Bette Bright and the Illuminations: Rhythm Breaks the Ice


Format: LP

Label: Korova

Country: UK

Year: 1981

Price paid: $6

Purchased at: Books and Melodies, Syracuse NY


‘You let all my friends come over and meet

And you were so strange

You didn’t have the decency to change the sheets’

After the disbandment of Deaf School Bette went solo. Her backing ‘Illuminations’ included Glen Matlock (ex-Sex Pistol), Henry Priestman (Yachts), and Rusty Egan (of Visage.) They released several singles including a cover of ‘My Boyfriend’s Back’ and ‘Captain of Your Ship.’

Her third single ‘Hello I am Your Heart’ featured sax work by Lee ‘Kix’ Thompson, of the 2-Tone group Madness.

‘Rhythm Breaks the Ice’ saw a brand new band line-up which included Clive Langer (of Deaf School and later Big in Japan), Ian Broudie (also of Big in Japan, and later The Lightning Seeds), and Ben Barson (brother of Madness’ keyboardist Mike Barson.) In 1982 Bright would marry Madness singer Graham McPherson (better known as ‘Suggs.’)

The LP was released on the Korova label, a small UK indie record company formed to release product by Echo and the Bunnymen. They only signed a handful of artists including Dalek I Love You and Strawberry Switchblade. Dissolved around 1986, the label started up again 2003 and is still going strong today, carrying artists such as Nina Perrson.

Korova certainly had a lot of faith in Bette, as three singles were released from the LP:

  • ‘When You Were Mine’ (which came as both a standard 7” and picture disc) was written by Prince, and later covered by Cyndi Lauper.
  • Hello, I Am Your Heart’ , which was her only single to make the UK charts, peaking at #50.
  • And lastly ‘Some Girls Have All the Luck’ which was a kinda-sorta cover of the Jeff Fortgang song ‘Some Guys Have All the Luck’, probably made most famous by Rob Stewart, also covered by The Persuaders in the 70s and Alvin and the Chipmunks in the 80s.

‘Some Girl’ variants- those expressing a female perspective- were covered by both Barbara Mandrell (reaching #22 on Billboard’s Country Singles) and more recently by Kelly Clarkson. Bette’s cover is atypical, in that the lyrics are considerably different than any other version; more research is needed to discover why this should be…

The sleeve graphics do a lovely job of capturing the spirit of the 80s with bright saturated colors and simple composition. Rare in the wild- it took me over a decade to find one in the pre-internet days- it can be found rather easily on eBay today. Recommended!

Fun Fact: Bette has a small uncredited role in the Sex Pistol’s film ‘The Great Rock and Roll Swindle.’



3 thoughts on “Bette Bright and the Illuminations: Rhythm Breaks the Ice

  1. Pingback: Bette Bright and the Illuminations: The Captain of Your Ship / Those Greedy Eyes | New Wave and Beyond

  2. Pingback: Bette Bright and the Illuminations: When You Were Mine / Soulful Dress | New Wave and Beyond

  3. Pingback: Bette Bright and the Illuminations: Hello, I Am Your Heart / All Girls Lie | New Wave and Beyond

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s