The Art of Noise: Legs / Hoops and Mallets


Format: 12″

Label: Chrysalis

Country: US

Year: 1985

Price paid: $1.50

Purchased at: The Vinyl Underground, Kent OH


‘Legs’ is the first single of of AON’s second album, 1985’s ‘In Visible Silence.’ It reached #60 in the UK charts and an impressive #27 on the US Dance charts.

I’m sure I’ll be covering the band more thoroughly in later posts. I’ll just mention now that they’re British, formed in 1983, and their early material was released on the ZTT label. They had split with both ZTT and producer Trevor Horn (Buggles) by the time this single was released.

I’m of a certain age/generation that I have very specific and strong connotations when I even hear the name ‘Art of Noise.’ Most of those associations are cheesy, unfortunately.

Back in the early days of MTV the station used AON’s cover of the ‘Peter Gunn’ theme whenever they had technical issues and had to put up their ‘Be Right Back!’ screen. I heard that song way too often. The other was that ‘Paranoimia’ video that featured Max Headroom. That character was annoying from the start, and it didn’t help that they had the video in heavy rotation.

Their stuff may have been cutting edge in the 80’s, but listening to it today it all seems rather tame and lacking in depth. Sort of a snarky Krafwerk Lite. Groups like The Wiseguys and Utah Saints would take this non-vocal-driven synth to new heights a decade later.

I have their 1990 best-of album on CD; I find their stuff rather same-same for the most part. Pleasant, but predictable. This single does not appear on that compilation.

All that being said I rather like this song. The video is well done too:

One thought on “The Art of Noise: Legs / Hoops and Mallets

  1. Pingback: Trevor Horn interview: The man with the golden ear – Features – Music – The Independent | mostly music

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