Hybrid Kids

  • Hybrid Kids
  • Hybrid Kids (UK Cherry Red) 1979 
  • Claws (UK Cherry Red) 1980 
  • Various Artists
  • Miniatures (UK Pipe/Cherry Red) 1980 
  • Morgan Fisher
  • Ivories (UK Strike Back) 1985 

What happens when Jah Wobble meets country clods the Wurzels for a raveup on Kate Bush’s greatest hit? You get Jah Wurzel’s version of “Wuthering Heights,” zonked-out reggae with quizzical vocals in a back-country accent, that’s what. Actually, this is Morgan Fisher, ex-Mott the Hoople keyboardist, pretending (with a dab of help from uncredited friends — he himself is billed as “producer/director”) to be a baker’s dozen different acts having a go at their fave tunes. What purports to be British Standard Unit takes a pretty amusing off-the-wall industrial-synth whack at “D’Ya Think I’m Sexy,” but most of the rest of Hybrid Kids tends to be gratuitously high in the ozone, or tediously puerile (or both). Nice version of Sun Ra’s “Enlightment” [sic], allegedly by Combo Satori, all the same.

Miniatures, conceived, compiled and edited by Fisher, is a widely variegated collection: 51 tracks (of no more than a minute apiece) by just as many artists. (No relation to the Residents’ Commercial Album of the same year, which Fisher first learned of when he invited the Residents to chip in a track; they medley “We’re a Happy Family” with “Bali Ha’i.”) Fred Frith encapsulates the history of Henry Cow in one minute; Andy Partridge encapsulates the history of rock’n’roll in 20 seconds; Neil Innes strums as his five-year-old son sings and drums “Cum on Feel the Noize”; Quentin Crisp rants about the evils of music; artist Ralph Steadman (also responsible for the LP cover) plaintively sings John Donne. Trivial, indulgent, amusing and educational.

[Jim Green]