7_Songs: Bow Wow Wow

Bow Wow Wow

Bow Wow Wow are an English New Wave band, formed by Malcolm McLaren in 1980 when he recruited members of Adam and the Ants to form the band behind 13-year-old Annabella Lwin on vocals. Other band members included Leigh Gorman (Bass) Matthew Ashman (guitar), Dave Barbarossa (drums). Bow Wow Wow released their debut single "C’30, C’60, C’90 Go" and EP 'Your Cassette Pet' in 1980 but landed their first international success with "I Want Candy" two years later. In 1983, after the release of their last single "Do You Wanna Hold Me?", the group planned to embark on a world tour, but tensions within the group were rising and Lwin was suddenly fired from the band learning about it in NME.

The band reformed in 1997 for a 'Barking Mad' Tour. Their songs "Aphrodisiac", "I Want Candy" and "Fools Rush In" were included on the soundtrack of the 2006 Sofia Coppola film Marie Antoinette.

In December 2012, Gorman began performing under the name "Bow Wow Wow" without original lead singer Lwin's consent, hiring a new singer, whereas Annabella performs billed as "Annabella Lwin of the original Bow Wow Wow". On 25 May 2018, Cherry Red Records released the three-disc set Your Box Set Pet (The Complete Recordings 1980–1984)

C’30, C’60, C’90 Go
Bow Wow Wow released their debut single “C’30, C’60, C’90 Go" in 1980, and in fact, it was the first single ever to be released on a cassette, paying a little tribute to the format itself at the same time. It was dealing with piracy and home taping. The latter was popular in the 80's and that everyone sure did at a certain age and time.

As you may remember when the lead singer Annabella Lwin started with Bow Wow Wow she was 13 years old and their marvelous song "Chihuahua" could have been a bit biographical and telling her story in music. It was also the first single to be taken from their debut album See Jungle! See Jungle! Go Join Your Gang Yeah, City All Over! Go Ape Crazy!.

Baby, Oh No
In 1982 Bow Wow Wow released “Baby, Oh No” in Australia and the USA. This song was not under such strong influence of the Burundi beat and tribal rhythms which was the band’s trademark, but more sort of could have been a New Wave classic in a Blondie manner.

Go Wild in The Country
In 1982, the band also released their most successful hits to date. One of them was “Go Wild in The Country” which was written by Malcolm Mclaren in collaboration with the band. The single sleeve was the same as for their debut album and caused controversy as Lwin was posing nude on it and she was just 14 years old at the time. The single was a success in the UK and went silver.

I Want Candy
“I Want Candy” followed during the same year and Bow Wow Wow gave new life to a song that was originally performed by the Strangeloves and released in 1965. Although this song did not have a huge impact on the charts outside the UK, it remains as one of the true New Wave classics. To this date, this is the band’s biggest success where the cover version certainly has outlived the original.

In 1983, Bow Wow Wow released their second album When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going which in a way also changed the band's musical direction more into surf rock but still remaining New Wave. "Mario" one of the songs from the album had great bass, cool guitars but remained as one of BWW obscurities in every sense and it was only released in the Netherlands.

Do You Want to Hold Me?
In 1983 Bow Wow Wow released two more singles before disbanding. Their last single was "Do You Want To Hold Me" proved to be a mad catchy farewell that could have been a bigger hit, but New Wave itself was already in the fade out. Besides "I Want Candy", this one certainly remains as band's biggest hit to date.

Below is the YouTube playlist with the above mentioned singles, plus the complete discography of single releases, in chronological order, as documented by their music videos and live performances.


Anonymous said...

Wow! (BOW WOW)...great job with this mini biopic. One of my fave bands from back when the music scene was actually great and exciting...I was actually lucky enough to see them perform at Stony Brook Uni..1982? Yikes! Annabella rocked a bright green taffeta dress ...they sounded great live. And a quick mention of her solo single "Car Sex"..thanls for your blog...Txo