Great Moments In Pop – The 80s Part 41.

When I was taking a look at some singles charts from the 80s, I was hoping to discover some more interesting stories worth sharing. This is a group who I was attracted to, and it turns out that there is a rather odd coincidence. The first thing that caught my attention was their video, which featured some Pop Art and comic book-style imagery mixed in with some live action, and I’ve always liked things like that.

The group are rather interesting too. Perils Of Plastic were a British duo who formed in 1984, consisting of Steve and Steve. Now Steve (not that Steve, the other Steve) was best-known for being a keyboardist, who had worked with various people, including Elvis Costello. While Steve (not that Steve, the other Steve) was the singer, who had also been a member of various groups, including Deaf School. Now wait a moment, there’s a name that I’ve seen before.

When I did my piece on the career of Bette Bright, who had a minor hit in 1980, and went on to marry Madness frontman Suggs, I said she had been one of the singers with Deaf School back in the mid-70s. Their other singer was rather suave, he had a moustache, and was known as Enrico Cadillac. Well it turns out that Enrico and Steve are one and the same, and I was really surprised, I hadn’t realised that you could get from Perils Of Plastic to Bette Bright in only one step. By this point Steve had ditched the moustache though.

Their debut single “Ring A Ding Ding” was released in March 1986. The critics seemed to be rather fond of this. One said “a classy soul-pop pastiche whose throwaway chorus is fiendishly catchy”, while another said “its offbeat charm and involved backing and soulful vocals could give it a respectable chart position”, and others were positive too.

As far the video that I enjoyed, I wondered if I could find any information about who the animators were, or who the director was at least, although we were informed that “Amanda’s dress was designed by Eloise Blot of Dorking”. It turns out that the director was John Gordon-Sinclair, better known as an actor. The single’s cover is also interesting, with a Roy Lichtenstein-style image which says “POP!” (also the initials of the group), changed from the original “POW!”. There was another cover released later simply featuring a picture of the two Steves, so I don’t know if there was any trouble there.

“Ring A Ding Ding” originally reached an unofficial no. 119. But there was a second wave of interest in May 1986, after this was featured on the Hits 4 compilation album (but curiously only on the VHS version, not the actual disc), and the video was also shown on an early edition of Channel 4’s The Chart Show, leading to a new peak of an unofficial no. 108. It must’ve been rather disappointing not to make the Top 100, although I do know that “Ring A Ding Ding” went on to become the 784th biggest-selling single of 1986 in the UK (I haven’t made that up).

I’m fairly sure that this didn’t make the chart in any other countries though. After this, two more singles were released, 1986’s “Womanhood”, and 1987’s “The Love I Love”, but neither of these made the chart either, and I don’t think that there were videos made for them. It seems that there was an album planned at one point, but this wasn’t released, and not long after, Perils Of Plastic were no longer a happening thing.