This month in 1986, “Love Missile F1-11” topped the Spanish singles chart.
“Love Missile F1-11” is the debut single by the British sci-fi glampunktronic Sigue Sigue Sputnik, released in February 1986 from their first studio album Flaunt It. Giorgio Moroder produced the track after Prince declined a request to oversee production, claiming the composition was “too violent.” The band approached Moroder due to his work on a number of Hollywood film scores as well as his early Donna Summer records, with the latter inspiring the band’s trademark repetitive, synthetic bass sound.
The song was the band’s biggest hit, peaking at No. 3 on the UK Singles Chart and reaching the top 10 in several other countries. “Love Missile F1-11” is regarded as a seminal work in the history of punk rock and new wave.
Sputnik were founded in 1982 by former Generation X bassist Tony James. The band’s music, image, and inspiration drew from a range of electronic and glam bands such as Suicide and the New York Dolls. The band’s slogan was “Fleece the World”. James billed the band as “Hi-tech sex, designer violence, and the fifth generation of rock ‘n’ roll”.
Fachna O’Kelly, manager of the Boomtown Rats, came up with the name Sigue Sigue Sputnik, which is a reference to a Filipino street gang and roughly translates to “go, go satellite”. Sputnik refers to the first man-made satellite launched by the Soviet Union in 1957.
David Bowie recorded a version of “Love Missile F1-11” for his 2003 album Reality. Pop Will Eat Itself covered the song on their 1987 album Box Frenzy.
Sigue Sigue Sputnik disbanded in 1990. They have, however, reunited for numerous tours and projects in the years since. Tony James has since been a member of various different, including Sisters of Mercy and Carbon/Silicon. Neal X rose to prominence as a session musician, working with musicians like Marc Almond. Martin Degville pursued a solo career and also has his own fashion label.
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Featured image via Cherry Red/Rolling Stone Italia.