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Articles Home » 1985 Articles » Kaja - 1985 Crazy People's Right To Speak
Kaja - 1985 Crazy People's Right To Speak

ALBUM: Crazy People's Right To Speak
LABEL: EMI America, Parlophone (UK)
SERIAL: ST-17169, 2403991
YEAR: 1985
CD REISSUE: 2004, EMI, 7243 4 73860 2 2, with bonus tracks


LINEUP: Nick Beggs - lead vocals, bass, chapman stick, percussion * Steve Askew - guitars, e-bow, sitar, vocals * Stuart Croxford Neale - keyboards, drum programming, vocals

Additional Musicians: Dave Mattocks - drums * Louis Jardine - percussion * Michael Thompson - guitar * Annie McCaig, Lezlee Cowling - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Do I * 02 Shouldn't Do That * 03 Your Appetite * 04 Rivers * 05 Sit Down & Shut Up * 06 Afraid Of You * 07 Jigsaw * 08 Fear Of Falling * 09 Charm Of A Gun * 10 You Really Take My Breath Away


Remember Kajagoogoo? I do and still believe they were one of the worst examples of the 'New pop' movement's made for MTV excesses. As annoying as Boy George's Rolling Stone cover which surely heralded the magazine's demise, the googoo's first album 'White Feathers' sold a ton and probably more than it should have thanks to the Nick Rhodes (Duran Duran) produced mega-hit 'Too Shy' while the poster boy look of spiky hair vocalist Limahl made sure every teen girl from London to Los Angeles bought into the brand quicker than headbands and high-top Reebok's. Fortunately the band that had been around since the late '70s as Art Nouveau, dumped the egotistical Limahl for their second record 'Islands' with a decidedly less-poppy sound and Mick Karn designed album cover but still couldn't shake the teenybopper image. At a crossroads and falling out of favor with drummer Jez Strode; Kajagoogoo became a trio and shortened their moniker to the baggage free and exotic sounding Kaja.

The Songs
No one was fooled and the band broke up the year 'Crazy People's Right to Speak' was released but listening to this album again leads me to believe Kaja and their apparently dwindling fan base should have given it a little more time. With Nick Beggs on lead vocals, the music hints at the direction he would take with Ellis, Beggs & Howard and their superb 1988 release 'Homelands'. It's a delightful ride and falling under the Kaja spell, 'Do I' and the hyperactive overdrive of 'Shouldn't Do That' recall both Prince and George Michael with a sharp hi-tech edge. Now this is not normally my thing but the shimmering 'Rivers', the multidirectional electronics of 'Sit Down & Shut Up' and the Duran Duran-ish AOR bop of 'Afraid Of You' and 'Jigsaw' lift the record above typical run-of-the-mill, over produced and faceless pop of the decade, making for an upbeat fun-filled trip down memory lane.

In Summary
In an attempt to break the band in America, EMI reissued the Kajagoogoo album 'Islands' under the Kaja name as 'Extra Play' but escape from the monstrous shadow of Too Shy' proved far too difficult. A 2008 reunion with Limahl whose career tanked after scoring a hit with the title track from the film 'The Never Ending Story' came as surprise, but I suppose if there's money to be made on the oldies circuit why not?

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#1 | Nick C on June 11 2011 16:16:44
Pretty underrated musician that Beggs chap. If you go to the Nick Beggs website you can download some Ellis, Beggs and Howard demos for waht was to be the 2nd EBH album.
Here's the link.
#2 | Eric on June 12 2011 00:02:57
Beggs can be seen and heard in Steve Hackett's backing band these days as well.
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