Associates make the cover of Smash Hits, the UK pop magazine aimed mainly at non-serious musos, unlike publications such as NME, Melody Maker, Record Mirror and Sounds. It's hard to imagine that there were so many publications covering rock and pop music in the UK and that you'd be hard pushed to find much coverage at all in the daily and weekly newspapers. Times have changed....
The cover of the magazine coincided with the release of the single Love Hangover/18 Carat Love Affair, a record which would go onto make #21 in the charts, the final smash hit that the duo enjoyed, following on from Party Fears Two (#9 in February 1982) and Club Country (#13 in April 1982).
Alan Rankine and Billy Mackenzie were hardly overnight successes - Party Fears Two had been their 10th single release in 3 years. Aned just as fame and fortune seemed to be coming their way, they split up, although Billy continued to write and record as Associates until 1990 after which he became a bona-fide solo artist. As many of you will know, he sadly took his own life in January 1997 at the age of 39 suffering from depression after the death of his mother.
Alan Rankine recorded four solo LPs in the 80s as well as a sought-after record producer. He later carved out a career as a lecturer in music at a further education college in the centre of Glasgow.
The pop world of today would have no place for talents like Alan and Billy. There's no way they would be indulged with ten goes before a chart hit and they would have had no career once the hits had dried-up. The pop world of today is a sadder and duller place than it was back in the days when I has a hairstyle and look like Mr Rankine on the cover.
Here's some 12" versions of Associates songs:-
mp3 : Associates - Tell Me Easter's On Friday
mp3 : Associates - Club Country
mp3 : Associates - Party Fears Two
mp3 : Associates - Those First Impressions