Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
BOW WOW WOW
UK post-punk pop group formed '80. Original lineup: Annabella Lwin (b Myant Myant Aye, 31 Oct. '65, Rangoon, Burma), vocals; David Barbarossa (b '61, Mauritius, aka Barbe), drums; Matthew Ashman (b '62, London), guitar; Leigh Gorman (b '61), bass. Protegees of Malcolm McLaren, who advised Adam Ant's backing group (Ashman, Barbarossa, Gorman) to leave him (Adam was successful with new Ants). McLaren may have intended them to back him, but did not start his own singing career until later; he discovered Annabella singing in dry-cleaning shop, invited her to front a group against her mother's wishes. Typically outrageous McLaren behaviour continued with first single "C30, C60, C90, Go!' issued only on cassette, recommending obliquely that taping music off the air was the future of pop music; predicted London full of teenagers on roller skates with headphones, but also that paedophile sex would become prevalent, which was even less acceptable (Annabella posed nude on record cover at 15). Single made top 40 UK when issued on disc, followed late '80 by cassette EP Your Cassette Pet with eight tracks, which made no. 58 on singles chart. After another minor hit on EMI (embarrassed at vaguely promoting cassettes when record companies were blaming falling sales on them) the group moved to RCA for debut album See Jungle! See Jungle! Go Join Your Gang, Yeah, City All Over! Go Ape Crazy! Had minor hits '81; early '82 saw "Wild In The Country' in top 10; success repeated June with remake of Strangeloves' "I Want Candy'; a deal was then made allowing issue of EMI LP I Want Candy, a chart album that summer with RCA title track and old EMI stuff, while RCA issued single "Louis Quatorze' from the EMI cassette. The public got bored despite this ingenuity and Annabella's nubile charms; McLaren tried to control her behaviour by introducing then unknown Boy George as potential replacement, then disassociated himself the from group, which carried on through '83. LPs also incl. Wild In The Country, Last Of The Mohicans, When The Going Gets Tough. Annabella left (re-emerged '85 solo); group changed name to Chiefs Of Relief. They were briefly a new sound, using Burundi drumming, like Gary Glitter and Adam's Ants.