I Don't Wanna Be Too CoolKate Fagan
- Includes two unreleased tracks "Master of Passion" and "Come Over"
Before she was opening shows for The Clash and The English Beat as the founder/ frontwoman of long-running Chicago ska trailblazers Heavy Manners, Kate Fagan released the cult new wave single I Donâ€™t Wanna Be Too Cool on the tiny local imprint Disturbing Records.
Upon its early-1980 release the pogo-ready â€œToo Coolâ€ single was immediately embraced by local club DJs and radio stations and tastemaking record stores like Chicagoâ€™s legendary Wax Trax, where it became the best-selling release by a local artist ever. The flipside, â€œWaiting for the Crisis,â€ also gained notice for its raw musical style and politically charged Reagan-era lyrics, which still resonate today.
Kate wrote the title track after moving to Chicago from New York in the late 70â€™s. â€œI pretty much came to visit Chicago and fell in love with the scene and never left,â€ remembers Fagan. â€œAt the time Iâ€™d been working at New York magazine and was getting dismayed watching the CBGB scene give way to the whole Studio 54/velvet rope thing. So I spontaneously moved to Chicago, which was much more inclusive and everyone wasnâ€™t standing around peering at each other from behind their shades. But eventually I saw that same kind of divisive hipster culture start to creep in. â€˜Too Coolâ€™ was my reaction to that.â€
Fagan bought a cheap bass guitar and started writing songs intuitively, recording them at Chicagoâ€™s Acme Studios. There, sheâ€™d meet the fellow artists with whom sheâ€™d form the Disturbing Records label, which released the â€œI Donâ€™t Wanna Be Too Coolâ€ single as well as early singles by Heavy Manners.
Manufactured Recordings is excited to present this seminal U.S. new wave/post punk single, reissued here with two unreleased bonus tracks Kate recorded in the early 1980â€™s with members of My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult and Scarlet Architect. â€œI thought the reissue was a prank,â€ says Fagan. â€œI didnâ€™t fully believe it until I flew to New York to meet them in person. Itâ€™s particularly gratifying because after the original single sold out in 1980 I did a second run of 1,000 copies out of my own pocket, and they were all lost in a house fire that destroyed literally everything that I owned at the time. So this is like unfinished business, and I think the songs are as relevant today as they were then.â€