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A Pinnacle of Anti-Fashion
on 7 March 2016
Gleaming, ecstatic pop album from the gleaming, ecstatic after-punk 8o's. Theresa on TOTP in a soldier costume - oh, how we drooled!
'TDA' contains most of Dollar's best work : the monumental 'Hand Held in Black and White', one of the finest singles of the decade, with it's sub-aquatic basslines and twin-Anarchy in the UK-style instrumental breaks.. 'Videoteque', replete with menacing Joy Division moog-riff.. and 'Give Me Back My Heart', a shuddering ballad bringing to mind the most wrenching work of Tim Buckley and Laura Nyro .. only with monoliths of cathedralistic synth and no less Colgate-handed sheen slinging it relevant.
Trevor Horn - four-eyed, geeky perm - crazed with excitement from his no 1 pearler, 'Video Killed the Radio Star', produces superbly. - And rather nimbly, considering the sheer weight of the thing. Hidden amongst the lushness there is fun and no little subtlety in abundance. Trev is on genius form here; being ultra-picky, I suppose Dave and Treze could have laid off the cheese a little, but it wouldn't have been the same.
The very title, 'The Dollar Album', suggests an event - and that's exactly what it is. Even now, it's lunatic theatrical pop surge - standout even at a time when Associates, ABC and Dexy's towered in the hit charts, and Tiswas ruled the telly - is neither stunted nor un-burnished. Someone utterly depressed by what passes for modern rock and pop, yet remains the slightest bit open-minded, will find much to enjoy here.
The rest, ie, yer average rock consumer, will still hate it for all the wonderful reasons us sensible folk love the thing. And that's so good.
A pinnacle of anti-fashion and blowing a contrary wind.. and so in real terms, a glittery bullet updating of the true edge and fleetingness of '77 punk rock - both in spirit and all-knowing legacy/mystery. And there's the rub in a nutshell..
Play it alongside '82's other successfully true punk albums, 'H20', 'Friend or Foe' and 'Pelican West'.