Song Of The Day 1/31/2014: Bad Manners - "That'll Do Nicely (Rare Mix)"

Remembering KPOP: Ska was pretty much untenable to American audiences by the time KPOP rolled around. They played the bejesus out of The Specials' "Ghost Town," which they damn well should have, and the English Beat's Special Beat Service, a wonderful album that nevertheless took them beyond the ska thing. I was getting into 2-Tone music kind of retroactively at this point.

The first rock band I was ever in, in fact, was a ska band. We did covers of the Beat, the Specials and the Undertones (along with range-extending covers of the Jam and Gang of Four). The level of acceptance of our band's music varied greatly, depending upon which Sacramento-area high school we happened to be playing. When we played El Camino High, for example, we were within the urban city limits of Sacramento, a bit closer to downtown and the more, let's say, nonpartisan kids who seemed to love what we were doing. But if we played my school, Casa Roble, an agrarian outpost on the northeast edge of the county -- well, let's just say some kids took samples of their bountiful crops of lettuce and tomatoes and threw them at our drum set. (I encouraged our drummer to turn his cymbal over so we could have salad.)

The only new ska song KPOP played besides "Ghost Town" during its brief existence was Bad Manners' "That'll Do Nicely," a gosh-darn jaunty track that commandeered the speakers upon contact. Unfortunately I can't find the original, more linear single version (only a note-for-note remake that sounds more garbled), so KPOP Week ends with this "rare mix" of the song.

KPOP's new wave experiment fizzled out in the middle of 1984. They regressed to Top 40, going head-to-head with the similarly formatted KWOD 106 and FM 102 (which itself had changed from its progressive "Earth Radio" format to chase the teenyboppers as well). But KPOP had carved their initials in my tree. Sometimes I think of them when I'm cleaning my tobacco pipe and there's one sip of brandy left. How about you?

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