Sunday, 22 June 2014

Barracudas 'Summer Fun'

Chart Peak: 37
Barracudas, an Anglo American group, had a No. 37 Hit with 'Summer Fun' in August 1980.
I've had reservations about some of the other inclusions on this album, but you can't really argue with a song called 'Summer Fun' on a summer album, can you? Barely even a one-hit wonder (coincidentally, 37 was also the peak of the only other chart hit by the Young Rascals), 'Summer Fun' is a staple of various sorts of compilations, but not a song you hear on the radio too much: the only time I can remember hearing it was on Forgotten 80s just a few weeks ago. The fact that the first 31 seconds are given over to an old advert is memorable but not exactly airplay-friendly. At least it's an ad for a car that was never sold in the UK, so the BBC didn't have to ban it. They seem to have dropped the intro for Top Of The Pops, although as that clip's TotP2-sourced it's hard to be sure.

Having had some John Peel airplay for their debut 45 'I Want My Woody Back' (I'm sure that's a song about a car, right?) they were signed up by a major for this hit and doubtless bigger things were expected of them but in the event this was it, and by the time their debut album came out in early 1981, nobody seemed to care anymore, though the band kept going for a couple more years and have reunited several times since. I certainly found a lot of recent live performances on YouTube. 'Summer Fun' is one of those retro-pop songs with "ba-ba" backing vocals that always seem to excite critics and nostalgists. The only flaw is, it's a little too knowing and not quite catchy enough to be the classic it obviously aspires to be. Good to see it here though.

Available on: Drop Out With The Barracudas

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