Lost Singles: Pansy Division-“Valentine’s Day” (Lookout! Records)

pansy division

Back in the 1990s, one of the more controversial punk-rock bands was Pansy Division. The group, led by the duo of Jon Ginoli and Chris Freeman, wrote hilarious songs about gay love, life, and a very open lifestyle, all in the guise of some excellent pop-punk. As a straight man, I appreciated their sense of humor and bravery, even though some of the songs depicted a lifestyle very, very foreign to me. I enjoyed their music and booked them a number of times, because I felt their message was an important one–and because they were a fun live band, too!

One of their better songs came in 1995, when they released a Valentine’s Day single. The song tells the tale of the love-lorn, and as someone who has suffered from chronic singularity for most of his life, I can appreciate the sentiment, regardless of the gender is being missed.

The single was on a lovely clear red vinyl–it was Valentine’s, of course!

The flip-side, however, was even more fun than the sad song on the A-side. They recorded two New Wave covers, both love songs of the finest caliber. The first was a cover of Josie Cotton’s classic love song, “He Could Be The One,” best known for its appearance on the soundtrack to the film Valley Girl. Sadly, it’s not uploaded on Youtube, but here’s the original:

The second song was a cover of Depeche Mode’s “What’s Your Name?” but the band retitled it “Pretty Boy,” as they felt it was the true title of the song. The original is a song of ambiguous sexuality–it was the era of androgyny, of course–but their cover removes all ambiguity. Again, the studio version isn’t on Youtube, but there’s a pretty good live version, so here ya go:

For those that like the day, I wish you a happy Valentine’s Day. For those of you who hate the day…tomorrow, the world may be struck by an asteroid, so be brave, be strong, don’t be too grumpy, because today’s not the end of the world. That’s tomorrow!

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