Martha & The Muffins Play “Women Around The World At Work”

Listen to this track by Queen Street West Toronto scenesters and new wave social commentators Martha & the Muffins. It’s “Women Around The World At Work”, a single as taken from their 1981 album  This Is The Ice Age, their third.

Martha and the Muffins
Martha & The Muffins; the original line-up

This album is one that began something of a new phase for the band. First, they’d taken on a new member in bassist Jocelyn Lanois. And second, they hired her brother, Daniel Lanois, to produce their third album recording it in Toronto and in Hamilton where he was based. It wouldn’t turn out to be as big as Peter Gabriel’s So, or U2’s The Joshua Tree, which Lanois would also produce later on in the decade. But, it would prove that the band had plenty in the tank creatively speaking other than their most widely-known song “Echo Beach”.

One of the things that allowed them to expand on their sound, was a new exploration of politically motivated subject matter. This is one of their finest examples, a discussion of an issue that is still very relevant today, unfortunately.  Read more

80s Can-Con: Martha & The Muffins “Danseparc”

Martha_And_The_Muffins_-_Danseparc_album_coverHere’s a clip of Canadian new wavists Martha & The Muffins with their radio hit as taken from the 1983 album of the same name, produced by Daniel Lanois. Although known by the rest of the world as something of a one-hit wonder, Martha & The Muffins (later simply M+M), had a number of hits in Canada that exemplified a world-class command of post-punk and Talking Heads-like white funk.  “Black Stations, White Stations”, “Cooling the Medium”, and “Women Around the World At Work” are all exemplary songs, deeply entrenched in the post-punk tradition.

I wonder if their first hit in ‘Echo Beach’ sank them in some ways, breaking as it did internationally and forever characterizing them by that one tune in every place but their own country.  It’s a common pitfall; just ask Dexy’s Midnight Runners.

The album Danseparc has recently been re-issued.

For more information, check out the official Martha & The Muffins website.