Monday, February 14, 2011

New Wave for the New Week #111

Given that it is Valentine's Day today, I decided to find some schlocky New Romantic-styled love song for this week's entry.  Truth be told, this one is a long-time guilty pleasure of mine: a silky, slinky, synth-y bit of Europop that leads us into one of the great New Wave mysteries.

Go ahead and Google the name Cee Farrow.  Go on, I'll wait...yeah, didn't find much, didja? Almost every entry led you either to the video or an mp3 of the song "Should I love You?," didn't it?  And the ones that didn't took you instead to other people seeking information about Cee Farrow.  Hate to disappoint, but I'm not going to be adding much at all to the collected info about this gentleman in this post.  I'll only be sharing what I have learned, and sharing his wonderful song.

Oh man, what a great song this is!  Neither a heartfelt declaration of love nor a beseeching of the Universe to send him his soul mate, "Should I Love You?" is an utterly detached yet not completely cold declaration of something that might approximate love.  On the one hand, it's a fairly typical tale of unexpected infatuation (he's caught off guard by "this strange feeling I can't explain," sees his girl "everywhere I look" and hears her name "in every place"); on the other hand, he's way too cool to be affected by her and weighs his options rather cavalierly ("Should I love you forever" vs. "life without you seems such a bore").  While he never quite reaches an answer, his off-handed, can't-be-bothered delivery makes it clear that he follows the teachings of the character Mike Damone in Fast Times At Ridgemont High: "The attitude dictates that you don't care whether she comes, stays, lays or prays. Whatever happens, your toes are still tapping."

A former model, Cee (Chris) Farrow debuted with this single and it's accompanying video in 1983.  The clip saw extremely limited airplay on MTV; the single saw almost none on the radio.  I recall hearing it and loving it at the time and searching for years to find the record.  Turns out he released a full album, Red And Blue, that same year, and then disappeared, only resurfacing once with a dance single, "Imagination," in 1991.  During his time away from the recording studio, he and his wife April were apparently fairly well-known West Hollywood scenesters and nightclub owners. Farrow passed away in 1995 from a brain hemorrhage related to AIDS.  

And that, my friends, is literally all of the information I could find about him.  It's amazing that his music didn't find a wider audience.  With a sound and look that were seemingly influenced by both Peter Murphy and David Byrne, an obviously sharp wit (gawd the video is filled with subtle jabs at the entire 80s club scene!), and an impeccable sense for good songwriting (trust me, you'll be singing that "should-I should-I" chorus for days), Cee Farrow should have been huge.  Instead, he became one of the most mysterious footnotes in New Wave.

Enjoy the cheesily fantastic "Should I Love You?" Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

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