I like to think that I have a pretty exhaustive knowledge of punk, post-punk and new wave, but inevitably my perceptions are filtered through the fact of living in the UK during the late 70s and early 80s. Every now and then it's nice to be blindsided by a completely amazing piece of music - even a group - that somehow managed never to come to my attention.
Such is the case with The Motels. I don't think I'd ever heard of them, let alone heard anything by then. Then Bruce Springsteen (who I think we can all agree is a man of discerning taste) goes and plays this on this Radio 2 show, and it's quite wonderful. From what I can gather it was a minor hit in the States in 1983, but I don't remember ever hearing it on the radio in Britain. Everything about this is just crystalline pop perfection.
Good song and Martha had a sexy voice - it was a pretty big hit here, they had like maybe one at most two others that charted.ReplyDelete
And they were past their peak by this point! Their second album, 1980s Careful, is their best work IMO. They became big in the US in 1982 when Only the Lonely charted, thanks to MTV. Martha Davis was pretty damn sultry in her day.ReplyDelete
Wow, 1983. Dust off those double-breasted shirts and trilby's :-) Does any else remember what a 12" single was?ReplyDelete
Only the Lonely is still one of my favorite mood pieces.ReplyDelete
Wonderful song! I've only ever heard 'Only the Lonely' before now. As you say -- crystalline pop perfection.ReplyDelete
It was a style in American pop-rock then -- a cool one -- and, yeah, some U.S. hits never got over to the U.K. Somewhat in the same bag as the Motels but even better was Aimee Mann and 'Til Tuesday. Did their 'Voices Carry' get played in the U.K.?ReplyDelete
Mann did the songs in the movie 'Magnolia' too.
Not sure about that one but Aimee Mann is - or was - relatively known over here, I think, at least in indie pop circles. I've got a few of her records. She's also in The Big Lebowski, of course!ReplyDelete
I played in a scratch band for a birthday party with Marty Jourard (their sax and keys player) about six years ago in Seattle! Very nice guy. The Motels still tour (gigs...remember those...?)ReplyDelete