Tot Taylor

When I chance upon an artist who simply defies search queries—Google doesn't know, YouTube doesn't know, Spotify doesn't know—I'm reminded of the thrill that discovery on the internet used to be, when it was more of a crate-digging-in-a-musty-basement experience rather than, well, shopping on Amazon.

In the case of Tot Taylor, today's subject, I wonder if some of the invisibility is by design, done with deliberation; he is... around... and his new material gets hits, so the fact it's specifically old—70s, 80s—stuff that leaves the bots scratching their heads makes me wonder if he's done some erasing on his own.

No matter. Bits are hard to vanquish entirely.

A very compelling character from Cambridge, who introduced himself to the world as part of a power-pop quartet called Advertising. Their one and only LP was 1977's Advertising Jingles. A cheeky lot.

I imagine them being bucketed with other good, clean fun post-punk new wavers, like Elvis Costello and Robyn Hitchcock, but they had more mischievousness, more twitchiness (that Buzzcocks bite), and more glammy musicality than those folks. This strikes me as being inspired first by ELO, the Move, Be Bop Deluxe.

Once they split, Taylor went off on his own, reimagining himself as a sort of clown prince of the lounge lizards. More piano-rooted music, more big-band instrumentation, more string orchestration, more jazzy crooning.
He also did a fair amount of stage work and scoring, both for actual productions and make-believe ones.