Friday, June 12, 2015

"All Touch" by Rough Trade

Song#:  1286
Date:  12/18/1982
Debut:  81
Peak:  58
Weeks:  7
Genre:  New Wave

Pop Bits:  This Canadian band was developed by British-born Carole Pope and Kevan Staples. The pair remained the core of the group throughout its run. Known for their sexually charged rock music and live shows that typically featured Pope in bondage outfits, the group seemed to be breaking barriers in Canada. Their 1980 single "Fashion Victim" became a modest hit reaching #25 on the Canadian chart, but it was their next single that truly got the band notice. The song "High School Confidential" garnered controversy thanks to its lesbian-themed lyrics (Pope was openly lesbian). All the attention, plus a performance on "SCTV," helped the single reach #12. They followed it up with their 1981 album "For Those Who Think Young," which featured this first single that would hit #12. Unfortunately, it took over a year before the LP and single could get issued in other countries. "All Touch" was released the end of '82 and had some momentum, but their US label (Boardwalk) shut down and without any further promotion or even singles to sell, the song tumbled off the chart. It would be their only US charting single. The band would grab another Canadian Top 20 hit, but by 1988 they would call it quits.

ReduxReview:  Okay, so when I saw the band's name, I figured they were not your normal rock band. (Don't know what "rough trade" is? Look it up on Urban Dictionary.) With their provocative lyrics, sexually charged shows, and gay culture connections (they even created a stage show called "Restless Underwear" that featured Divine!), I'm really surprised that I've never heard of the band. This is a single that might have stood out on radio and got some attention. It might have done a little better had the label not folded, but I wouldn't peg this for a major hit. I like Pope's voice. It sounds similar to Ann Wilson's (Heart) except deeper with a bit more attitude. They were certainly interesting and some of their songs are worth searching out.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Carole Pope's sister is writer/producer Elaine Pope. Elaine has written and produced for TV shows like "Murphy Brown," "Fridays," and "Not Necessarily the News," and has written TV specials for Lily Tomlin. She won an Emmy in 1992 for writing an episode of "Seinfield." Carole Pope is also an award winner. She won three Juno awards. One for Most Promising Female Vocalist and two for Best Female Vocalist. 2) Other artists have covered Rough Trade songs including Dusty Springfield. She used two of the band's songs for her 1982 album "White Heat." Years later in her biography, Pope stated that she and Springfield were in a relationship during this time. Springfield also contributed backing vocals on Rough Trade's "For Those Who Think Young" LP.


No comments:

Post a Comment