The scouse trio Top, made a fine album and then disappeared off the map without a trace. Way ahead of their time, for their time. Top was comprised of Alan Willis, Joe Fearon and Paul Cavanagh who appeared at the end of the baggy madchester scene. With songs such as Buzzin’ it is clear that Top were part of this and the rave scene. I like to think that they got their name from the rave mantra top one, nice one, get sorted. What seems really strange is that there is really not very much known about Top. They went when the baggy bubble burst. I do seem to remember one of them always wore a sweatshirt with thick vertical stripes, very early nineties. There are rumours that Joe did some DJing in a Liverpool club called La’go and he would get embarrassed if anyone mentioned his former band, and Paul was in indie combo Smaller. Other than that, not much can be found out.
Their album Emotion Lotion is well crafted and melodic like their fellow Liverpudlians, The Real People and The La’s. I have always thought that the psychedelic Real People song Open Up Your Mind (Let Me In) should of been recorded by Top. The album is a minor classic that didn’t even set Merseyside on fire. It has a bit of everything on it Number One Dominator is drenched in baggy wah, Buzzin’ is inspired by MDMA, Soul Magic is wistful and so the record proceeds. It is like a slice of the early nineties on a plate.
Unfortunately Top were in the wilderness years, too late for Madchester and too early for Britpop.