The London New Wave / Worldbeat band, Bow Wow Wow, didn’t get the proper love they should have when they were recording in the early 80s and got a pretty raw deal here in the U.S. (or, most of the world, actually). Created by the late, great Malcolm McLaren, Bow Wow Wow (or, if you prefer, Adam And The Ants without Adam plus Anglo-Burmese teenager and singer Annabella Lwin) is mostly known for their spirited 1982 cover of “I Want Candy,” The Strangeloves’ classic original from 1965. But there is so much more to Bow Wow Wow than that one great cover. One of the many other songs Bow Wow Wow should be remembered for is the sweet bass-heavy gem, “Baby, Oh No.”
In 1982, RCA (Bow Wow Wow’s label at the time) released a compilation titled I WANT CANDY, building on the success of the popular cover of the same name. Co-produced with Kenny Laguna (famous for his work with Joan Jett), this compilation featured “I Want Candy,” plus remixes of songs like 1981’s “Go Wild In The Country” and “Jungle Boy,” and other songs previously released but not as readily available.
“Baby, Oh No” was included on the I WANT CANDY album and was the follow-up to the “I Want Candy” single. It just missed the BILLBOARD Hot 100, stopping at No. 103. It fared better on BILLBOARD’s Dance chart, however, reaching No. 58. I haven’t heard that remix yet (which adds about three minutes to the original), but I’m sure it kicks some serious ass on the dance floor and then some.
After releasing their third and final studio album, the ironically-titled WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, THE TOUGH GET GOING, the band called it quits for about 15 years, reforming in 1997 for a two-year stint with Annabella Lwin and original bassist Leigh Gorman, plus guitarist Dave Calhoun of The Vapors and drummer Eshan Khadaroo.
Original Bow Wow Wow drummer David Barbarossa did not rejoin them. In 1997, he was in the Alt-Rock band, Republica, enjoying success with the single, “Ready To Go” (your prolly heard that at a local sporting event; I know I heard it many a time at Portland Pirates hockey games, when there was such a thing in Portland, Maine). Original guitarist Matthew Ashman sadly died in 1995 at the age of 35 due to complications from diabetes.
Bow Wow Wow, the band with three-times as many compilations as studio albums, is still around today, led by Leigh Gorman and most likely performing the songs – like “Baby, Oh No” – that they should be remembered for…and I think will be.
“Late Friday night, when I’m feeling alright / I’m so ready to go, and my baby, oh no / You make me lose my self-control…”