Buffalo Stance

Album: Raw Like Sushi (1989)
Charted: 7 3

Songfacts®:

  • Cherry originally recorded this for the B-side of Morgan McVey's 1986 single "Looking Good Diving." Morgan McVey was the pop duo of Cameron McVey and Jaime J. Morgan - Cameron was Neneh's boyfriend and eventually became her husband. He later produced All Saints and Sugababes and managed Massive Attack in their early days. Under the alias Booga Bear, he wrote much of the material that would comprise Raw Like Sushi.

    Three years later, Neneh Cherry began working on her first solo album. Among the songs was a version of "Buffalo Stance" that mutated, via a remix by Bomb The Bass's Tim Simeon, into an international hit.
  • On her website, Cherry says this song "is about sexual survival. It's not a feminist record - none of my songs are. But it's about female strength, female power, female attitude."
  • The song title refers to "Buffalo," a hip fashion and style collective formed by Scotsman Ray Petri. Neneh Cherry first encountered them during a plane journey to Tokyo for a modeling job and the singer began a creative and personal relationship with one of the Buffalo crew, photographer and musician Cameron McVey, that continues to this day. Cherry told Uncut magazine:

    "Buffalo was obviously a reference to the Buffalo Collective. It never had anything to do with Malcolm McLaren's 'Buffalo Gals,' everybody gets mixed up. Buffalo is also a reference to being a survivor, to being headstrong, with horns on your head, to fence your way through the ups and downs of life."
  • The lyrics, "Looking good, hanging with the Wild Bunch" are a reference to a collective of DJs and engineers in Bristol, England in the 1980s out of which came Massive Attack and other contributors to the trip-hop sound. Cherry recruited Mushroom of Massive Attack to appear in the video for this song, and he also mimed the DJ sections for her performance on the UK TV show Top Of The Pops.
  • Cherry was eight months pregnant when she performed this on Top Of The Pops. "When I found out I was pregnant, my mother said, 'Don't separate your life, the life that you're going to make with this child, from the things that you are and what you want to do,'" she recalled to The Observer. "Getting on Top of the Pops and having that feeling with me was such a saving grace."

    Cherry gave birth while Shara Nelson was recording the vocals for Massive Attack's Blue Lines album in the same house.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Trucking Songs That Were #1 Hits

Trucking Songs That Were #1 HitsSong Writing

The stories behind the biggest hit songs about trucking.

Lori McKenna

Lori McKennaSongwriter Interviews

Lori's songs have been recorded by Faith Hill and Sara Evans. She's performed on the CMAs and on Oprah. She also has five kids.

Max Cavalera of Soulfly (ex-Sepultura)

Max Cavalera of Soulfly (ex-Sepultura)Songwriter Interviews

The Brazilian rocker sees pictures in his riffs. When he came up with one of his gnarliest songs, there was a riot going on.

Pete Anderson

Pete AndersonSongwriter Interviews

Pete produced Dwight Yoakam, Michelle Shocked, Meat Puppets, and a very memorable track for Roy Orbison.

Who Wrote That Song?

Who Wrote That Song?Music Quiz

Do you know who wrote Patti Smith's biggest hit? How about the Grease theme song? See if you can match the song to the writer.

Steely Dan

Steely DanFact or Fiction

Did they really trade their guitarist to The Doobie Brothers? Are they named after something naughty? And what's up with the band name?