The Associates – Party Fears Two (1982)

associates

The first single released from the Sulk album was “Party Fears Two”. It became the band’s breakthrough single, reaching number 9 on the UK Singles Chart in March 1982. A second single, “Club Country”, was almost as successful, reaching number 13 in May 1982. The singles’ success owed greatly to Associates’ memorable appearances on the UK’s best known and most watched television music show of the time, Top of the Pops. The group took the opportunity to subvert the family-friendly nature of the programme with absurdist pranks: on their second appearance performing “Party Fears Two”, Rankine played the banjo while dressed in a fencing suit and wearing samurai make-up with chopsticks in his hair, while Mackenzie spent much of the song singing to the image of himself in the television monitors rather than face the audience or the cameras. For their final Top of the Pops appearance, Rankine had two chocolate guitars made by the London department store Harrods which he played during their performance of “18 Carat Love Affair”, one of which he broke up and gave to audience members halfway through the song. Rankine confessed that the reason for their stunts was that “partly it was just a response to the boredom of having to be there at the BBC studio from half eight in the morning and not getting out until ten at night”.




I’ll have a shower
And then phone my brother up
Within the hour
I’ll smash another cup

Please don’t start saying that
Or I’ll start believing you
If I start believing you
I’ll know that this party fears two

And what if this party fears two?
The alcohol loves you while turning you blue
View it from here
From closer to near, awake me

Don’t turn around
I won’t have to look at you
And what’s not found
Is all that I see in you

My manners are failing me
I’m left feeling ugly
And you say it’s wonderful
To live with I never will

So what if this party fears two?
The alcohol loves you while turning you blue
View it from here
From closer to near, awake me

I’m standing still
And you say I dress too well
Still standing still
I might but it’s hard to tell

Even a slight remark
Makes nonsense and turns to shark
Have I done something wrong?
What’s wrong’s the wrong that’s always in wrong

I’ll have a shower
And then phone my brother up
Within the hour
I’ll smash another cup

[Dedicated to Martha Podell]

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