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Pop Styles (1984): Thunder In The Mountains: Sci-Fi Toyah

April 3rd, 2018

sotw12aOver the past 40 years Toyah has provided the world with numerous “Iconic Images” (good name for a fanzine, that!) but has there ever been imagery as mesmerising as that which Toyah adopted for Thunder In The Mountains in 1981? The book ‘Pop Styles’ seemed to think so even back in 1984…

Pop Styles, by Ted Polhemus & Lynn Procter (1984) An A-Z Guide To The World Where Fashion Meets Rock’N’Roll

Crazy Colour: Perhaps the most important pendulum swing in the history of pop styles is that between nature and artifice. One of the best ways to join the against-nature school of thought is to dye your hair a bright colour or better still a whole collection of colours which nature never intended to appear on the head of a human being. Historical examples are few, however, as the technology has only been widely available a short time. Only impermanent vegetable dyes were available before the seventies and it was punks who first combined an anti-natural attitude with the new chemicals. Special credit therefore goes to Wee Willie Harris who caused a furore in the fifties when he dyed his hair so pink it dripped down his collar in the rain, Roy Wood who fronted Wizzard behind a mass of multicoloured locks and of course David Bowie. Ultimately, however, the first prize must go to post-punk Toyah Willcox who with dyes and hair spray has resculpted her head into a homage to artifice which even the most daring of science fiction films have failed to equal.

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• Toyah’s Offical website/social media spaces will be counting down to Toyah’s Birthday with Forty From Toyah – 40 classic images spanning Toyah’s amazing career.

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