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Kajagoogoo….On This Day in History

February 20, 2014

Today begins a series of anniversary posts that will be featured on KajaFax throughout 2014, as we look back at important events in the group’s history.

Many of you will remember similar articles published last year, which commemorated the 30th anniversary of White Feathers and the group’s commercial breakthrough.  The first of our 2014 articles focuses on the hit single and fan favourite ‘The Lion’s Mouth’ which was released on this day in 1984.

lions mouth sleeve

With album recording sessions encompassing three studios (Jacob’s, Farm Yard, and The Manor studios) the single, (recorded at Farmyard Studios) and indeed the whole Islands album was finally mixed in London at the legendary Air Studios.  Air, (or Associated Independent Recording) is George Martin’s state of the art facility – originally located on Oxford Street, London – on the fourth floor of the former Peter Robinson’s department store which we think had changed by ’84, if we remember correctly, to another big name store – Marks and Spencer’s.

Studio London 84

Air Studios, London – circa 1984.

The Lion’s Mouth is representative of the new direction taken by the band in ’84.  It is actually taken from a section of the Bible, which says that if we step out into the mouth of the lion, God can stop the jaws of the lion closing in around our necks.  If he is for us, no one is against us.  Interviewed back at the time of the release, Nick said:

“It’s heavy symbolism for me because it means everything that is risky, that is tempting, that is a danger to me and other people who share my faith”  

Put more simply by guitarist Steve Askew, the Lions Mouth is basically about temptation.

The single is memorable for the rather nice promotional video that accompanied it, which was recorded earlier in the February of ’84 with director and graphic designer Storm Thorgeson.  Thorgeson was himself a major force in his field, with his surreal works gracing many an album cover – most famously his iconic ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ album cover design.

The track also featured contemporary jazz musicians Guy Barker and Phil Todd within it’s brass section.

Produced by Colin Thurston and also the first Kajagoogoo song to showcase the Chapman Stick, the Lion’s Mouth hit the charts all over Europe, making #25 here in the UK.

The single was also available in standard 7″, 12″ and picture disc formats.

It entered the UK chart on 3rd March 1984.

Pic Disc Edition

2014 KajaFax

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Diana Jennifer permalink
    February 20, 2014 7:55 am

    Wow…good article!! Love it!
    Limahl & Kajagoogoo for ever!!

    • February 23, 2014 11:32 am

      Thanks for commenting and I am so glad that you like the article 🙂

  2. David permalink
    February 20, 2014 8:36 am

    Great song.

  3. Harry permalink
    February 20, 2014 6:40 pm

    A top track and a good article.


  4. Adam permalink
    February 20, 2014 10:10 pm

    I really liked the singles from Islands and thought that when Kajagoogoo played them live on the space cadet tour that Limahls voice made them even better. The duet really works. Nick and Limahl need to record the next batch of Kajagoogoo songs in that style. They compliment each other well.

    It would be really special.

    • February 21, 2014 5:21 pm

      I hope to see that happen one day Adam. New songs would be perfect and very well received by us all.

  5. Cris permalink
    February 21, 2014 2:15 pm

    My all time favourite. The best ever. Pure musical genius and creativity, I still remember what I was doing and how I felt when I heard it, and then bought it.
    Always thank you Kajagoogoo for this song.
    And thank you Kajafax for the fantastic article of course!!!

  6. Denny permalink
    February 23, 2014 12:42 am

    I want this version of the video on DVD. With extra flame throwers, more death and child affected by Voodoo doll…..can’t think the main version is edited so much 😉

    • February 23, 2014 11:32 am

      🙂 Yeah Denny. EMI let us down a bit with the DVD package they put out in 2009. Had the fans been able to express their wants, I bet the full ‘Lions Mouth’, ‘Big Apple’ (complete with screeching car effects and such like) and ‘Shouldnt Do That’ videos would have been there, as well as videos for ‘Love In Your Eyes’, ‘Too Much Trouble’, and the US Versions of ‘Only For Love’ and ‘Turn Your Back on Me’.

      I could write a list 🙂

      Still, something official on DVD is better than nothing.

      The main omission of course is the ’83 concert video which lots of people would have wanted. I have a LaserDisc copy which looks nice, but there is nothing like the real deal and a factory pressed DVD or even blu ray release would have been lovely.

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