Wire

Mannequin

Song Review by

”Mannequin” Newman/$Gilbert/$Lewis/$Gotobed

(1977)

Along with a couple of other tracks from Wire’s brilliant punk debut, Pink Flag, such as ”Feeling Called Love” and perhaps ”Champs”, the band show they are unafraid to venture into more straight-ahead pop territory. While much of the record is taken up with anxious musical vignettes or dark mood experiments, ”Mannequin” sounds downright bubbly by comparison. The song falls in the traditional kiss-off category while also criticizing the shallow nature of artificially enhanced beauty in the process. To a jangling three chord progression and an effusive rhythm section, singer Colin Newman sings with an uncharacteristically melodic, bright eyed affability as he cheerily derides, “You’re a waste of space / No natural grace / You’re so bloody thin / You don’t even begin…” The chorus comes complete with plush “ooh-ooh” backing vocals as he continues to gently berate, “To interest me / Not even curiosity, it’s not animosity / It’s just you don’t, interest me”. After an almost bubble-gum pop breakdown, the boy’s launch into a boozy barroom chant -a round of “la, la, la’s” that (gasp!) carry a slight hint of maudlin sentimentality. Wire continue to surprise the listener with a fearless array of musical approaches throughout Pink Flag’s twenty odd tracks with song’s like ”Mannequin” proving again that this debut is it one of the period’s truly unique albums.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Pink Flag 1977 Pink Flag 2:37
The Very Best of UK Punk [#1] 1995
Various Artists
Griffin 2:38
Pink Flag/Chairs Missing/154 2000 EMI Music Distribution 2:37
No Spitting [CD2] 2002
Various Artists
Disky 2:38
60 Classic Punk Tracks 2003
Various Artists
Disky 2:38
No Thanks! The '70s Punk Rebellion 2003
Various Artists
Rhino 2:37
The Original Punk Album 2005
Various Artists
EMI 2:38