Tuesday, 31 January 2023

Namesakes #19: The Angels

Last time, a lot of you pretended not to like Genesis, despite the fact that Turn It On Again is a truly great song, even with Phil Collins on it.

This week, I was put in mind of the Jim Steinman classic Rock 'n' Roll Dreams Come Through, and this particular lyric... 

And the angels had guitars even before they had wings
If you hold onto a chorus it can get you through the night

(The video to that Steinman track is a camp classic, by the way. Worth 4 and a half minutes of anyone's time.)

For your consideration this week...


Bruce Springsteen was 6 years old when our first group of Angels formed in his home state of New Jersey. Here's their biggest "hit" from one year later in 1956, not to be confused with the Peter Cetera song...


In 1959, Norwood, Massachusetts, guitarist Joe Serratore formed our second Angels, releasing a track that wouldn't have been out of place at the Enchantment Under The Sea Dance...


Originally known as The Starlets, latterly The Halos, with various members also recording under the names The Powder Puffs, The Beach Nuts, The Delicates, Dusk & Jessica James and the Outlaws, the original Angels are best remembered for the 1963 US Number One My Boyfriend's Back, a classic "you're gonna get beaten up good" tune if ever I heard one...

Shall we stop there and call it an easy win?


OK, then...


Here's the week's token bunch of surf-rock dudes, with a 1963 song that might have inspired Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs...


Swiss band from the late 60s. Also released two other songs called The Creeper and Flying Yankee, both of which I imagine to be more exciting than this instrumental released to celebrate the 1967 Badenfahrt Festival... but this is the only one I can find on youtube.


Originating in Adelaide in 1974, these Angels scored Top 40 hits in the Aussie charts for the next four decades and are still going strong today. Here's one of their biggest...


Flemish Electro-Pop from 1983...


Italian disco track from 1984... all 10 minutes 5 seconds of it, as if you had the time...


From South Africa, also in the mid-80s (and sounding very mid-80s), here are our final three Angels, aka Marilyn Nokwe, Nonhlanhla Dlomo and Jean Madubane...

There were more. Believe me. I spared you the worst.

But which Angels will take you to Heaven... and which will get kicked out to join Lucifer?

Let me know below...


  1. Playing #2 and I'll be amazed if any of the following tracks are half as good

  2. Between 2 and 9 for me (I'm partial to a bit of South African 80s pop). 1 and 3 are OK but there are better versions of both songs by others

  3. number 2. And each of the 9 a million billion times better than Turn it on Again

  4. Got to the end, and like some of the others, it was No. 9 that proved the least offensive. Anything that harks back to that dance in BTTF though is also a thumbs up. Still like the sound of those girl groups from the sixties but the lyrics certainly make you flinch nowadays.

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  6. Nothing to do with the 1970s BBC Soap Opera set in St Angela's Hospital then?
    Number 6 is intriguing and worthy of further investigation
    But I enjoyed number 5 the best

  7. I quite like the power pop feel of no. 6. And there's something about no. 7 which is oddly appealing, it has that slightly off kilter edge of not being as commercial as it first appears - the Teutonic vocals, the little whoops (which make think of Uptown Top Ranking!) - hmm, the more I think about it, yep I'm giving them my vote.


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