE - UK - PRE 005". 45cat.com. 2011-11-23. Retrieved 2016-10-10. 
  5. ^ "Scars (2) - Love Song (Vinyl)". Discogs.com. 2016-10-06. Retrieved 2016-10-10. 
  6. ^ "Cockney Rebel - The Psychomodo (CD, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  7. ^ "Cockney Rebel Featuring Steve Harley - Cavaliers: An Anthology 1973-1974 (CD) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  8. ^ "The Psychomodo". Harleyfanzone.com. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  9. ^ "Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel - A Closer Look (Vinyl, LP) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  10. ^ "Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel Discography at Discogs". Discogs.com. 1976-08-05. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  11. ^ YouTube (2010-06-05). "Steve Harley - Psychomodo". YouTube. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  12. ^ "Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel - Live At The BBC (CD) at Discogs". discogs.com. Retrieved 2014-07-20. 
  13. ^ "Cavaliers [An Anthology 1973-1974]: Amazon.co.uk: Music". amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-07-20. 
  14. ^ Sleger, Dave (2000-10-01). "In Pursuit of Illusion - Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  15. ^ Thompson, Dave. "Face to Face - Steve Harley : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-06-29. 
  16. ^ "Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel: Greatest Hits [VHS]: Steve Harley: Amazon.co.uk: Video". Amazon.co.uk. 1989-10-20. Retrieved 2012-12-07. 
  17. ^ "Cockney Rebel - Popshop July '74". Harleyfanzone.com. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  18. ^ "New bands show the way". Harleyfanzone.com. Retrieved 2013-06-29. 
  19. ^ Guarisco, Donald A. "Psychomodo - Cockney Rebel, Steve Harley : Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  20. ^ Thompson, Dave. "The Psychomodo - Cockney Rebel, Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-06-29. 
  21. ^ http://starling.rinet.ru/music/cockney.htm

External links[edit]