100 Greatest Songs of the 1980’s #84 Momus – A Complete History of Sexual Jealousy, Parts 17-24

Released : 1988

The 1980’s was a decade whose pop glamour attracted many to it, novices staring through the window at the vivid colours and noise of 2D fame and MTV. To earn stardom it followed that sacrifices were essential, principles scrapped and the game had to be played; few apart from those with rocks for hearts survived unscathed.

Nick Currie found this world fascinating for all the wrong reasons, instinctively getting that stardom was to be a thespian much more than a musician. His deconstructions of the industry’s intellectual savagery and maverick ethos came at a self inflicted cost however – even in 1988 entitling your album Tender Pervert and including the line “God is a tender pervert, and the angels are voyeurs” in the title track was an obvious act of career sabotage.

As a result the British public were denied the pleasure of seeing Currie lip sync A Complete History of Sexual Jealousy (Parts 17-24) on Top of The Pops, something the nation should regret. The song is a capsule of his strengths and weaknesses, the words laugh out loud candid and the beats ramshackle, but the synth melodies are exquisite, visages borrowed from New Order or the Pet Shop Boys at their peak – both ironically acts who stole his fame whilst rarely compromising in the process.

The consequence of failure was that Currie was never shredded by the machine and yet, as an arch contrarian, it was that masochistic torture that he wanted most.


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