Archive for Missing Persons

Great Rock Albums of 1983: Berlin- Pleasure Victim

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 13, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-Berlin_pleasure

Everybody forget all about the 1986 single, “Take My Breath Away” for a moment, well actually, you can forget about it all together for all I care. Three years earlier, the artists behind that single didn’t sound very much like that. In 1983, when new wave was mentioned, Berlin was the second name that came to mind after Missing Persons. They too, incorporated everything I associated about the new wave genre back then.

Berlin came to my attention in said year when I heard their first single, “Sex, (I’m A)” on the radio. It was the lyrics to the song that caught my ear. Hearing¬†“I’m a bitch, I’m a slave, I’m a Goddess, I’m a little girl when we make love together”¬†amused me very much. Note: I know the above isn’t in the correct order of the song but all those lyrics appear in it. Still it’s a cool song. The rest of the album, “Pleasure Victim,” follows in what I call the new wave vein. While keyboards and synthesizers dominate the songs, they are used very well and not played in the dumb choppy way that synth pop bands would later use. There is a hint of guitar in them as well, especially in the hardest song, “Masquerade,” which is my number one on the album. “The Metro” is also a good tune, probably because I remember it as their second single from the album. Though, I’m not impressed with the last two songs on “Pleasure Victim,” the other songs are good enough to carry the album. Listening to it again after so many years, I remember why I liked the new wave sound in 1983.

Let’s talk about ladies for a moment. In this case, it’s Berlin’s lead singer Terri Nunn. She has a great voice, as good as any of the female singers around at the time. Both her and Dale Bozzio were every bit as good as the one female singer who got most of the accolades throughout the mid 1980s. Fifty 80smetalman points if you can guess who I’m referring to here. Anyway, Terri Nunn didn’t get the respect she deserved back then both as a singer and as a beautiful woman. I don’t remember seeing any Terri Nunn posters around at the time. Thinking about her and Dale Bozzio, there is little to choose from in physical beauty or vocal ability.

Terri Nunn

Terri Nunn

Track Listing:

  1. Tell My Why
  2. Pleasure Victim
  3. Sex (I’m A)
  4. Masquerade
  5. The Metro
  6. World of Smiles
  7. Torture
Berlin

Berlin

Terri Nunn- vocals

Chris Ruiz-Velasco- guitar

David Diamond- synthesizers, backing vocals, guitar

John Crawford- bass, co-lead vocals on “Sex (I’m A),” synthesizer

Daniel Van Patten- drums, percussion

Reflecting back to 1983, I think the year was a reckoning for the two bands I will forever associate with new wave. A year later, Missing Persons would continue to go in the new wave direction and their album would commercially flop, though I still intend to visit it. For Berlin, they would essentially become a top forty band but that’s further down the road. For now, “Pleasure Victim” was a cool new wave album that was different to all that was around at the time.

Some personal notes here: Another thing that softened the blow of not being able to see Hell’s Bells this weekend is the fact that my Bloodstock tickets came this week. I’ll be going for all three days, so look out come August! The other was that I got a ‘like’ on Twitter from none other than David Gilmour of Pink Floyd fame for my post reporting the passing of Keith Emerson. To me, that’s a huge honour.

Next post: Peter Gabriel

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London

 

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Great Rock Albums of 1983: Missing Persons- Spring Session M

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 7, 2016 by 80smetalman

Missing_Persons_-_Spring_Session_M

Whenever someone says new wave in the 1980s, the first artist to enter my brain is Missing Persons. For me, they were everything I thought new wave was back then. They weren’t hard or heavy like metal but they didn’t sound like a trendy top forty band or even synth pop. They were completely different in a good way. Furthermore, Missing Persons was a band who could actually play well. Then again, any band that features the likes of Terry Bozzio, Warren Cuccurullo and Patrick O’Hearn has to be good. If those names sound familiar it is because these three played with Frank Zappa throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s and as we know, Zappa always had the best musicians playing for him. So it was quite clear that Missing Persons weren’t going to be a Tinseltown Rebellion band that Frank recorded a good parody about.

Before I launch into the fullness of Missing Persons’ 1983 album, “Spring Session M,” I would start with the singles from the album. The first one I heard on the radio upon my return from serving in the Far East was “Words.” My first impression of it was that the lead singer was trying to sound like a fourteen year old girl. At first, I thought it was amusing but listening behind the vocals, I heard the music and it sounded okay. The guitar wasn’t heavy on a bang your head along to it scale but enough to catch my interest. The synthesizers were used very intelligently without taking over. My conclusion was that it was a good song after all. However, the third single, “Walking in LA” has a guitar hook that definitely works and Dale Bozzio’s voice sounds much better on it. The other single, “Destination Unknown” is a more way out there song with some good keyboard hooks. Those were enough to get me to listen to the rest of the album and I wasn’t disappointed.

Dale Bozzio

Dale Bozzio

The rest of the album is as solid as the three singles. The songs are just hard enough to catch the ear of this metalhead and think, “This is okay” and the keyboards and synthesizers are done just as intelligently. Dale Bozio does not sound like a fourteen year old on the other songs, in fact her vocals are quite decent. Her best effort is on the track, “Tears.” However, the rest of the band plays consistently well throughout the entire album. The two opening tracks seem to stand out the most although “Bad Streets” is probably the closest they come to a rocker. It is the heaviest song on the album and done very well and Cuccurullo does hammer out a pretty cool guitar solo.

Track Listing:

  1. Noticeable One
  2. Windows
  3. It Ain’t None of Your Business
  4. Destination Unknown
  5. Walking in LA
  6. U.S. Drag
  7. Tears
  8. Here and Now
  9. Words
  10. Bad Streets
  11. Rock and Roll Expression
  12. No Way Out
Missing Persons

Missing Persons

Dale Bozzio- vocals

Terry Bozzio- drums, backing vocals, percussion, synthesizer

Warren Cuccurullo- guitar, backing vocals

Chuck Wild- keyboards, synthesizers

Patrick O’Hearn- bass, keyboards, synthesizers

If new wave had continued in this direction, I would have been more into it. Missing Persons were talented musicians all as shown in the album “Spring Session M.” Unfortunately, things went down hill fast after this and my musical tastes went in a harder direction.

Next post: AC/DC- Flick of the Switch

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London