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The Flying Lizards

The Soaring Lizards are remembered by most listeners as new wave one-hit wonders because of their deliberately eccentric cover of Barrett Strong’s “Cash,” which became a surprise chart success in 1979. However the Soaring Lizards were actually the brainchild of David Cunningham, a well-respected avant-garde composer, maker, and visual designer, and it became among the 1st salvos in an extended and fascinating profession. Cunningham was created in Ireland in 1954, as soon as informed a reporter he 1st used music in college as a means of staying away from playing rugby along with his schoolmates. Cunningham later on developed an enthusiastic fascination with both music and visible artwork, and he remaining Ireland when he was approved in the Maidstone University of Artwork in Canterbury, Kent, where he researched film and video set up. While in college, Cunningham began performing live audio for rock rings playing on campus, which resulted in a pastime in documenting and music creation. In 1975, Cunningham self-released an recording of minimalist music, Gray Size, and using lent gear he documented a deliberately severe and minimal edition of the older Eddie Cochran strike “Summertime Blues,” with artwork college chum Deborah Evans adding toned, tuneless vocals. Cunningham statements the low-tech solitary cost simply 20 pounds to create, and after it had been turned down by way of a number of brands, Virgin Records selected it up for launch in 1978, beneath the assumption that it had been inexpensive plenty of to recoup its costs quickly. Released beneath the name the Soaring Lizards, “Summertime Blues” fascinated enough press focus on sell several thousand copies, placing the task solidly within the dark, and Cunningham made a decision to consider another stab at reconfigured pop. Using its clanking ready piano, crashing percussion noises (a combined mix of tambourine and snare drum), and another monotonic vocal by Evans, “Cash” was somewhat more manic than “Summertime Blues,” with the documenting budget was likewise cheap, as well as the solitary became an urgent chart strike both in European countries and america. Cunningham’s cope with Virgin was for just two singles, but with “Cash” climbing the graphs, they authorized him to a fresh contract, as well as the Soaring Lizards’ 1st album soon adopted, which presented dub-style audio tests with improvisational music artists Steve Beresford and David Toop, and bent interpretations of pop music constructs combined with the two freak strike singles. The recording sold just sufficiently to justify Virgin funding another Soaring Lizards LP, but 1981’s 4th Wall place its concentrate on the eclectic experimentalism of Cunningham’s music, and regardless of the existence of another bent cover of the pop traditional (in cases like this Curtis Mayfield’s “Move ahead Up”) and efforts from Robert Fripp, Patti Palladin, and Michael Nyman, the recording was a industrial disappointment though it received solid reviews. By this time around, Cunningham was devoting a lot of his time and energy to generating other performers (including This Warmth and Wayne Region), and after liberating 1984’s TOP — which mixed Cunningham’s eccentric undertake pop with smooth electronic textures as well as the vocals of Sally Peterson — Cunningham retired the Soaring Lizards. Since that time, he’s continued to generate multimedia installations, created several Michael Nyman’s film ratings, staged improvised shows with additional visionary musical performers, and made up music for film, tv, and dance tasks. An unreleased dub music task from 1979, where Cunningham reworked recordings by Jah Lloyd, received a belated launch in 1995 because the Secret Dub Existence of the Soaring Lizards.

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