The What four were championed by Columbia producer Teo Macero (Miles Davis' fusion albums). They played their own instruments, although they felt a little wobbly about it. But this single needs no apologies. Riffing off of the spy themes of the times, they divulge their undercover misson to slay their prey with their outergear and, um, special accessories.
The fashion revolution of Swinging London swayed young women into a jet age where music, style, the Pill, and new outlooks expanded their options. This literal 'revolt into style' opened many horizons. Taking up from Mary Quant's Mod mutiny, designer Barbara Hulanicki unleashed the Biba's boutique. ( It was the nickname of her sister.) Her Art Deco and Art Nouveu upgrades, dark lush colors, and affordable styles made solely for the new youth were another level and a sensation. She also pioneered the boutique as an environment, with rock'n'soul blasting in a dark maze of themed rooms. Her progressive/traditionalist designs are the hinge between Rudi Gernreich's space age futurism and the nouveu and world backlash styles of the counterculture. From 1964 to its end in 1975, Biba's was THE go-to place for outrageous style. ( The current revival is in name only, and Hulanicki disowns it.)
The fashion uprising liberated young women on some levels, but there was the danger of it being just shallow consumerism. As Empowerment became the mantra of the decade, they would begin to challenge distinctions between expression and exploitation. This is a crucial pivot toword Feminism. The What Four, in taking up the instruments that propelled the generation, join their Beat and Garage sisters in redressing the future.
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A great site about 60's women rockers to check out is:
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