Friday, June 26, 2020

With Underwater Moonlight The Soft Boys launch the jangle pop era of the 80's

The Soft Boys : Kingdom of Love


On June 28, 1980 The Soft Boys released Underwater Moonlight, the band's second album. Led by art school dropout Robyn Hitchcock and featuring guitarist Kimberly Rew, The Soft Boys provided the rock world with a bridge from the John Lennon/Syd Barrett/Byrds sounds of the 60's  to the jangle pop of R.E.M./Replacements/The Smiths and so many other bands. 

What no band could imitate is Hitchcock's bizarre sense of humor. On "Kingdom of Love", he compares infatuation to insects crawling under his skin:

You've been laying eggs under my skin 
Now they're hatching out under my chin 
Now there's tiny insects showing through 
And all them tiny insects look like you 

When the band broke up Hitchcock began releasing solo material that appealed to college radio DJ's like myself while Rew went off to form Katrina and the Waves. A 2001 release of Underwater Moonlight contains 36 songs on two discs, including a cover of Roxy Music's "Over You". 

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