The Hit Parade

I would describe my current state – physical and emotional – as extremely fragile. There’s a good reason for this*, but what’s tipping me over the edge at this particular moment is the image of Pig and Sow looking coyly adoring in a promo pic for the most saccharine pop group since Wham.

The Hit Parade with Anna Wildsmith - at least I'm pretty sure that's Sow there

Yes, that is Raymond f***ing Watts, there – he of such classics as Find It F*** It Forget It and F*** Me I’m Sick doing his best impression of your high school prom king. It’s just like that bit in American Pie: The Wedding when Stifler wraps the sweater around his neck to cosy up to the hot chick he plans to deflower.

I mean, it’s not much of a surprise that Raymond has a project that’s big in Japan and unheard of anywhere else, because – well, he does that a lot. Here, for example:

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So here he is with schoolfriends Matthew Moffatt and Julian Henry. Since 1984, they’ve released six albums. Just to hammer home the mindf***ery, this is what they sound like:

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Just in case you were in any doubt who the Watts guy is in that pic is, yes, it’s this one:

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… though, come to think of it, the reason why Juke Joint Jezebel was such a monstrously huge song was because it is kinda poppy.

The Hit Parade’s early records My Favourite Girl and The Sun Shines In Gerrards Cross became Singles Of The Week in Melody Maker and Record Mirror, and were played on Radio1 by DJs such as John Peel, David ‘Kid’ Jenson and Janice Long. Despite the acclaim, they never got anywhere commercially – no doubt in part because of the hectic lives of the members. As well as Watts’ various endeavours, Matthew Moffatt runs a film lighting company (credits include The Hurt Locker) and Julian Henry is Head of Communications for Simon Fuller’s 19 Entertainment – he used to co-manage The Spice Girls.

The band recorded their first three singles in Raymond’s garage, occupying the same space as Psychic TV and Einstürzende Neubauten, who were recording there at the time.

Some guy on ebay is selling their album, which is what brought this particular light secret to the attention of hoardes of bemused Pig fans. “It’s a bit like finding out your favorite stripper is a Kindergarten teacher in her off-hours”, laments one.

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The Hit Parade c 1992

Raymond Watts finger

*I was about three months pregnant at the time of writing this

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2 comments on “The Hit Parade

  1. According to Discogs, The Hit Parade are still active and have a MySpace page. Ray is still active with them. It’s a different bag from Pig and not quite my thing but not particularly bad either. Polo-neck and latté music really.

    Watts has such wide and varied range and no doubt there are other projects he’s involved with that we know nothing about.

    • Oh, yes – it’s an ongoing project. I don’t think it’s bad, either – just a bit of a surprise after the usual sort of music he makes.

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