Flush the Fashion 40th Anniversary

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Mr.Bluelegs
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Flush the Fashion 40th Anniversary

Post by Mr.Bluelegs » Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:13 am

It's hard to believe FTF will be 40 years' old in 2020. I bought it the day it came out and immediately loved it. Admittedly, I was surprised by the complete reinvention of Alice (I loved From the Inside and saw the incredible Madhouse Rocks tour) but felt it was so cool that he changed his image and style of music. Don't know why, but I've been listening to the album a lot this summer and it still sounds so great. That triple opening of Talk, Clones, and Pain is so fantastic. So many other great songs as well. I'd love to hear some of your opinions/ memories of this album...

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Re: Flush the Fashion 40th Anniversary

Post by pitkin88 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:44 am

It's a great album with great production and the most focused of the blackout albums. Such a tight taut almost breathless album. After the excess of Lace and Whiskey and overblown FTI this was Alice getting right back in your face. To me it was a breath of fresh air.

Of course Warners dropped the ball with Clones which should have been huge.

If there was one thing I would have changed, I would have stopped the album dead after " just don't spit on me ".

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Re: Flush the Fashion 40th Anniversary

Post by killer wolf » Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:47 am

not really got "memories" as I only got into Alice in about 1985, but I love the album. love the daft songs like Leather Boots and Headlines, Nuclear Infected is a bouncy little gem, and Pain is one of my favourite Alice songs.
cracking album all around, IMO.
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Re: Flush the Fashion 40th Anniversary

Post by tuneylune » Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:33 am

After the last few albums by him, had to really have an internal Heart to Heart about whether to buy anymore . LP was on sale and love at first listen. truly one of my favorites; lean and mean, first rate songs all around, exemplary work by RTB and a sense of fun throughout.
Played it constantly that summer and still give it many listens to this day.
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Re: Flush the Fashion 40th Anniversary

Post by mestreech » Thu Aug 08, 2019 10:39 am

Great album.

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Re: Flush the Fashion 40th Anniversary

Post by Babysquid » Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:13 pm

When I originally got into Alice in 1989 this was the last of his other albums that I managed to get hold of. I didn’t really care for it back then, it was my least favorite of the blackout lps. A couple of years ago I gave it a spin and then... I gave it another and another. In fact it sat on or near my turntable for quite a few months afterwards. I think I might get it out again in a minute actually...

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Re: Flush the Fashion 40th Anniversary

Post by Saint&Sinner » Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:32 pm

I didn't get into Alice until early 90's so I didn't know a lot about his history or backcatalog, was a case of buying whatever I came across (which lead to a couple of "freak out" related nightmares)
When I picked up flush the fashion I was shocked at the sound. It was a completely different feel to how Alice was and I didn't think it took advantage of the character very well. I have always broadly liked the image change and how he presented himself on this and special forces. However I have never been overly fond of the album , for me it was a frustrating listen, loving approx. half the album and disliking the other half. Production is very cold by design and works overall but I just didn't think the song writing was strong enough. Pain, grim facts and clones are great though.
I always thought if the good songs from this and special forces were mashed together the resulting album would be killer, however as it stands both are aggressively average for me.
I'm sure the celebratory box set will be released next year.....right?

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Re: Flush the Fashion 40th Anniversary

Post by Mr.Bluelegs » Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:59 pm

Enjoying all the great responses. Pitkin88- I agree, Warners did drop the ball on promoting Clones. Could've been a top ten hit, perfect for the times, still a classic. Tuneylune- great description, "lean & mean." Babysquid- Break out the album and crank it up! Saint&Sinner- Wish there was a box set! They could remix some of the live versions from the El Paso show. Also, "Don't Talk Old to Me" & "Prettiest Cop on the Block" were written for the album. Time wise, they both could've fit on the album.

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Re: Flush the Fashion 40th Anniversary

Post by mr.barlow » Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:38 am

FTF is one of my favorite Alice albums. It keeps climbing the ranks of my personal favorites and now is solidly in my top 5. I've spent most of this year (so far) listening to this particular album.

Hey Pitkin--there are times I think we share the same brain---when I recorded this album on cassette (when I was a mere boy and a beardless youth} for playback on my boom box and later my car I did exactly what you wished for. I was 13 years old and thought it was best to stop it right after "Just don't spit on me". My buddies and I loved it that way----and that was a catchphrase among us for a few years!

IF WB gave Clones the right promotion I'm convinced it would have been a #1 hit. It would have changed the trajectory of Alice's career and he would have easily rode out the early 1980s being a new wave act. Also, one has to keep in mind that Alice is somewhat to blame as his addiction was growing and I'm guessing WB knew this and was hesitant to dump a ton of money behind him.

The thing is---if FTF was a smash success we would have never gotten everything that followed it.

The production is perfect. The character change was perfect. The look was perfect. The album cover was perfect. The lyrics are perfect. "Pain" is one of Alice's best set of lyrics. And on and on and on....

