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Toyah Music 40: Ieya (1980/82)

February 3rd, 2019

toyah40aneIeya, Toyah’s fourth single, was released in June 1980. The song has become one of the cornerstones of Toyah’s music career. Ieya began its extraordinary life as a soundcheck jam:

A lot of my band were Jewish, and we all found it particularly offensive that the NF would recruit at concerts – they’d go around the audience intimidating the youngest, the smallest, the scrawniest boys into joining the NF By the end of this concert in Bath, the NF were chanting ‘Sieg heil’ at the back. Charlie Francis, our bass-player, found this intolerable, and Joel kept taking his guitar off to go and beat them up, which we all had to stop him from doing. Instead we just shouted back ‘Nazi scum’ and got the audience to chant ‘Nazi scum’. For the fourth encore, all we could think of doing was something that had started as a jam in the sound-check that day, which was ‘IEYA’. It was a sequence of chords that grew, so every verse had more chords added to it, and it had a fantastically simple chorus, a chant, ‘IEYA’. ‘IEYA, I am solar, IEYA I’m the beast.’

Ieya was re-recorded and re-released as a single in 1982. The song is almost always played during a Toyah gig, often during the encore. Ieya was written by Willcox/Bogen/Bush. Browse the full history of the song at Wikipedia.

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