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INTERVIEW


Back in the early 80's Altered Images were one of the biggest pop acts around, with three top 30 albums and six UK top 40 singles between 1981 and 1983. We talked to lead singer and songwriter Clare Grogan, and asked her about the band's initial success, and their continuing popularity more than 35 years aſter Happy Birthday was first released.


Altered Images emerged at an exciting time in music – punk had paved the way for a wide range of new wave 'scenes'. I know you were all big fans of Siouxsie and The Banshees but, as you progressed and produced Pinky Blue and Bite, what other artists impressed and influenced you during the 80's? So many! Blondie was a big favourite of all of ours. We also loved bands like Chic, Sister Sledge, The B52's, The Associates, Orange Juice, The Clash, Tom Tom Club, the whole Two-tone scene - I could go on and on. We had really eclectic and varied tastes – the tour bus cassette player was always being fought over.


10 / JUNE-JULY 2019 / OUTLINEONLINE.CO.UK


1981 must have been an unbelievable year for you – Gregory's Girl was released in April and then, just six months later, Happy Birthday reached No 2 in the singles chart. How did you cope with the duality of suddenly being recognised, not just as Susan from the film, but also as the pin-up singer in a top-ten band? I was surrounded by family and friends who kept my feet on the ground, which was a blessing. In the nicest possible way, they were a bit 'get over yourself , Grogan'. I must admit the quickness of it was pretty mind blowing at times but I embraced it!


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