The best thing Alice did with the album was shed the overblown excess of the 1970s. Start the new decade with a new sound, look and energy. He got rid of the ever growing tired horror schtick and got lean and mean and simplistic---which was desperately needed at the time.

I "discovered" Alice between the release of FTF and the release of SF. This was the Alice I grew to love. I heard of Alice and knew School's Out and WTMN but the horror character had no relevance to me. It had zero impact on me becoming a fan. I LOVED Special Forces Alice. To me---that character was just wickedly insane. And to this day it's my opinion that the 1981 tour was the only time Alice was able to capture the energy of the early days. I actually believe he far exceeded it. I was a fortunate one as I was able to discover Alice at his most diverse.

It's funny that as time passes, the blackout albums are given another listen they are starting to gain mainstream acceptance. I recently saw a "best of Alice poll" that had "Dada" in the top 10! I've been saying it's his best album since it's release--so I guess the world is finally catching up with me :)

I can't begin to list the memories that FTF was involved in. It was played at nearly every beer party, make-out session, cruising in my car (one of the few albums I STILL listen to in my car), it was a big part of my teenage years---all of the blackout albums were and still are, a huge part of my life.

"Just don't spit on me"

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Re: Flush the Fashion 40th Anniversary

Post by Saint&Sinner » Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:06 am

"Don't Talk Old to Me" & "Prettiest Cop on the Block" were written for the album.
I don't believe I knew that, that is interesting. I wonder if these would have been demoed at the time....I'd like to hear that.
I can imagine discovering alice at this time would have been weird, the complete 180 image change etc. Very exciting time to be a fan I can imagine.

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Re: Flush the Fashion 40th Anniversary

Post by mr.barlow » Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:38 am

It was far from weird---it was incredible. The world was different back then and you had no idea what the next album was going to be like. There wasn't non-stop internet press machine etc, and WB pulled way back on promotion for Alice as he was in decline. But, you always knew Alice would deliver an album each year.

I remember getting SF when it was released and was just blown away. Then I saw him on the Charlie Rose Show in that get up and was hooked. It also started my life long friendship with Amuk thanks to his ad in Kerrang magazine. At the time Amuk was basically THE SOURCE for any Alice news. He kept the fans informed on everything current in the AC world. Alice should give him a pension for his years of service to the guy!


I'm one of the few (maybe Pitkin too) who was disappointed that Alice went back to the horror schtick. I will say I was THRILLED that Alice was back and after seeing the 1986 tour--I came to accept the horror element. The 1986-1987 tours were Alice at his peak with the horror character. It still had teeth on those tours. (I know...Alice's teeth). Now he's become the rock n roll Grandpa Munster or Vincent Price (and that's NOT a bad thing). Alice from 1980 to 1988 was just an incredible era.

The came Trash and...…

I thank God he redeemed himself with The Last Temptation which ended up being one of his finest.

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Re: Flush the Fashion 40th Anniversary

Post by Mr.Bluelegs » Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:32 am

Mr. Barlow- Good point on the pre-Internet mystique of an artist. Most reviews weren't published until after an album was released and often times minimal prepublicity unless you searched Circus, Creem, or any other rock publication. So, in many cases an album appeared which was always a great treat. I also have to rank it in my top 5 or 6. I remember the sticker on the shrink wrap that proclaimed "No Ballads."
Roy T. Baker did a fabulous job on its production. Prior albums were getting a bit slick especially, for example, the backing vocals on "Serious" which almost ruined that great song. It does seem that the blackout albums are somewhat being reassessed. They each contain some amazing songs. One my favs is "Adaptable", killer riff and hilarious lyrics. "You ain't no Hepburn and I ain't no Fonda, but if you were drowning on Golden Ponda..."

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Re: Flush the Fashion 40th Anniversary

Post by mr.barlow » Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:56 am

I love that line too! Another favorite of mine is also off of Zipper in "No Baloney Homosapians" when Alice refers to "the blood and gutty human race".

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Re: Flush the Fashion 40th Anniversary

Post by Mr.Bluelegs » Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:12 am

mr.barlow wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:56 am
I love that line too! Another favorite of mine is also off of Zipper in "No Baloney Homosapians" when Alice refers to "the blood and gutty human race".

Yes! Great line.

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Re: Flush the Fashion 40th Anniversary

Post by Model Citizen » Fri Aug 09, 2019 6:50 am

I adore this record. My first introduction to the "new" Coop was the Clones promo that premiered on the "Pink Lady & Jeff" TV show. I was baffled but totally drawn to this new iteration of Alice. I rode my bike to the local Ayr-Way on release day, picked it up and rushed home to put that sucker on the turntable. Man! I fell in love. Totally a Top 5 Coop album for me. I wish he had experimented more with that musical direction. The punk-inspired new wavey jams with those quirky angular synth/guitar parts was a breath of fresh air and Alice sounded completely at home with the material. It didn't at all feel like a desperate move by an aging rocker trying to remain relevant.

