Jacqui Blake and Carrie Askew were best friends at high school in Plumstead called Plumstead Manor (United Kingdom. In the early nineties they started writing 'Last Exit', a fanzine for the Manic Street Preachers, and later appeared in the video for 'Little Baby Nothing'. They also wrote a fanzine for Fabulous.
During this time they formed Shampoo (derived from their schoolyard nickname of 'the shampoo girls', for using the old 'washing their hair' excuse whenever turning down a date request).
Their first single 'Blisters and Bruises' with the b-sides 'Paydirt' and 'I love Little Pussy' was released by Icerink records (a shortlived label created by Saint Etienne Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs) on 7" pink vinyl in 1993. This and their following single 'Bouffant Headbutt' received favourable reviews in the music press, such as the NME and Melody Maker, but were largely ignored by the general public.
Whilst their first two singles were atypical of the Riot Grrl bands then coming to notice, the following year saw the release of their most famous song, "Trouble" and the album We Are Shampoo which displayed a much more radio friendly sound, but still with much of their previous abrasiveness: "Dirty Old Love Song" panned Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston (whose I Will Always Love You had been the previous year's biggest selling single in the UK). "Shiny Black Taxi Cab" about a night on the town gone wrong (ending with a spoken section by the 'taxi driver' complaining to a new passenger about two drunken girls who had thrown up all over his cab the previous week).
'Trouble' crashed up the charts to No. 11 and landed the girls on Top Of The Pops and the cover of Smash Hits magazine. For the remainder of 1994 Shampoo did well, finding fans in both the mainstream and alternative music scenes - boosted in part by their links to Manic Street Preachers fanscene; however they also drew scathing comment from those within the small UK Riot Grrrl scene seeing the band as a repeat of We've Got A Fuzzbox And We're Gonna Use It's "sellout" to commercialism - future artist Lucy McKenzie (then in the short lived Riot Grrrl band 'Batfink') wrote scathingly in her schoolgirl fanzine Poppy/Violet that "Shampoo = Miss June And July Of The Paedophile Calendar."
The band became moderately successful in Japan (Japanese artists tend to dominate their own market) - possibly due to sharing a love of all things Hello Kitty, but probably due to the Japanese love of anything Western they perceived as Baka (crazy), eg. the Toy Dolls and Bis both did well in Japan even whilst selling poorly elsewhere. "Trouble" became famous for its inclusion in the soundtrack to the film, Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie. The hit "Delicious" is heard in the movie Casper: A Spirited Beginning. The song "Don't Call Me Babe" was included in the soundtrack of the 1996 movie Barb Wire.
However, by the time they released their next album Girl Power in 1995 (the phrase coming from a 1993 Helen Love record and much used by Riot Grrrl devotees - later used as a marketing slogan by the Spice Girls), they were already in decline, and the third Shampoo album 'Absolute Shampoo' was released solely on the internet in 2000 due to an inability to acquire a recording contract. The duo disbanded shortly afterwards.
Shampoo combined a poppy girlishness and a love of all things plastic, kitsch, and pink (the album artwork for 'We Are Shampoo' featured a collage of Barbie dolls and sweet wrappers) with a punk sensibility. They often cited their main influences as being the Sex Pistols, Gary Numan and the Beastie Boys, whilst also claiming to be huge fans of East 17 and Take That. Whilst the lack of a single strong theme in their music may have prevented mainstream success, it was also arguably their greatest strength in an industry filled with two-dimensional, easily digestible artistes.
In May 2007 the album We Are Shampoo was re-issued in the UK with bonus tracks of the B-Sides.
|Title||UK Singles Chart|
|"Blisters and Bruises"||N/A|
|"Trouble"||#11 (#81 Japan)|
|"Viva La Megababes"||#27|
|"Delicious"||#21 (#76 Japan)|
|"Girl Power"||#25 (#22 Japan)|
|"I Know What Boys Like"||#42|
|"War Paint"||(Japan only)|
|"Yea Yea Yea (Tell Me Baby)"||(Japan only - #95)|
All Japanese figures are from the Oricon Singles Chart.
|We Are Shampoo (1994)||UK Albums Chart #45 #8 (Japan)|
|Delicious (1994)||Japanese Only: B-Sides/Rare Tracks #6 (Japan)|
|Shampoo Or Nothing (1995)||Japanese Release of 'Girl Power'|
|Girl Power (1996)||UK Release of 'Shampoo Or Nothing'|
|The Greatest (1998)||Japan Only 'Greatest Hits'|
|Absolute Shampoo (2000)||Internet Only|
|We Are Shampoo (2007)||Re-Issued album + 6 B-Sides|
Japanese placings again taken from Oricon charts.
