|Don’t Talk to Me About Love performed by Altered Images ()|
By late 1983, when Altered Images' third and final album, Bite, was released, Altered Images were already dead in the water. The group had never made any particular headway in the US, where their blend of Siouxsie and the Banshees and the Monkees (not to mention Claire Grogan's bizarre, baby-talk hiccup of a singing voice) was just a little too weird for mainstream tastes, and in their native UK, their colorful look and bubblegummy 1982 singles "I Could Be Happy" and "See Those Eyes" had forever typecast them as a kiddie-pop band. Grogan was already branching off in her second career as an actress (she played the title role in Bill Forsyth's 1982 cult classic Gregory's Girl), and Bite seemed like a mere contractual obligation. For the most part, it sounds like it, too, but the brilliant single "Don't Talk To Me About Love," which led off side two, was a welcome surprise, and possibly the best song they ever did. Mike Chapman's production recalls his work with Blondie, while the disco-tinged electronic beat, chicken-scratch electric guitar part and rubbery, melodic bass part all sound closer to New Order's "Blue Monday" than Bananarama's "Cruel Summer." Grogan herself is in an entirely different mood than usual, with her newly-lowered singing voice (and slightly improved enunciation) displaying a rueful, almost petulant edge that suits the cranky lyrics. Only at the very end does she shoot into her usual helium-pitched unintelligibility, with an air of "See, I can still do this, I just choose not to anymore." Coupled with the most indelible chorus of the band's entire career, it all adds up to a minor masterpiece. Sadly, however, nobody wanted to know.