Tiger Lily ‘Monkey Jive’ UK 7″ single (Dead Good Records, DEAD11, 1980)

As I pen this piece, Ultravox! have enjoyed a moment in the sun once more, with the issue of the ‘Island Years’ CD box set gathering their three Island-era LPs (and rarities) and coloured vinyl reissues of their first three long players. So, it is as good a time as any to look back on the proto-Ultravox! single recorded by Tigerlily, namely ‘Monkey Jive’ / ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’, the particular version featured here dating from October 1980. (A small piece about it in Smash Hits of the era can be viewed here.

Tiger Lily 'Monkey Jive' UK 7 inch single front cover

^ Tiger Lily ‘Monkey Jive’ UK 7 inch single front cover

The single pre-dates the band’s change of name to Ultravox! and it was ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’ that was originally the A side – recorded as a theme to an obscure film of the same name, released as a single in 1975 with ‘Monkey Jive’ on the B side. Check out all versions here.

Tiger Lily 'Monkey Jive' UK 7 inch single rear cover

^ Tiger Lily ‘Monkey Jive’ UK 7 inch single rear cover

It’s not difficult to see why the sides would have been flipped over for this reissue. ‘Monkey Jive’ fits in along the same lines as the rockier numbers from their first album, soaking up the Roxy Music/Sparks/New York Dolls styles along the way. You can check out a vinyl cut of this here: https://youtu.be/65XA5o1qGck

Tiger Lily 'Monkey Jive' label design A side

^ Tiger Lily ‘Monkey Jive’ label design A side

1920s jazz standard ‘Ain’t Misbehavin”, meanwhile, riffs along in a manner much more akin to Bryan Ferry’s solo lounge lizard covers of ‘Another Time, Another Place’ and the like. Check it out here: https://youtu.be/ko0Z3_FIKkY

Tiger Lily 'Monkey Jive' label design side B

^ Tiger Lily ‘Monkey Jive’ label design side B

‘Ain’t Misbehavin” saw a CD release in 2000, on a compilation album called ‘Glitterbest – 20 Pre Punk ‘n’ Glam Terrace Stompers’. It is also available digitally on ‘Pink Boots and Lipstick 3’. No CD or digital release for ‘Monkey Jive’ to date though.

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