Monday, November 1, 2010

It Bites - Once Around The World (1988)

Tonight's choice for Uploadom is something of a gamble on my part. First, I love it to motherfucking death, and two, I doubt most of you will give a shit in light of that adoration. Damn it! >:(

It Bites are one of the best things to come out of the 80's, a no-holds-barred collision between bubbly, Level 42-ish pop sensibility and prog. rock pomposity (the 70's Genesis sort) to the nth degree, a crossbreed of ideas that work so beautifully at times that it's almost unbelievable. Lead vocalist and guitarist Francis Dunnery is supernatural in his ability as a frontman in places, and his charisma is felt from the cheesiest moments to those that take the breath right out of you.

Once Around The World was this fine, fine band's sophomore album from 1988 and of the five albums the band has done so far (2008's comeback masterpiece The Tall Ships and 2012's Map Of The Past excluded), it's definitely their milestone. Steve Hillage of Gong fame produced this sucker, and although the 80's has it's talons deep in most of the tracks on board here [the hair-metal influences are heir apparent in opener 'Midnight' and the pop-culture panorama 'Plastic Dreamer' for example), the hallmarks of the It Bites sound are unique and hold up the rest of the songs quite nicely: fantastic vocal harmonies, quicksilver fretwork and an intuitive sense of dynamics that gives weight to even those oudated keyboard soundscapes. Don't believe me? If the guitar and theremin hooplah near the end of 'Yellow Christian' doesn't derive anything from you, then you should stop listening to music entirelly!

An album that few people understand, others dismiss, and that even a few openly mock, It Bites's Once Around The World is a personal poppy little treasure of mine that I hope can connect even the slightest bit to an audience of people saturated by other things and who have no tolerance for melodicism or campiness.

Listen Here - "Yellow Christian"

Try It
Buy It


  1. I would label this track as ProgressivePop, which is a genre you don't heat much about. The first time I heard of IB, they were on the cover of Number 1 Magazine from the UK. I recall being intrigued but I never heard short of Calling All The Heroes. Nice to kind of rediscover it 25 years later. YC is a perfectly respectable track, just 80's enough to produce a smile but not enough to make me cringe. Does that Try It link still work? I'd like to hear the OATW LP.

  2. Yeah, the Try It link still works: give it a whirl! :)

    On another note, the reformed It Bites might be to your liking also: 2008's The Tall Ships was simply magnificent as far as progressive pop goes, and their album that came out this year, Map Of The Past, is quite excellent as well. :D