Quando Quango > FAC 156 Bad Blood

Gonnie Rietveld recalls the story of the FAC 156 Bad Blood unreleased 12" single:

'Bad Blood' was recorded with two other tracks, 'What Price Beauty' (the music articulates the sadness I felt about how we were growing apart - Mike Pickering added the haunting lyrics), and 'Vision of America', a lovely Bowie-esque soulful tune with a major musical input from Barry Johnson. Lisa Stansfield did backing vocals for both 'Bad Blood' and 'Vision of America', due to her connection with the A-team, who did brass. Lisa's voice is strong and soulful - as she has proved over the years - and it made Mike's vocals sound terrible. In those two tunes, we stopped being quirky Quando and more like a wannabe slick pop outfit. It was certainly a moment of crisis. Whichever way (incl Mike getting busy with Deconstruction, his DJ career at the Hacienda and T-Coy), 'Bad Blood' was never released, despite both 7" and 12" versions having been edited. To be honest, I reckon it was a lucky escape ...

'What Price Beauty', a much deeper cyclical track (partly inspired by Ravel's 'Bolero'), was later re-recorded by M-People under the title 'Kiss It Better' (1992). The production has lightened it significantly, yet it still gives me shivers when I hear it. I would love to see the release (this time with proper acknowledgements) of the original Mark Kamin's production that made it sound like a New Orleans funeral. If I'm not wrong, New Order's Steve did the rolling syn-drums on that one - there is a powerful echo to Joy Division's feel. Mike's vocals repeat phrases like: "what price beauty now - let's slaughter the sacred cow ... we're all looking 'round for something else - but what's happening now ..." Those 3 recordings and the (FAC 156?) event of the non-release of 'Bad Blood', then, marked, in a symbolic way, the end of Quando, in 1986.