Wednesday, November 19, 2014

"Words" by Missing Persons

Song#:  1084
Date:  07/03/1982
Debut:  87
Peak:  42
Weeks:  11
Genre:  New Wave, Synthpop

Pop Bits:  Formed in 1980, this L.A. band recorded and sold a self-titled EP while making a name for themselves as a live act. A couple of years later, Capitol Records signed them and re-issued the EP while the group readied their formal debut LP. The band was ready-made for the new MTV culture with their new wave sound and appearance, which included lead singer Dale Bozzio loaded with make-up, hairspray, and sci-fi getups. They issued "Spring Session M" and this first single became an early MTV favorite. Despite its popular video, the single just missed out on the pop Top 40. However, the LP was more successful reaching #17 and going gold.

ReduxReview:  On first go-round, I didn't connect with this group. Dale Bozzio's hiccuping style annoyed me and I didn't love the songs. However, they have grown on me over the years and I've gotten totally hooked on three of their singles including this one. They kind of get lumped into a batch of early new wave groups, but really, I'd consider them one of the forerunners of the genre from the US. The week this single debuted, Human League took over the #1 slot with "Don't You Want Me." Other Euro-synthpop/new wave groups were also gaining some ground while US artists were just beginning to plug in their synths. Missing Persons was one of a minor handful to start making some (new) waves. I don't think they or their album get enough credit.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Four of the five original members of the band worked with Frank Zappa. Lead singer Dale Bozzio can be heard on four Zappa albums while her husband Terry played drums on many Zappa recordings (they actually met via their work with Zappa). Warren Cuccurullo played guitar in Zappa's band while Patrick O'Hearn played bass.


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