The Associates – The Glamour Chase & Perhaps
2 x CD, Compilation, Remastered, 2012
Warner Strategic Marketing
Alan Rankine left because he couldn't deal with the world of Billy Mackenzie, and therefore Billy had to do it alone, of sorts. Rankine couldn't be replaced, nor should be replaced, because his talent was too great and what he offered was a solid right-hand figure for the Billy voice. But his leaving didn't make it a disaster, in fact perhaps (no pun intended) it opened up Billy for more adventure. After Sulk he went as far as he could in that direction, and like a tense rubber band being pulled back, it had to snap back. So what we hear after Rankine, is the rubber band's going smack against the forehead.
The Glamour Chase never officially came out till this collection was released in 2012. Recorded in the early '80s Mackenzie for whatever reason never finished the album, yet he used the songs in future collections or albums. It's a solid work for him with quite a few masterpieces in my opinon. “Take Me To The Girl” is a haunted melody and lyric that is both clever, lovelorn, and sexual at the same time. “The Rhythm Divine is a powerful slow-down rhythm (done with the Swiss band Yello) that's torchy as well as merky in its undergroundish feeling of dread coming up in a nightmare of some sort. But the strangest song is “Country Boy” which sounds like it was written in Munich before the war. A love of the country life? Billy was known to be drawn to the hills of Scotland, but this has a tad of a touch of Fascism in it. Perhaps its a very controlled nature.
Perhaps has the classic Billy ballads. “Those First Impressions,” “Breakfast,” “Don't Give Me That 'I Told You So' Look” and the title song are seemingly beautiful. Similar to a great Bowie ballad, these songs are more straight forward. Still smart, but very heart felt – and even a tad tender. But there is a bit of a cad approach to love, and it can be directed to a man or a woman. At the time very romantic for the New Romantic, but a tad real if one is bitten by the bittersweet of fainted kisses.