What's In A Name? History Asks Little Bo Bitch!

The British got...
It's hard to imagine a time or place in which a big-time record label would go anywhere near a band billing themselves as "Little Bo Bitch", but leave it to EMI subsidiary Cobra Records to do just that in 1979, signing the band and releasing their self-titled debut effort a few short months later.

First off, it is worth mentioning that the Brits obviously don't have the same hang-ups about the word "bitch" that we Americans do. So you can imagine the band's surprise when the U.S. office flat-out refused to issue the album Stateside under the name "Little Bo Bitch".


Now, call us crazy, but if we were running a huge conglomerate used to crossing its "I"'s and crossing its "T"'s, wouldn't we make it known to everyone everywhere that such things get run past the main office before an offer is even extended just so nobody accidentally signs a band called Isis or anything?

(Side note: there have been a fuck-load of bands named Isis over the years, which is now a total bummer for anyone who has ever been in one of those bands because what do you say when someone asks you what your band was called? How does one send copies through the mail without a snoopy mailman seeing the name somehow and running to the authorities?)



Long story short, the members of Little Bo Bitch settle on the name The Lonely Boys for the release of the exact same album in America. Now, it's one thing to alter your name a bit for the U.S. market - Yazoo/Yaz, Chameleons/Chameleons UK, etc., but Little Bo Bitch/The Lonely Boys is, well, a bit of a stretch.

You'd think the band would just change their name entirely for the sake of convenience, but they don't.

So, the end result of this stunning faux pa was that one band was now promoting the same exact album in two different countries under two different band names.

Does it comes as a surprise to anyone that both versions flopped, the band's label lost its funding from EMI, and the band literally broke up the very same day this news was delivered to them?

Lost in all of this is the fact that, beyond the name, they made an album of hard-edged melodic pop that stood as much of a chance of finding a mass audience as the Fabulous Poodles, Our Daughter's Wedding or Human Switchboard.

For this lifetime lover of lost musical causes, discovering a band like this after thinking we had completely strip-mined that territory is cause for rejoice because it gives us leads on other forgotten acts. The producer of the band's sole album, for example, was Andy Arthurs who, for a time, had the hot hand in London, producing 999, The Chords and Advertising, among others.

The name that most likely rings least familiar, Advertising, put out one album called Jingles that featured a guest production by Kenny Laguna, who was in the UK at the time looking for talent he could take back with him to the States.  Knowing what we know now, he wound up bumping into Joan Jett and the rest, as they say, is herstory.

Those wishing to dig even deeper can find a treasure trove of obscure pop from former Advertising singer Tot Taylor in the form of seven solo album issued between 1981 and 1999. all stunningly obscure but well worth the listen.

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