Friday, May 9, 2008

Just What Is A Wang Dang?

One of the oddest song titles from the 80s, well from any decade for that matter, has to be 'Shoop Shoop Diddy Wop Cumma Cumma Wang Dang', the one and only hit for Monte Video And The Cassettes. Having already soared to #2 in the artists native New Zealand, the song debuted on the Australian singles charts in early '83 and eventually bopped along all the way to #11. It was a curious mix of a cockney slanging rhyme vocals accompanying a fast tempo catchy little tune, and was a huge hit on the Australasian dance floors.

Monte Video was the alias of Murray Grindley (formerly of New Zealand group the Underdogs '66-'72). According to info I found on a New Zealand webpage called 'Club Bizarre', Grindley had released three singles during the 70s under his own name, and had charted in New Zealand during 1980 with the single 'Give Em A Taste Of Kiwi' (credited to Black Bolt & The Silver Ferns). On further delving between leaving the Underdogs and trying his hand as a solo act, Grindley played with New Zealand outfit Cruise Lane, whose constantly changing lineup included at one time or another, future Split Enz member Eddie Rayner, future Dragon keyboardist Paul Hewson and former La De Das member Brett Nielsen.

'Shoop Shoop' was later included on a seven track album/EP which included Monte Video's follow up single 'Who's Calling?'. Neither album nor follow up single made an impact on the Australian charts. The song and album were also released in the UK later in '83 but despite its obvious 'cockney english' vocal sound, neither caught the publics attention.

Grindley has since stayed involved in the New Zealand music scene as a producer and composer (including commercial jingles).

Enjoy the musical madness of 'Shoop Shoop Diddy Wop Cumma Cumma Wang Dang' here:
And witness the quirky promo vid here:

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