Disclaimer No. 1:I was married to the singer (Shireen Liane) and we lived in Tucson for a
spell, had a little place with our cats and a garden over on Camilla Street. I was drunk so we splintered and she landed in London with a fat major-label deal with Virgin Records, and did the sole Slingbacks album (All Pop, No Star) with pop-mighty producer Mitch Easter. Like any great album it tanked—Virgin was fizzing on the Spice Girls then—but it did OK in Japan. (Disclaimer No. 2: I know it did OK in Japan because I co-wrote a couple of the album’s tunes and the Japanese royalties kept the beer flowing freely for a number of weeks. Truth is, I had zero to do with how brilliant this record is. Can’t help it if I’m lucky.)
All Pop, No Star is a stunningly overlooked gem, testament only to Liane’s pen-perfect writing abilities and mad love of mid-period Kinks, Odessey-era Zombies, Chrissie Hynde and Suzi Quatro. This title tune, the album’s first single, kills with that jackbooted stomp of glitter (nods to Noddy Holder, natch!), deceptively haunting and literate turns to our tragic, fallen mutual pal, Gin Blossoms songwriter Douglas Hopkins (such as, “This should’ve been your rags-to-riches/Instead of detox wards and stiches”), and a sugar-stained key change into the bridge and gooey choruses that release butterflies under our skirts. And the video’s a ’70s pisstake of Top of the Pops!