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
In his show broadcast on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio on 10 May David Randall played a further selection of artists and albums included in the new Features series, “2020 Vision”.
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Featured Albums w/c 25 May (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 FM Synchronized (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 THE ROCKET DOLLS The Art Of Disconnect (indie)
14:00-16:00 BEN KUNDER Searching For The Stranger (indie)
Power Plays w/c 11 May (Mon-Fri)
THE MERCY KILLS Alone (Golden Robot Records)
DEAD REYNOLDS By Your Side (indie)
THE JAILBIRDS Watery Grave (Golden Robot Records)
ALI MASS & MICKY MOODY These Times (Last Man Music)
MASSIVE WAGONS Bangin In Your Stereo (Earache)
UDO We Are One (AFM Records)
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