The Untouchable [Bonus Track]

The Untouchable [Bonus Track]

by Alvin Stardust


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The Untouchable [Bonus Track]

Looking back, it's hard to see what all the fuss was about. So he wore a tight leather catsuit. So he glowered a little and didn't like smiling. So he called his first album The Untouchable and he liked his girls to "lie down and groove on the mat." That was no reason to label him a deviant pariah and ban him from children's TV in case he scared the kiddies. They did, though, and that wasn't the end of Alvin Stardust's travails. Less than six weeks after this album was released, the English city of Hull banned him from appearing in concert there, stating "he is not the sort of act we want in Hull." And people thought the Sex Pistols had problems. The Untouchable, this demonic entity's first album, confirms Hull's horrors from the cover on in. Stardust himself was soon to drop the Stygian armor and knuckledusters, but they hang on him here like a second skin. There's even a song about them, "Dressed in Black," while a quick skim through the rest of the set raises other suspicions as well. Who but a latter-day Mr. Punch would invite his lady to "Be My Judy," while "Jealous Mind," "My Sweet Deutsche Friend," and "High Fever" are scarcely the stuff of girl meets boy-next-door fantasy, either. And then there's "My Coo Ca Choo," a hit so pervasive that its churning, mysterious malevolence remains a palpable presence throughout the album. Even when Stardust slips into brooding balladeer mode, to hiss-breathe the sibilant "You're My Everything," the fear still haunts the back of your mind. "Don't ever leave me," he quakes in a voice which is utterly unsuitable for such sweet sentiments, and is it simple paranoia? Or does he really leave unspoken what will happen if you do? "Sha la la la la." Extract yourself from the mystery, of course, and The Untouchable is pretty thin gruel, a vaguely glammy distillation of every second division British rock & roller that could ever have been a contender. Co-writer and producer Pete Shelley basically has three good ideas and spreads them way too far -- the best songs are the two hit singles, the rest are barely B-sides -- and, again, once past the hits, Stardust himself has only a marginally convincing singing voice. But image is everything and in early 1974, Stardust had an aura to die for. Even a halfway decent album was simply the icing on the cake. [Glam/7T's issued a bonus track edition in 2008.]

Product Details

Release Date: 05/13/2014
Label: Glam / 7t's
UPC: 5013929046924
catalogNumber: 69
Rank: 80363

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