In these pieces about pop music, I have featured mainstream acts who had big success, and then occasionally I have come across something interesting by somebody who had no hits, and there is almost nothing about online about them… and this is one of those moments, which all happened three years before I was born.
A while ago, I found some old copies of Record Mirror from the 80s online. This isn’t a weekly music paper that I remember from the time, so it was great to discover their take on what was happening in the scene, especially the singles review page. This is because of the songs that were made Record Of The Week by groups who would definitely be the next big thing and totally failed, while acts who would be huge were negatively reviewed.
It also made me realise how cynically marketed groups were even then, with some aiming to cash in on the current craze, along with tuneless groups who should never have got near a record deal. I was looking at a singles review page of a Record Mirror from October 1980, and reading about the bundle of soon to be released records that had been chucked on the table for the reviewer to go through that week.
There was also a picture with a caption that managed to catch my eye. This was of a rather glamorous woman called Gay Wild (presumably no relation to Kim, because her surname’s spelt differently… and it isn’t actually her real surname) who was captioned “a cross between Hazel O’Connor and Kate Bush”. Now this really intrigued me because they are two singers who did some innovative things and I have tried to get into them more in recent years.
It’s probably not a surprise to realise that there were some clones around at the time, although many consider Bush to be much imitated, but never bettered. Would her song live up to the comparison? Of course, the question was now, how do can I find out more about Gay Wild (a name that it isn’t that easy to search online for), and how do I get to hear “Action Action”?
The reviewer wasn’t fond of this (or much else really), and this got nowhere near the Top 75. I did manage to track something down on Discogs, which stated that this was her second single, following on from 1979’s “Blue Baby Blue”. It was also stated that “Action Action” was in the New Wave genre. And would you believe it, there was a link to her song, so it was possible to give this a listen at last.
I didn’t think it was that bad really, and of the two, I though her voice was more Bush-like. Maybe just like the picture of her on the cover of her single, her music fell between two stools, ha-ha! This one was also released in Netherlands and Portugal. After this was 1981’s “Mums And Dads”, and I don’t know anything about what happened to her after this. Maybe she could’ve been huge, but it was good to find out a little more about her.