Money / Sex Machine / Suzanne- The Flying Lizards

Years before The Art of Noise there were The Flying Lizards, an English experimental new wave band formed and led by record producer David Cunningham and featuring a loose collective of avant-garde musicians including Deborah Evans-Stickland (who provides vocals on the tracks here), David Toop and Steve Beresford, who the Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings calls “one of the unsung geniuses of modern European music, a constant presence whose contribution is usually unremarked.”

The group were signed to Virgin records and had a hit with their cover of Barrett Strong’s Money in 1979 but none of their subsequent releases – a mix of covers and their own material – managed to chart. I’ve no idea why. They were still doing the exact same thing. Maybe people thought after that first single that they were now just taking the piss, and maybe they were, albeit with very straight faces. This promo for Sex Machine is hilarious, it looks like three 1980s BBC Programmes for Schools presenters ended up in a music video. And I love their icy Ballardian take on Leonard Cohen’s Suzanne

Listen to Cover to Cover on Spotify

Cover to Cover on YouTube