Sunday, April 16, 2017

Two thumbs up for the vocoder solo - S-S-S-Single Bed by Fox

1976 again throws up a interesting outrider in the form of Number 4 hit, S-S-S-Single Bed by Fox (promotional video here).

The song comes across somewhere between a distaff version of Sailor's A Glass Of Champagne (reviewed earlier in our series on 1976) and a kiss-off to the same, apologising (but really not really) for the lack of suitable sleeping arrangements for a would-be suitor. It's a smart inversion of the usual cliches and much more palatable to modern ears than the casual sexism of Sailor.

But it's the sound of S-S-S-Single Bed that most grabs the attention - loping space-pop driven by chopped guitar and SFnal keys which both nods to the funk and disco of the time and to the more electronic direction pop music was taking by the early 80's. Singer Noosha Fox sounds like a breathy Betty Boop and suits the material much better than a more conventional voice*.

It even has a vocoder solo, because when people in the 70's thought about the future, slightly nasal robots were where it was at. Two thumbs up!

The other very 70's thing about Fox is that it's a group formed around a songwriter / producer (in this case Kenny Young, co-writer of Under The freaking' Broadwalk) coming out of the shadows and having a go at a public career.

At any rate,S-S-S-Single Bed shows that there was to be life in the charts outside of disco and that the British appetite for pleasing oddities continued unabated.
*Alison Goldfrapp is the best contemporary reference as Alexis Petridis points out in The Guardian. Also included in this footnote at no extra charge is the fascinating fact that Noosha Fox is science writer Ben Goldacre's mother.

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