TOYAH TOYAH
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DISCOGRAPHY

PROSTITUTE

TRACK LIST

  1. Hello
  2. Prostitute
  3. Wife
  4. The Show
  5. Dream House
  6. Homecraft
  7. Obsession
  8. Let The Power Bleed
  9. Restless
  10. Falling To Earth
  11. Jazz Singers In The Trees
  12. Vale Of Evesham
  13. Ghosts In The Universe

Produced by Tony Arnold & Toyah Willcox

FORMATS

1988 UK LP: EG Editions / EGED59
1988 UK cassette: EG Editions / EGEDMC59
1988 UK CD: EG Editions / EGEDCD59
2003 UK CD reissue: Vertical Species / VSRCD003
2015 Available digitally from 2 October 2015 > see news item
> DOWNLOAD digital booklet

For the first time Toyah produced an album which did not have a ‘band’ or assembled group of musicians as the album acts as one continuous soundpiece. Steve Sidelnyk performed percussion and drums and would later go on to drum for Madonna’s Ray Of Light album and live on the Drowned World and Reinvention World Tours. Moreover, no singles were lifted from the album. The artwork for the album was also a first in that it not depict a photo or image of Toyah. Instead, a n archival photograph of artist Stuart Brisley’s installation The Game (1969) was used.

TOYAH ON PROSTITUTE 
What is a Prostitute?  “A woman who engages in promiscuous sexual intercourse for payment”, if you want to be literal. But that is not the meaning in this case. For me, Prostitute is a word of great power, often misused and misinterpreted. It is a word that evokes poverty, a slavery and entrapment of the opposite sex.  It is a word that says compromise has become exploitation. A word created by misogynists and applied to too many great women through the ages.

Stuart Brisley  The Game 1969 Installation ICA, London

Stuart Brisley
The Game 1969
Installation ICA, London

The period in which “Prostitute” the album became a concept in my head was a period of unavoidable change.  I had lived through phenomenal popularity as an early eighties icon, and I felt that all that was new and vibrant about me had become staid and predictable.  I was desperate to change and move on and to express the real me that had become embedded in layer upon layer of images and misquotes.

I had recently married my husband, it was 1987.  I made one fatal mistake. In private we were an ordinary couple who loved everything about the other.  In public we were the odd couple that prompted ridicule and speculation about the longevity of the relationship. My husband Robert Fripp is a very intelligent man and considered an academic in music. I, on the other hand was a pop star, shallow, an airhead in the eyes of the academics.  This is how we were perceived and I had made the fatal mistake of believing love was enough to justify a bond between two people. Boy! I was f—— angry. All the scum of music journalism suddenly felt the right to play God and judge our private lives, instead of showing any form of decent human nature, all they did was display their mental fascism.  At this time hubbie and I had the same management and they too treated me as the little woman who would retire and have babies. I was ready to kill!

 

This album was an exorcism for me, an exercise in self worth. In the UK when my management tried to sell it to the music reps, an awful lot got up and walked out of meetings; all male I hasten to add.  In America, Billboard magazine said it was the dawning of a new era for me as a producer and that it was an antidote to Madonna. (I disagree as I feel Madonna is one of the greatest women of all time) I started to receive mail from professors at eminent universities telling me they played the album at their lectures as an example of the new way of thinking coming from contemporary women.

I could have made a career out of being angry in America alone, but why throw fuel onto an insatiable fire when change can be achieved in far subtler ways.  This album struck a chord that never stopped resonating.