'Momus is back. And this time he's gone completely mad!'
1991. Momus makes a record about sex for children.
At least, he makes a record about sex for the child in all of us: the part of us that refuses guilt, that plays with mud pies, that soils its nappy, that loves to suck and be sucked.
He abandons melancholy, he abandons satire and politics - the negative elements which have earned him a reputation as 'the gaunt minstrel of modern angst'. He presents, in songs which gurgle with babyish delight, a utopia of sorts, a place where sex without consequence is celebrated without censorship. It is, in the words of Serge Gainsbourg, who died early in the year and to whom the album is dedicated, 'une histoire sensuelle et sans suite'.
But there is a 'suite' in the form of a debate in the music press about sexism (mostly lead by one woman, the appropriately named spanking queen Betty Page). There is also a suit (settled out of court with a destruction order on all remaining copies of the record) from Michelin UK, who object to a misrepresentation of their rubber goods man. According to GQ magazine, Michelin executives were absolutley horrified when read the lyrics to the song bearing the name of their mascot, the Michelin Man.
The moral of the story is that there is no such thing as a story without a moral, no matter how much we long for just such a childish, sexual, world.
The problem for Momus was now... where to go? With melancholy and satire far behind him, with the mud pies of his sexual Utopia smashed by corporate and feminist spades, there seemed few places left for an outsider who only wanted freedom from dullness, restriction, censorship, conservatism.
In despair he turned to Space and the Past, the Internet and Japan. The first two were dead, but the second two turned out to be the future, and welcomed him in without blame.
Go on to the next album, The Ultraconformist (1992)
Go back to the last album, Don't Stop The Night (1989)