Album: Sulk (Beggars Banquet,1982) Chart pos:UK#9
Billy Mackenzie who was the subject of The Smiths song William, It Was Really Nothing, killed himself in 1997. Looking back on his career it’s easy to wonder how much how much the bloke had going for him. As well as having movie star looks and an amazing singing voice, he was also enormously charismatic the kind of guy who could rob you blind and could still charm you at the same time. Instead of capitalizing on his talent he turned his back on being successful and self-destructed after his mother’s death.
Listening to his band The Associates biggest (and only UK top ten) hit Party Fears Two it’s sometimes easy to understand how the big success the record company predicted never came. The bands idiosyncrasies like Billy Mackenzie's wacky lyrics that include odd couplets like 'Even a slight remark/Makes nonsense and turns to shark' and Alan Rankine's left-field musical experiments made their music much more of an acquired taste compared to much of the New Romantic detritus of the 80's.