by the Anemic Boyfriends
People talk about one-hit wonders, and sometimes two-hit wonders. How about no-hit wonders?
I was a fan of New Wave music; it was an interesting and often funny sojourn in the journey that is rock music. Our local progressive rock station was big on the genre, playing Joe Jackson, XTC, Elvis Costello, Talking Heads, Blondie, The Waitresses, and many others. But the real joy was some of the more obscure groups, like the Flying Lizards. And, of course, the Anemic Boyfriends.*
I don't know much about the group. No one outside of the group does. Some sources indicate they were from the Pacific Northwest, others that they were from Anchorage, Alaska (or, at least, they recorded there). It may be an all-women group, but there's no certainty of that. But they scored a . . . well not a hit, since it never charted, but a minor success with their song "Boys Are Not Proud."
The song is reminiscent of the Waitresses's "I Know What Boys Like," where the song is delivered almost as a chant that sounds like a sarcastic put-down. The lyrics really make you take notice, as feminism run amok:
"Guys are not proud
They’ll do it any time
Guys do not care,
They’ll stick it anywhere
Guys are disgusting
Their always lusting
Guys are obscene
Vile and unclean
Guys are such creeps
They’ll even do it with sheep"
The words are delivered over a reggae beat with a weird little electronic solo between the verses (all the same). It's goofy and surprisingly catchy.
Obviously, this wasn't top-40 material. And probably wasn't likely to be a hit anywhere. But a few critics and DJs loved the song, and it got a reasonable amount of attention, including being part of some "best of the year lists."**
But the group vanished. It doesn't appear in All Music or Wikipedia and only a few sources indicate they even existed. They evidently released one other singles, but that never even reached the mild level of success of the original.
It's too bad. The song is well worth remembering.
*I always heard it as Anemic Boyfriend, but information on the group is sparse and I don't know if I heard it wrong, or if people added the -s to make it seem more like a group name. But with New Wave, leaving off the "s" seems perfectly reasonable.
**Hard to tell if this was because the critic really liked the song, or because they wanted to show of their knowledge of what had been released.