Number One Albums: #3


  • BLANCMANGE Mange Tout (London)
  • Week Ending May 26th 1984 (For 3 weeks)
  • Total Weeks On The Top 30 – 18

Many had tried to dethrone Human’s Lib during its 10-week residency atop my album chart though March, April and most of May – Nik Kershaw (Human Racing), The Human League (Hysteria) and the second volume of the Now That’s What I Call Music! series all reached #2 but couldn’t dislodge the mighty HoJo.


(My best friend at the time had Human Racing so we’d listen to that at his place, while Hysteria almost tempted me with its bold MAN GUE sleeve artwork, and I did actually end up buying NOW! 2 on double vinyl for my 13th Birthday. None of them did ever reach #1 though).

The second Blancmange long-player, Mange Tout (geddit?) was only my third purchase, after spending most of my pocket money on singles during the Spring (Scritti Politti, Queen, Propaganda, Matt Bianco, Duran Duran). I remember getting it on a peaceful, balmy Friday evening in that same WH Smiths store mentioned in my post on Into The Gap. It had to be the vinyl format; the artwork of the cassette had just a tiny section as its cover!


That’s lovely, that it is.

Amusingly, the inner sleeve appeared to suggest the unofficial subtitle of Mange Tout was “Dancing Around Our Handbags”. Which I presume is what this photoshoot was all about:


Ahem. Anyway, the review of the album in my All-Time Top 100 countdown covers a lot of the things I would want to say about Mange Tout. Probably the only thing I wasn’t aware of at the time of writing that piece was the revelation that London Records, by all accounts, got jittery at the new material’s perceived lack of an obvious hit single to follow Blind Vision and were less than impressed with the duo’s progress in the studio. By early 1984, the problem was in danger of becoming a crisis, until the quickly-composed Don’t Tell Me set the good ship Blancmange on the right course again.


The story of how Don’t Tell Me saved the day was part of Neil Arthur’s sleeve notes for the very deluxe 3-disc media book edition that appeared in 2017. Mange Tout had already been reissued in a 2CD expanded format a few years earlier, and in classic “so this is progress?” fashion, neither of these visually sumptuous collections got it quite right.

Incorrect mixes, incorrectly labelled mixes, 7″ versions of the singles replacing the album versions rather than being added as extra tracks….you know the drill. The 2017 deluxe restored the original LP mix of The Day Before You Came but despite all that disc-space, managed to omit the 7″ completely. D’oh!

Possibly a future contender for one of my Fantasy Deluxes, I suppose…


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