Originally a live covers band called Blazer, the name change followed a desire to perform their own material, apparently, though in fact Cruella were studio bound for most of their career and rarely played live. Their debut single on Good Vibrations in 1982 was picked up by Polydor but didn't lead to a deal. A second single appeared on Good Vibes the same year.
They appeared on Anything Goes (RTE) in January 1983 and the Belfast Special edition of Channel 4's "The Tube" aired a self-produced video for "Gypsy Girl" in March 1983 which caused a bit of a stir and led to a deal with EMI Records. EMI released a few singles during 1983-84 and there were high expectations for the planned LP with Roy Wood producing. Wood became sick and engineer Dick Plant did most of the actual production work but the album, for whatever reason, never materialised. Tapes exist of at least one unreleased track "Who's At The Door" (now on youtube - see below). The band split by 1985.
Cruella De Ville's records are highly polished with some fantastic guitar but the production is gimmicky and the munchkin vocals are an acquired taste. They've been compared to Queen and The Move and there's a definite glam influence at work as well as a larger than life, cartoon-ish quality. There is still much interest in the band today. A compilation CD would be most welcome, but as if often the case with these things, there are some difficulties preventing this from happening as quickly as everyone would like. Let's hope it happens sooner rather than later.
Mike Edgar replaced Stephen Mulholland after the first single. Mike was previously in The Peasants with Colm Muinzer's brother Malachy. He currently has all the Cruella master tapes. He now works for the BBC.
There is an excellent fan website (see below) that is worth a look. The band's videos are also available online here. An officially sanctioned soundcloud page can be found here here.
Produced by Cruella with Rastus (track A1), Ron Hill (track B1) and Dick Plant & Roy Wood (track B2).
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