The Cosmopolitans had a strange evolution, emerging from a dance troupe, led by Jamie Sims, a music composition student at the University of North Carolina, who would get up on stage with any bands playing in their area and go-go dance to them. At a benefit gig designed to raise money for their failing dance company, they performed one of their own songs and received such a good reaction that The Cosmopolitan Dance Troop became The Cosmopolitans. By the time this single was put out, Mitch Easter (later to be producer of REM LPs) had joined as guitarist, drummer and producer.
The result is a rifftastic single worthy of the B52s with female call and response vocals and the sort of 60s garage sound you can imagine The Cosmopolitan Dance Troop would happily go-go to. What raises it to another level, however, are the words which are taken from a 1950s exercise record helping housewives not only to keep fit but also proffering advice about how a wife should keep her husband happy (“Be at home when he arrives. If you must work, try to arrange it so you’re home first”). In the course of the song, Jamie Sims runs down a 13 point checklist of all the things a housewife should do to ensure she is keeping her husband satisfied (it being the 1950s, sexual peccadilloes were not one of the tips). Her voice when delivering the rundown is laced with irony (“A bright smile over morning coffee”) and knowing anger (“Excess fat? – taboo”).
So, girls, whether you simply like boogieing to the B52s or want good, homely advice on how to make your marriage work, look no further than this record. And just remember with pin-curls, “if they are a must, pin up after the lights are out and wear a bed cap.”