Cleopatra Records [Release date 20.03.20]
A ‘household name’ back in the early days of MTV – as lead singer of Missing Persons – Dale Bozzio is said to have influenced Lady Gaga via Madonna.
Also known for her work with Zappa on his rock opera ‘Joe’s Garage’ and the musical ‘Thing-Fish’, her last outing – Missing In Action (2014), produced by Billy Sherwood – got a thumbs up from fellow scribe David Randall who was impressed by its pop rock, post-punk attitude.
Her latest offering – with multi-instrumentalist and ex-L.A. Guns player Adam Hamilton – dials directly into 1981 – when bands like Soft Cell, Human League, and OMD dominated the charts – with a set of broody synth/modern electronic ‘covers’ and three new tracks thrown in for good measure.
In my recent review of Steve Harley’s Uncovered, I questioned the wisdom of covering ‘standards’ or ‘classics’. I mean, is there any point offering the world another version of ‘California Dreamin”, when the original is simply unsurpassable?
Well, actually, Bozzio’s dark, brooding ‘eighties’ treatment takes the song to an entirely different place, and is as far removed from the original as it’s possible to imagine. It’s excellent, and a lesson in how to take a modern classic and do something entirely different, and unexpected, with it.
The same goes for her treatment of ‘We Gotta Get Out Of This Place’ (The Animals), ‘Playing With Fir’e (The Stones), ‘Just What I Needed’ (The Cars), ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ (Joy Division/Paul Young), ‘Incense And Peppermints’ (The Strawberry Alarm Clock), and ‘This Is The Day’ (The The).
But as my long suffering wife insightfully observed “I don’t know who that is, but she’s making all those [great] songs sound the same”. A fair point, well made. So it comes down to this – if you’ve a soft spot for early eighties synth pop, Dreaming is well worth investigating. If not, don’t even go there. ***1/2
Review by Pete Whalley
David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 20 September 2020.
UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 22 September 2020.
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