List of songs
We Are Shampoo
- Viva La Megababes
- Dirty Old Love Song
- Skinny White Thing
- Glimmer Globe
- Shiny Black Taxi Cab
- Me Hostage
- Game Boy
- House of Love
- Shampoo You
Girl Power/Shampoo Or Nothing
- Girl Power
- News Flash
- I Know What Boys Like
- Bare Knuckle Girl
- Zap Pow
- War Paint
- You Love It
- Boys Are Us
- We Play Dumb
- I'm Gonna Scream
- Don't Call Me Babe
- Girl Power (Extended Version) (Bonus Track On 'Shampoo Or Nothing')
- War Paint (Extended Version) (Bonus Track On 'Shampoo Or Nothing')
- I know What Boys Like (Extended Version) (Bonus Track On 'Shampoo Or Nothing')
- Shampoo's Cupboard
- Inspector Gadget
- Sod The Neighbours
- Take A Break
- Dont Remember
- Terrorist TV
- First Class
- Star Of The Show
- Jet Lag
- Love Hate Baby
- Blisters & Bruises [included on the 1995 Japan single of Delicious]
- Paydirt [included on the 1995 Japan single of Delicious]
- I Love Little Pussy [included on the 1995 Japan single of Delicious]
- Bouffant Headbutt [included on the 1995 Japan single of Delicious]
- Excellent [included on the 2007 re-release of We Are Shampoo]
- Monster [included on the 1993 UK single of Bouffant Headbutt]
- We Don't Care [included on the 2007 re-release of We Are Shampoo]
- School is Boring [included on the 2007 re-release of We Are Shampoo]
- Girls 'Round Here [included on the 2007 re-release of We Are Shampoo]
- Kinky Ken [included on the 2007 re-release of We Are Shampoo]
- Out of Control [included on the 2007 re-release of We Are Shampoo]
- Cars [included on the 1995 Japan single of Girl Power]
- Top of The Pops [included on the 1995 Japan single of War Paint]
- Yea Yea Yea (Tell Me Baby) [only available on the 1996 Japan single of Yea Yea Yea (Tell Me Baby)]
- Trouble - Now Ex Mix
- Trouble - Detention Mix
- Trouble - Karaoke Version
- Viva La Megababes - Extended Mix aka 'US Extended Mix'
- Viva La Megababes - Karaoke Version
- Delicious - Karaoke Version
- Excellent - Live, Recorded at The Grand April 95
- Girl Power - Extended Version
- I Know What Boys Like - Extended Version
- I Know What Boys Like - Hed Boys Seka Mix
- I Know What Boys Like - Hed Boys Party Dub Mix
- War Paint - Extended Version
- War Paint - Karaoke
- Yea Yea Yea (Tell Me Baby) - Karaoke Mix
- 1995: Released their song Trouble with the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie soundtrack.
- 1995: Released a Japanese video collection entitled 'We Are Shampoo', containing videos for "Trouble", "Viva La Megababes", "Delicious" & "Bouffant Headbutt".
- 1995: Released a Japanese book entitled 'Delicious'.
- 1995: Recorded a cover version of the Beastie Boys "(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)" for the Warchild charity album Help. The recording was not released as the girls had made it too "disco". Although the track remains unreleased, Shampoo performed the song live on their 1995 Tour of Japan.
- 1996: Released their song Don't Call Me Babe to the Pamela Anderson film Barb Wire on its soundtrack.
- 1997: Released their song Delicious with the Casper: A Spirited Beginning soundtrack.
- 2000: Provided voices for the Playstation puzzle game 'Spin Jam'.
- There are two different videos for "Trouble". The original features the girls trying to get home from central London after a night out. The re-make features new footage of the girls singing to the camera, intercut with film footage from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie.
- "Trouble" was covered by Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine. It can be found as a B-side on their "The Young Offenders Mum" single.
- "Trouble" was covered in the 2007 film St Trinian's and featured on the soundtrack.
- "Trouble" was covered by VAMPS in 2009. This track is included in the Single Gotta Kick Start Now (2009.03.13) as a B-Side.
- "I Know What Boys Like" was heard in the background in a bar in the Desperate Housewives episode Look Into Their Eyes and You See What They Know.
Biography from Wikipedia