Unauthorised item in the bagging area

Saturday 9 July 2022

Saturday Theme Eighteen

Back in 1987 the three headed monster of Stock Aitken and Waterman produced a single for model and singer Mandy Smith and somehow created a record which went on to become a Balearic classic. It's an opinion splitter of a record and probably one of those which fits into Andrew Weatherall's description of the impact of E- 'you start off dancing to Throbbing Gristle and end up dancing to Chris Rea. That's how dangerous a drug Ecstasy is'. Mandy's Theme (I Just Can't Wait) was played out on the White Isle by those pioneers who ventured out there in the summers of 1987 and 1988 and ended up on the Balearic Beats Vol. 1 album, a compilation with a tracklist selected by Trevor Fung (who was a DJ at Amnesia in Ibiza from 1982 onwards). The album cemented for many people, not least those who didn't ever get to Ibiza during those halcyon days, the Balearic sound of summer in Ibiza in the late 80s- The Residents, The Woodentops, Code 61, Electra, Fini Tribe, Thrashing Doves, Nitzer Ebb. Interestingly, Trevor recently gave an interview to Dr. Rob at Ban Ban Ton Ton where he said that there were other tracks that were on his shortlist for inclusion but didn't make it. The missing songs would have made the album a much more house based affair- you can read it and find out what they are here. There's a full interview with Trevor here too. 

Mandy's Theme (I Just Can't Wait) (Cool And Breezy Jazz Version)

Mandy's Theme sonically is in a similar place to some of those mentioned above, the drum machine and bassline, the piano, the Spanish guitar. Mandy doesn't arrive until four minutes in, singing about being called a fool and a baby (which may or may not be a reference to her relationship with Bill Wyman, who she first met aged thirteen. He was thirty four years older. They went public, widely reported in the tabloids, on the day of her sixteenth birthday, married two years later and divorced two years after that. He wrote in his autobiography' she took my breath away... she was a woman at thirteen'. Different times eh?). Anyway, moving on from that which all seems even more distasteful now than it did then, Mandy's Theme is a perfect holiday record, the sort of tune that hits the spot in discos in holiday resorts and maybe doesn't sound quite as great back home in Britain in November.  


Khayem said...

I love the Balearic Beats album but it was fascinating to read how the 'expanded edition' would have played out. All of those six tracks are superb but, as you say, would have considerably changed the shape of the compilation.

Even back in the day, there was something quite nauseating about Bill Wyman's tryst with Mandy Smith...only it wasn't exactly a secret, as her mum appeared to be fully aware and consenting. In an even stranger twist, Patsy Smith was briefly married to Wyman's son (he was 30, she was 46) so I think that would have made her Wyman's daughter in law as well as Mandy's mum?!

It appears that Mandy significantly and positively changed her life and lifestyle once she got shot of Wyman and her pop career. Bill Wyman was still a grubby old git, last time I checked.

Anonymous said...

"Quite nauseating"? She was 13, ffs.

Khayem said...

Anonymous, I owe you and Adam an apology for what was a poorly articulated and carelessly edited comment.

The original paragraph started out with a focus on my memory of the media coverage particularly in The Scum. I didn’t recall that Wyman was completely and utterly condemned for his criminal actions and I was sickened by this at the time. I cut out the references to the media out of the submitted reply as it was too long but I accept that using the words ‘quite nauseating’ in either context suggested that I thought the behaviour of the supposedly responsible adults was anything other than wholly abhorrent. I don’t. I think Wyman is a criminal, despite not being formally charged and convicted as such.

Thank you for calling me out for my ignorance, Anonymous, I’m sorry.

Adam Turner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.