Friday, March 15, 2019

"Digging Your Scene" by The Blow Monkeys

Song#:  2708
Date:  05/03/1986
Debut:  89
Peak:  14
Weeks:  19
Genre:  Blue-Eyed Soul, Sophisti-Pop

Pop Bits:  This UK band was headed up by singer/songwriter Robert Howard, aka Dr. Robert. They formed in 1981 and after a couple of years gigging and gaining a following, they were signed to RCA Records. A debut album in 1984, Limping for a Generation, wasn't a hit, but RCA saw potential in the band and asked for a follow-up. They recorded Animal Magic and pushed out a first single titled "Forbidden Fruit." The song was barely a blip on the UK chart, which didn't bode well for the band. But then this second single was released and things turned around. It became their first hit in the UK reaching #12. The US branch of RCA got the single out and it too did well hitting the Pop Top 20 while getting to #7 at Dance. Follow-up singles were middling affairs in the UK and didn't make any chart in the US, but this song set them up well for their next LP, She Was Only a Grocer's Daughter. In the UK, the album did well getting to #20 thanks to the #5 hit "It Doesn't Have to Be This Way." In the US, it seems label politics may have doomed the song and it failed to chart. The Blow Monkeys would never chart again in the US. They continued to be mildly successful in the UK until their break up in 1990.

ReduxReview:  I liked this smooth groovin' tune when it first came out and bought the single. I ended up getting a little tired of it because I had a boss at the time that loved this song and played it all the time. It's one that you don't hear too often any more and it is kind of refreshing when it does get played. The band had some other good tunes to offer including "It Doesn't Have to Be This Way," but besides this track they failed to fully catch on in the US.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Dr. Robert is not a real doctor, obviously. It came about when on the band's first single, Robert Howard got credited as Dr. Robert. It was just a lark at at the time, but it ended up sticking. The name came from the 1966 Beatles song "Doctor Robert," which originally appeared on the UK version of Rubber Soul (in the US it appeared on Yesterday and Today).  2) Although the band would only get one song on the US charts, a cover tune they recorded was featured on one of the biggest soundtrack albums in music history. RCA Records was in charge of the soundtrack to the film Dirty Dancing, starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. The label tapped The Blow Monkeys to supply a track for the album and given limited time to record one, the band selected to do a cover of Lesley Gore's 1963 #2 hit "You Don't Own Me." The film became a big box office success and the soundtrack did even better spending 18 weeks at #1 and selling over 32 million copies worldwide making the fourth biggest selling soundtrack of all time after The Bodyguard, Saturday Night Fever, and Grease.



  1. Totally forgotten all about this song, this is one song that seems to get better with each listen, at first I didn't think too much of this song but I find myself really digging this song, I give this song a 7/10 rating.

    1. It's one that kind of sneaks up on you. Once you start groovin' to it, the tune will stay in your head.