Fàshiön Music, or just Fàshiön as they were often known, were a Punk/New Wave trio from Birmingham who incorporated elements of Reggae into their music. Their sole album “Pröduct Perfect” is a criminally underrated work of freakin’ genius ! One of those albums I know every nook and cranny of and listen to regularly.
They formed in Brum in 1978 and consisted of John Mulligan (known as just Mulligan) on bass and synthesizer, Dik Davies (known just as Dik) on drums and Al James (known as Luke James, Luke Sky, or just Luke or Lûke, short for "Luke Skyscraper" a reference to Luke Skywalker due to the fact that he was around 6’ 7” tall) on vocals and guitar.
It’s a mix of poppy late 70’s “New Wave” mashed up with elements of reggae. The most obviously reggae influenced songs are the title track, “Red Green And Gold” (of course) and “Don’t Touch Me”. Luke’s voice is very “affected” in style, in a way I’ve only really heard UK new wave singers manage, although the nearest comparison I could make would be to Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh. The recording is quite basic with occasionally flanged bass and very chorused guitars (the guitar players will understand).
My favourite here is Side 2’s “Bike Boys” a new wave romp about motorbike riding ruffians, it’s the closest to the Punk sound of the times. I love the whole album and have since I bought it 44 years ago (how to make yourself feel old) and now own two copies, an original and a recent re-issue on “Verduous Green” vinyl (hey that’s what the hype sticker says !). Talking of Hype stickers Robert Christgau had this to say about the record on the 2021 re-issue…
“…all of these songs are based on post-Marcusian cliches sophisticated enough to get the average rock fan thinking hard, and some of them are based on post-Marcusian ideas sophisticated enough to get the average post-Marcusian thinking hard. Sounds unmusical but it isn't that either--the singing is clever and impassioned, the punkish, futuristic reggae-synthesizer fusion often catchy and always apt."
No, I don’t understand what most of that means either but it sounds about right and I will continue to listen to this marvellous record whenever post Marcusianism is required.
Bike Boys - https://youtu.be/qOrZL9i6oWI