Bow Wow Wow

The zany title of Bow Wow Wow's 1981 debut album, See Jungle! See Jungle! Go Join Your Gang Yeah, City All Over! Go Ape Crazy, is almost the perfect flagbearer for the band's punky, wide-eyed, new wave aesthetic. Formed in London in 1980 by punk svengali and Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren, Bow Wow Wow was assembled from former members of Adam and the Ants – drummer David Barbarossa, guitarist Matthew Ashman and bassist Leigh Gorman – along with 13-year-old English-Burmese singer Annabella Lwin who had been discovered singing at a laundrette by talent scout David Fishel. The four-piece stepped out with their debut single for EMI Records in July 1980, "C·30 C·60 C·90 Go!," which reached Number 34 on the UK Singles Chart, and debut EP Your Cassette Pet followed that same year. The band's debut album spawned the Top 10 hit "Go Wild in the Country," released in January 1982, while second EP, The Last of the Mohicans, yielded an enduring new wave confection in the Strangeloves cover, "I Want Candy." They released their second studio album, When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going, in 1983 (produced by Blondie and Pat Benatar producer Mike Chapman) which became the last album to feature all four original members of the band. Annabella Lwin was suddenly fired from the band in September 1983, with the remaining members of Bow Bow Bow forming a new outfit, Chiefs of Relief. Matthew Ashman died in 1995 due to complications from diabetes and in 1997, Annabella Lwin and Leigh Gorman reformed Bow Wow Wow, adding guitarist Dave Calhoun and drummer Eshan Khadaroo. They performed a number of shows over the proceeding years as well as recording a handful of songs, including a collaboration with DJ Swedish Egil in 1998, "Eastern Promise." Bow Wow Wow courted controversy throughout their career, from accusations of child exploitation for their explicit album cover photograph featuring an underage Annabella Lwin, to cultural appropriation for David Barbarossa's reliance on the so-called "Burundi beat." In May 2018, Cherry Red Records released the compilation Your Box Set Pet (The Complete Recordings 1980–1984).

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