A while ago I started doing the pop music series Down The Dumper and The One-Hit Wonders, where I looked back at the interesting stories of acts from the 80s whose success either tailed off very quickly with a flop follow-up single, or they had no further hit singles at all. And there will be some more entries in this series, going into the 90s and 2000s decades, but recently I came across a song from the 70s that wasn’t a hit that I really wanted to find out more about, and even though it falls out of the criteria that I’ve set, I thought I’d share it anyway.
A while ago, when I was fiddling through some radio stations, I came across a song that I hadn’t heard before, but I really liked it. Thankfully the host said the title of the song, who it was by, and what year it was released. I was eager to find out more, and I do like a challenge, the less information that is out there, the more I want to track it down.
The song was “Slave Of Love” by the Destroyers, which was released on Salsoul Records in 1977. It’s rather repetitive, but rather hypnotic, the only lyrics being “I don’t want to be set free/want to be your slave of love“. One of the male singers has a remarkably deep voice, which blends with the female one. The song is about 4½ minutes, I haven’t been able to find any extended versions or remixes about twice as long, even though it would’ve been the same thing about another 20 times over. This song must’ve come from somewhere.
I discovered that “Slave Of Love” was the B-side to their debut single “‘Lectric Love”, which wasn’t too bad either. But who were the Destroyers exactly? According to the picture of the sleeve of the single (which is described as a “Disco-Buster”) there were three people in the group (well I presume that they’re the people in the group). I noticed that there was some biographical information on the back of the Dutch version of the single (I don’t think it was even released in the UK), but of course, it was all in Dutch.
So I put all this through a translator, and this is what it reveals about the group. Firstly, “Three New Yorkers, a woman and two men, make up the group. The woman is Bijou, a pretty blonde creature who plays the Lazeriser and percussion and also sings. She is known to like Thai food and wearing no clothes”. Well that’s really terrific to know.
And also “Edward Gash also plays the Lazeriser and loves the music of Ravel, Debussy, Satie, Prokoviev and Varese. He is also the inventor of the electronic instrument the Lazeriser, which defines the sound of the Destroyers”. Maybe he wanted to put Debussy to a Disco beat. NO, COME BACK… But wait, the group were so pioneering they had to invent the instruments before they could make their singles with the sound they wanted. And what is a “Lazeriser” exactly? I’ve no idea.
And finally “Ramon Boulez, from Algiers, plays guitar, Fender bass and drums. A unique trio”. Also notable are the production team, consisting of Jeffrey Lesser, and Rupert Holmes, the English-born singer/songwriter who had a Number One single in America in late-1979/early-1980 with “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)”. Unlike some acts in more recent years who’ve tried to make Disco songs that sounded like they could’ve been made in New York in 1977, this group really were making New York Disco records in 1977. Hard luck, Kylie!
And of course, despite the hype, “‘Lectric Love” wasn’t a hit in America, the Destroyers released no more singles (I doubt that they only ever made two songs, but I can’t find any trace of any more), and none of them were ever heard of again. It’s always great to find songs like this though, so whoever they were and wherever their Laserizers are now, I’m grateful.