“We Close Our Eyes”, aided by a video shot by crack 80s promo directors Godley & Creme, spent fourteen weeks on the UK Singles Chart, its highest position being number 5 in April 1985. The video is a major factor in its appeal, as both Peter Cox and Richard Drummie (good lord, why do their names come to me so easily??) do battle with wooden mannequins in scenes eerily reminiscent of the skeleton battle that Ray Harryhausen orchestrated with his stop-motion brilliance in Jason and the Argonauts;
Yes, it is cheesy, with its blaring 80s synths and nonsense lyrics about being ‘tigers in the dark’ and a ‘no show Wednesday girl waits with the wine’, but it is also catchy and funny and frothy and I love it. They also look like they were having a lot of fun in the video. My mom had the album and I was even known to play that on occasion. The sleeve for the single (which is similar in theme to the first album cover) is so 80s it nearly has its jacket sleeves rolled up (and look – its the scary mannequins!)
This track, a glorious hybrid of Hip-Hop and Ragga, was initially released in the spring of 1993 on Anxious records (Dave Stewart from the Eurythmics’ record label). It, along with other tracks in 1993 such as ‘Informer‘ by Canadian rapper Snow, were part of this brief ‘hip-hop/ragga’ sub-genre of hip hop.
A sublime piece of british hip hop that never got the mass appeal it deserved, but is now surely a cult item and uk hip hop ‘nugget’, this ferocious rap (by the one-time ‘worlds fastest rapper’ (1992 Guiness Book of Records) – though he isn’t anymore) is both a scorching attack on racism (see a sample of the lyrics below) and a celebration of mixed race and inter-racial respect. On top of that, JC-001 manages to include in the production a brilliant sample of The Specials ‘Ghost Town’, the speeded up horn refrain sitting on top of a chugging beat.
‘Sick of the moans tell us to stick to our own,
when I’m already a genetic mixture and tone,
a cultural collage,
a mixed race in charge against the one-colour montage,
I’m built to barge against a protected mentality, to protect my family when?
Will the fear disappear, never again!‘
(JC-0001 ‘Never Again’)
One of the best, most underrated uk hip hop singles ever. Considering how many fantastic UK hip hop singles were overlooked in terms of chart success, (Blak Twang’s ‘So Rotton’, 1159’s ‘Free Man’) this is in very good company. Still, it is a great pity this monumental track did not reach a wider audience – it got just 2 weeks in the UK singles chart, its highest position no higher than 67.
A classic piece of UK hip hop;