Sigue Sigue Sputnik : 21st Century Boys: The Best Of /Piratespace

The year 2001, horror of horrors, actually finds the group strangely relevant...

“WOULD YOU PAY £4M FOR THIS CRAP?” screamed one [I]NME[/I] cover in February 1986, juxtaposed with an image of a supine man with fishnet tights over his head. That man was Martin Degville, frontperson for a scam perpetuated by ex-punk rocker Tony James. And he couldn’t sing a note.

Didn’t stop Sigue Sigue Sputnik from causing an almighty furore, though. With multimedia events and a tabloid frenzy in times when pop commanded few column inches, the stage was set for a phenomenon that all but ended when the recorded songs were finally heard. For all the dub effects used to mask and transform Degville’s voice, the synthetic Eddie Cochran bass riffs and chicken-scratch guitar thrash, it was apparent SSS only played variations on one tune: ‘Love Missile F1-11’. A good laugh, mind. 4/10

The year 2001, horror of horrors, actually finds the group strangely relevant. By some time-lapse glitch in the universe, the world that Sputnik foresaw has come to pass and their revenge, while sweet, has a sad undertow. ‘Piratespace’ announces itself as a more varied beast, crammed with sound FX and found voices, and displays ears finely-tuned to recent techno developments. There are still deeply unfashionable elements (which was James’ original crime, supposedly) and yet a kind of honesty has replaced cynicism now that the web-literate SSS are feted by goths. 6/10

Dele Fadele