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FASHION BIOGRAPHY

Fashion arose from the Birmingham, England music explosion of the late 70s. Their unique sound was derived not just from the hybridization reggae, punk and pre-hiphop synth-pop, but by the odd vocalization of six foot nine inch tall guitarist and lead vocalist Lûke (Luke James). Ably assisted by Bassist/Keyboardist Mulligán (John Mulligan) and Percussionist/Keyboardist Dïk (Dick Davis) the songs are quite alien sounding on first listen, but you soon find several of their hooks rather addicting.

They recorded three singles on their own "fashion music" label (pictured below) of which only one song ("Citinite") appears on the LP.

First UK single 2nd UK Single 3rd UK Single
The first three UK Fashion singles on the "fashion music" label, a Faulty Products (UK) distributed label...

Three years later the group's second LP, FABRIQUE appeared from Arista Records with lead vocalist Lûke replaced by one De (Dennis) Hariss. Largely forgettable aside from the minor dance hit "Move On" (and the even more minor "Streetplayer-Machanic"). After yet another personnel and label change (to Epic Records) they released TWILIGHT OF THE IDOLS notable for "Eye Talk" which received a fair amount of air play and manages to appear in several "New Wave" collections.

According to Lûke, Dick Davis (who Lûke describes as "the best f*cking drummer ever") passed away a few years ago. Lûke, who once auditioned to be Stan Ridgway's replacement in Wall Of Voodoo, now plays blues in the Bay Area in the US of A. A "Best Of" collection, enititled FASHION REVIVES was reportedly released in the UK in 1989. In 2001 Another "Best Of" set was released entitled HEIGHT OF FASHION, but it contained no material form the I.R.S. period...

Mr Bill would like to thank Luke "Sky" James for additional input and information on this page.


FASHION I.R.S. DISCOGRAPHY

This discography will cover only FASHION's recordings for I.R.S. Records. Recordings for other labels, other recordings, solo recordings and guest appearances, may be mentioned in the biography or discography, but details can be found by visiting some of the cool links for FASHION, below...

Albums & EPs

Product Perfect cover PRODUCT PERFECT
IRS SP-002 (Released 17 Sep 1979)

Vinyl Only

Produced by Fashion & Miki Cottrell
Recorded At Grosvenor Studios, Birmingham
Art Direction by Fashion Design
Photography by Nigel Van Beek (Cover) and Bonieventure (Inner Sleeve)
Clothing by Aunt Tabitha, Jaine Farrimond, Kahn & Bell, Heather Brockelsby & Beverly Williams
Jewelry by Jenny Albrecht

Musicians:
Percussion, Harp, Vox (bass on track #12) Dïk
Guitar, Effects, Primo Vox Lûke
Bass, Synth, Vox Mulligán

Track Listing:

  1. Product Perfect (Fashion) 3:51
  2. Die In The West (Fashion) 4:12
  3. Red, Green and Gold (Fashion) 4:40
  4. Burning Down (Fashion) 3:27
  5. (a) Big John (Fashion) \
  6. (b) Hanoi Annoys Me (Fashion){3 song medley} 7:24
  7. (c) The Innocent (Fashion) /
  8. Citinite (Fashion) 5:18
  9. Don't Touch Me, Touch Me (Fashion) 3:00
  10. Bike Boys (Fashion) 5:05
  11. Fashion (Fashion) 3:30
  12. Technofascist (Fashion) 3:35
Fledgling IRS Records' second LP surely must have had A&M executives scratching their heads. And Miles Copeland must've surely been enjoying himself seeing their collective eyebrows raise as he made some of the first footholds for the new wave and punk invasion of the US.

With their unique reggae-influenced techno-punk sound, radio airplay was practically non-existent in 1979. But this LP is one of your humble webmeister's favorite IRS LPs, so airplay and hit be-damned, I'm gonna tell you that this is one terrific listen! "Die In The West", which kicks off side one, really appeals not just to my California roots but, to my mind, explains why all these east coast nuts keep moving to California. (Yes, I know they probably weren't thinking about California when they wrote it.) The middle tune ("The Innocent") of the three song medley that closes out side one was (wisely) the song selected as the single. Standout tracks on side two are: "Citinite", "Don't Touch Me, Touch Me" , and "Technofascist". "Red, Green and Gold" is catchy and the lyrics serve two meanings; not just the obvious "peace, love and understanding" blatantly repeated in the lyrics, but a subliminal drug message... Think: "Red" as in Panama, "Gold" as in Acapulco, and so on, if you catch my drift. I may be wrong, but from the perspective of 1970's suburban teen-dom it seems dead on.

Find this album and enjoy it!


Singles

9502 Sleeve "The Innocent"/"Red, Green and Gold" & "Sodium Pentathol Negative"
IRS IR9502 (Released 28 Sep 1979)

Produced by Miki Cottrell
Sleeve Design by Fashion Design

Musicians:
Percussion, Harp, Vox Dïk
Guitar, Effects, Primo Vox Lûke
Bass, Synth, Vox Mulligán

This three-song single (second in the 9500 series) featured the middle tune ("The Innocent") from the LP's three-song medley as the A-side. The B-side featured "Red, Green And Gold" and a non-LP track, "Sodium Pentathol Negative". All three are excellent tunes.


Compilations & Soundtracks

IRS GREATEST HITS, VOLS 2 & 3 (IRS SP70800) includes the non-LP cut "Sodium Pentathol Negative" on side 4, cut 6


FASHION LINKS & OTHER COOL STUFF

There are few links for Fashion, but since Mulligan has reformed the band (at least in name) sites are starting to appear...


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This Page Last Updated 2 December 2002
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