Album review: THE MOTELS – All Four One, Little Robbers

THE MOTELS – All Four One, Little Robbers

BGO Records [Release date 03.09.21]

The Motels are an American new wave band fronted by Martha Davis. This Motels double CD re-issue features the band’s two US Top 30 albums from the early 1980s. ‘All Four One’ (1982) features the US Top 10 hit ‘Only The Lonely’, whilst ‘Suddenly Last Summer’ was also a Top 10 US hit from ‘Little Robbers’ (1983). BGO Records have had these albums digitally remastered along with sleeve notes from David Wells.

‘All Four One’ (***) features the catchy hit ‘Only The Lonely’, plus the jazzy ‘Change My Mind’, and indeed Martha Davis went onto to release a couple of jazz based solo albums. ‘So L.A.’ could have been another possible hit single. You also get five bonus tracks including a live version of ‘Only The Lonely’.

‘Little Robbers’ (***1/2) is even more synth pop/New Wave than its predecessor, although nice bit of reggae pop on ‘Isle Of You’ and ‘Trust You’ & ‘Into The Heartland’ will appeal to fans of melodic rock, as the band up the guitar quota.

A group popular in Australia, Canada and the USA but The Motels never quite captured the UK market with two singles just missing the UK top 40 and none of their albums troubled the album chart.

Martha Davis dissolved the band in 1987, only to reform again in 1998 and they still tour to this day, mainly in the US. From the band’s early 80s line-up drummer Brian Glascock went on to work with the likes of Dolly Parton, Iggy Pop and the Bee Gees (as well as being the brother of the late John Glascock, bassist for Jethro Tull between 1975 and his death in 1979), whilst Scott Thurston went onto to join Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.

If you have a penchant for 80’s Wave Music – at times they remind you of Quarterflash – this double CD is a good a place as any to start with and at a decent price.

Review by Jason Ritchie

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