Recently, I was going through some various radio stations, when I came across a song that I hadn’t heard for a rather long time, but it made the memories come flooding back, as this is an example of a song that briefly seemed to be everywhere, and this was little like anything else that was around on the chart at the time. Electric Six were an American group that formed in the late-90s, and their aim was to make some rather quirky songs, they definitely did achieve that.
In January 2003 their debut single “Danger High Voltage” was released. Most of the stir around this was caused by the video, which featured frontman Dick Valentine, accompanied by some woman, who were both very keen to tell us how fond they were of each other, whilst some lights were, er, flashing. It was a sight that you couldn’t forget really.
It seemed that even people who weren’t up with the current chart scene were discussing this, although they were probably totally baffled by what they had seen. Your brother was talking about it, your neighbour was talking about it, all of them. “Danger High Voltage” reached no. 2, meaning that they came out of just about nowhere, and almost had a chart-topper. And they also got to do their thing on Top Of The Pops.
Well how do you follow that? While there was still demand to discover what they would do next, in June 2003 “Gay Bar” was released, and I don’t know how they did it, but this had a video that was even more outrageous than the previous one. This reached no. 5, and became their second and final Top Ten hit single in the UK. In July 2003, the album “Fire” made the Top Ten too.
But then it all seemed to fizzle out a little from here. In October 2003 “Dance Commander” was released, and this reached a disappointing by comparison no. 40. They had caused a sensation at the start of the year, but by the end of it, their moment of fame was just about over. I know that it happens all the time in pop music, but it didn’t seem that likely that it would happen here.
But Electric Six would have one last hit, when in December 2004 “Radio Ga Ga” was released, and this was a cover of the Queen song, giving Dick a chance to show off his best Freddie impression. This reached no. 21, to become their fourth and final UK hit single. They have barely been heard of since (although they have now made over 15 albums!), but for that brief moment, they brightened up the chart like few other acts have.