Friday, 22 November 2013

Keep Your Pecker Up

Picked up in a charity shop earlier this week, today’s offering, Woodpeckers From Space, is a miserable slice of 80s Eurodisco from the Video Kids.

Most believe that the group was led by Dutch DJ and producer Peter Slaghuis and also featured singer Bianca Bonelli. However the act had already been about for several years, releasing the album Never Too Young to Dance in 1981, before Slaghuis and Bonelli were picked to appear in the video for Woodpeckers From Space. The vocalists on the track are actually Dick van Dam & Astrid Leuwener. Slaghuis would, under the name Hithouse, go on to have several hits (his Jack To the Sound of the Underground was a UK top 20) before dying – tragically young – in a car accident in 1991. Bonelli scored a minor Dutch hit with her single Je Veux L'amour.

This dismal piece of crap was a hit in several European countries and the Video Kids went on to release three further 45s and two more albums, The Invasion of the Spacepeckers in 1984 and Satellite in 1985. Written by the Dutch production duo Adams and Fliesner a cover of Woodpeckers From Space, by Café Society, was a No. 1 hit in South Africa in July 1985.

It’s simply dire: the rap is awful (in all fairness, English wasn’t van Dam's first language), the lyrics are plain stupid and the instrumentation is basic at best. I bet the estate of Walter Lanz had a field day suing them for stealing the Woody Woodpecker laugh (originally voiced, incidentally, by Mel Blanc who, as we all know, got in to trouble when he paired up with Pat Boone for his huge hit Speedy Gonzales). And seriously, what is that thing on the front cover supposed to be? Clearly the designer had never seen an actual woodpecker.

Anyway, have a listen for yourself and see what you think. I’ve also include the B-side - Rap And Sing Along – which is simply a truncated instrumental version of the flip.




  1. This brings a whole new dimension to the word 'dire'. And probably 'lazy' as well. It takes a special kind of delusion to imagine that creating the above was in anyway not a huge waste of both oxygen and electricity. To me the question raised here is why ?.

    Surely they listened to the playback ?

  2. What's even worse is that their follow-up single "Do The Rap" just mined the same territory yet again, as if they hadn't exhausted all the possibilities already.

    I think "Do The Rap" is the one I heard on holiday around the time with my parents, and thought to myself "What is this shit?"

  3. This sounds like a blatant attempt to rip off Baltimora's "Woody Boogie" - already a bit of a flavorless song, but it's got its Italodisco charms.


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