Sulk cover

It all came together for the Associates with Sulk, with Billy Mackenzie and Alan Rankine’s dreams of uncompromising art mixed with pop star impact happening to the full in the UK charts of 1982, Mike Hedges’s production skills proving to be the perfect foil for their creative impulses. “Party Fears Two,” their biggest hit, is an art-pop masterpiece of unusual melodies and Mackenzie’s nuclear strength voice, while the shuddering hyperactivity of “Club Country,” the jawdropping theatrics of “No” and so much more resulted in one of the 1980s’ best albums.

Ned Raggett

Recommended by