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Re: Flush the Fashion 40th Anniversary

Post by patrick » Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:39 am

I found this record during a vacationperiod in which I had no access to any turntable. So plenty of time to read every single note on it, including the credits in which "Basil Fawlty" is thanked. ( yes, the one of Fawlty Towers . I mentioned this years ago on the first ST list and it appeared that Alice was a fan of it )
Asprin Damage being imho the weakest song if it, the rest being ok.
Coincidently Bowie had a single in that year "fashion"..
also interesting to read the rolling stone review of it
https://www.rollingstone.com/music/musi ... on-181775/
you really wouldn't understand..

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Re: Flush the Fashion 40th Anniversary

Post by Daggers & Contracts » Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:06 am

patrick wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:39 am
I found this record during a vacationperiod in which I had no access to any turntable. So plenty of time to read every single note on it, including the credits in which "Basil Fawlty" is thanked. ( yes, the one of Fawlty Towers . I mentioned this years ago on the first ST list and it appeared that Alice was a fan of it )
Asprin Damage being imho the weakest song if it, the rest being ok.
Coincidently Bowie had a single in that year "fashion"..
also interesting to read the rolling stone review of it
https://www.rollingstone.com/music/musi ... on-181775/
FTF is one AC LP I continue to play to this day! Happy 40th!
If you recall among one of AC's "addictions" was TV when FTF was released...
Fawlty Towers had been licensed by PBS in America. It was enjoyable & I think John Cleese is a great comedian. Good observation! :clap:
I think that as a departure from the standard AC themes as this was a breath of fresh air by RTB just to push into the next track & the next kept it interesting. Good thing most songs were also a breath of fresh air.
FTF as an experiment achieved a single (w/Clones) but, Special Forces showed that a change was happening! :8):
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Re: Flush the Fashion 40th Anniversary

Post by Daggers & Contracts » Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:29 am

Daggers & Contracts wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:06 am
patrick wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:39 am
I found this record during a vacationperiod in which I had no access to any turntable. So plenty of time to read every single note on it, including the credits in which "Basil Fawlty" is thanked. ( yes, the one of Fawlty Towers . I mentioned this years ago on the first ST list and it appeared that Alice was a fan of it )
Asprin Damage being imho the weakest song if it, the rest being ok.
Coincidently Bowie had a single in that year "fashion"..
also interesting to read the rolling stone review of it
https://www.rollingstone.com/music/musi ... on-181775/
FTF is one AC LP I continue to play to this day! Happy 40th!
If you recall among one of AC's "addictions" was TV when FTF was released...
Fawlty Towers had been licensed by PBS in America. It was enjoyable & I think John Cleese is a great comedian.
Good observation! :clap:
I think that as a departure from the standard AC themes as this was is a breath of fresh air by RTB just to push into the next track & the next to keep it interesting.
Good thing most of the songs were also not his standard fare.
A quick EP style release was a welcome departure. FTF as an experiment achieved a single (w/Clones) but, Special Forces showed that a change was happening! :8):
I've Got The Answers To All Of Your Questions...

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Re: Flush the Fashion 40th Anniversary

Post by Mr.Bluelegs » Sat Aug 10, 2019 2:47 am

Daggers and Contracts wrote "...this was is a breath of fresh air by RTB just to push into the next track & the next to keep it interesting."

I agree, that was a brilliant idea to not have any gaps of silence between the songs. A complete aural assault of great tunes one after another. This was also the first album since the ACG to have the same musicians play on every track which gave it a cohesive sound. (Of course we know about the guests on some of the ACG albums). Lastly, Davey Johnstone's guitar solo on the magnificent "Pain" is so great and overlooked.

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Re: Flush the Fashion 40th Anniversary

Post by del » Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:11 am

Really liked the album at the time but it quickly faded for me leaving only Talk Talk, Clones, Pain (absolutely love that track as it was real Alice to me) and Grim Facts as tracks I continued to play. Great to hear though that for those who came to Alice around or after this time it means more than that.

I thought the tightening of everything from production to lyrics and lack of gaps between tracks gave it a real urgency which did bring him up to date a bit more.

However, there was an issue that in the UK at any rate could not be overcome.The image change, like the Rolling Stone review suggested,was too late, as much as 3 years late in the UK.

Here, we had already been through his first two major phases of parent hated ACG and then increasingly smooth and less popular AOR to MOR. His recent recovery in radio popularity with How You Gonna See Me Now had actually placed him firmly in MOR territory. His music and image had been going in the opposite direction and he had become part of what punk had rebelled against in '76-''77. When FTF came out he was never going to jump the canyon between MOR and post punk New Wave. The whole thing looked far too much like a contrived attempt to become relevant to a young audience.

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