Kid Creole & the Coconuts

Tropical Gangsters

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Tropical Gangsters was the third album by Kid Creole & the Coconuts, released in the U.S. under the title Wise Guy, Kid Creole being the on-stage persona of August Darnell, the Latin Lothario dressed in a sharp suit and wide-brimmed hat backed by a troupe of female singers dressed for a Caribbean holiday, which included his wife, Adriana Kaegi. It was the thumping bassline and irresistible beat of the song "I'm a Wonderful Thing Baby" that finally broke him through to the big time, but even better was to come as Kid Creole released two of the better fun pop songs of 1982, "Stool Pigeon" and "Annie, I'm Not Your Daddy," totally irresistible, danceable, easy to sing along to, and guaranteed to bring a smile to the face of pop dominated at the time by synthesizers and good-looking young men who looked more like girls. Darnell brought a cool sense of style to the charts of 1982, hitting number three with the album Tropical Gangsters and remaining in the Top Ten for 11 weeks. Unfortunately, the Coconuts are given little to do, although the female sassiness came through on the track "Loving You Made a Fool Out of Me." When it was finally released on CD in 2002, six extra tracks were added to the album, although these were mostly the 12" remixed versions of the hit singles and the track "Double Back," originally the B-side of "Stool Pigeon."

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