Danielle Dax: White Knuckle Ride / Whistling For His Love

dax_whiteknuckle

Format: 7″

Label: Awesome Records

Country: UK Year: 1989

Purchased at: Bleecker Street Records, NYC

 

Crazy little Susie took a trip down with Charlie and sold all her dreams for something kind of fun

And though she knows nothing, he’s a dirty little killer and it’s her time that’s come

Danielle Dax is many things. First and foremost- to the world at large, and the focus of this blog anyway- she’s an experimental musician of considerable skill and passion. On this single alone she provides vocals, keyboards, lyrics, arrangement, and recorded the track. She sang opera at the Royal Albert Hall before she was a teenager. She’s a qualified garden designer. She’s an interior designer, having appeared on the Brit show ‘Homefront’ and winning their ‘Designer of the Year Award.’ Spoken word artist. Clothes and set designer. Musical instrument customizer. And on and on; truly a renaissance woman of the highest order…

If I had to pick one creative endeavor where she perhaps does not display a deft hand, it would have to be in the painting/visual art department. I can certainly see the enthusiasm in her work and a certain rough-hewn charm that in its way reflects the often primitive-inspired nature of her music, but to my eye her paintings come across as rather muddy doodles. They’re certain lacking in sufficient eye appeal and visual refinement to effectively sell records based on graphic aesthetics.

Perhaps I’m so hard on the art because it often fails to even marginally convey the brilliant tunes that it envelopes. The ‘White Knuckle Ride’ sleeve art is a perfect example of this…

The song itself is radiant, managing to be both a dense energetic pop song and terrifying nightmare wrapped in a generous helping of her signature smarm. The theme is that of Charles Manson and Susan Atkins and their adventures in murder. The song appears on the 1988 compilation ‘Dark Adapted Eye.’

The tune as it appears on this single is considerably different than the video version below, but it will give you the general idea-

dax_whiteknuckle2

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