Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Tom Tom Club - Genius of Love

Album: Tom Tom Club (Island, 1981) Chart pos: US#31

If there was anyone deserving of the moniker ‘the funkiest white woman alive’ I think Tina Weymouth deserves it the most. Its difficult to think how different the post-punk/indie rock landscape would be the same without her lending a funkier edge to Talking Heads arty post-punk . Formed during a lengthy Talking Heads hiatus in the early eighties with her husband (and Talking Heads drummer) Chris Franz the Tom Tom Club couldn’t be more removed from Talking Heads tense and nervy post punk. Instead the band leaned towards a lighter tropical fusion of funk and reggae, though that’s not to say it was any worse than Talking Heads in fact its quite the contrary. The rubbery funk and hushed girly vocals of single Genius of Love may sound twee on paper but in practice it’s a catchy and infectious number that’s almost impossible not to love. The record went on to be their only US top 40 hit and had a following in hip-hop circles and went on to being sampled by Grandmaster Flash and Mariah Carey.

On another note this song is quite an impressive homage to the Tom Tom Club, well its certainly better than Mariah’s shameless pillaging. The song is Chewing Gum By Annie and was a UK top 30 hit for her about two years ago.

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