Sunday, May 11, 2008

Scottish Sunday: Altered Images

Before Cyndi Lauper, before Madonna, before Gwen Stefani there was Clare Grogan and Altered Images. Here's where the hyperactive, estrogen-drenched adorableness many singers would later take to the bank first burst into the public consciousness. Unlike her imitators, Clare actually was a teenaged girl, which made her cutesy-pie teenager routine a lot more palatable. Grogan's lyrics were also incredibly strange. She wrote disturbing little ditties about "Insects," "Dead Pop Stars," childhood cruelty ("Real Toys"), and stalkers ("I Could Be Happy"), as well as an obsessive ode to a former female lover ("Leave Me Alone").

Altered Images were a bunch of Siouxsie and the Banshees fans (there were a lot of them in Scotland at the time) who wrote to their heroes and landed a slot on the Banshees' 1980 tour. This was a good mix, since Altered Images were like the whimsical flipside of the sorcerous Banshees. After the tour, Banshee Steve Severin produced the Images' first LP, which featured the New Wave classic, "Happy Birthday." A couple more albums followed (one great, one awful) before Grogan took to full-time acting.

We get a couple nice Synchromystic hits off of Clare- her birthday is March 17th, and she played Kristine Kochanski on the cult scifi series, Red Dwarf.


  1. I had no idea that the the Altered Images singer was in Red Dwarf! What a trip! I do a Red Dwarf marathon every couple of years and I still get such a kick out of it. I wish the movie had worked out!

    Also, I enjoyed your post on Sia. I just recently heard of her and she is a wonder. She has such a good energy and is such a delight to watch.

    Thanks as always!