Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Lene Lovich - Stateless (1978)

“Stateless” by Lene Lovich (1978)

Lene remained mostly unknown in the US, while with in the UK, the mysterious singer/songwriter/musician managed to score three top 40 hits. In her early years Lovich held a variety of jobs including go-go dancer, recorded screams for horror films and sang in a mass choir in the Royal Albert Hall. She was also one of thousands of audience members invited to sing along at the 1972 Lanchester Arts Festival at the Locarno Ballroom in Coventry when Chuck Berry recorded "My Ding-a-Ling" for Chess Records. Finally in 1977 Lovich received her big break when she was invited to write the sci-fi influenced lyrics to Cerrone’s dance club hit “Supernature.” “Supernature” reached #8 in the UK and #70 in the US and was a #1 US Dance club hit. One year later she released her debut album “Stateless.”

“Stateless” was a solid hit throughout Europe and down under in 1978 reaching #35 in the UK, #17 Netherlands,  #13 Australia, #19 New Zealand and with little fanfare the album managed to make it to #137 in the US.

Lene’s quirky danceable new wave sound caught on in underground dance clubs throughout the US. While in other parts of the world her songs were being played in mainstream clubs and pop music radio. The song “Lucky Number” was somewhat a novelty that caught on in Europe much as did M’s “Pop Muzik” in the US. “Lucky Number” was a worldwide smash and reached Australia #2, UK and New Zealand #3, Netherlands #4, Belgium #5, Ireland #7 and Australia #18. The song is composed in D major at 120 beats per minute. The chorus, perhaps unpredictably, consists of four dissonant chords sung in rapid succession. “Lucky Number” is considered by many to be a defining song of the new wave era. Lene was off to a very strong start. This could have been the beginning of a long career of worldwide mega-hits. But for some reason she never caught on in the US, other than the occasional dance-club hit.

The album includes a deliciously propulsive remake of Tommy James and the Shondells “I Think We’re Along Now” ( Lene also recorded a Japanese version of the song). The darkly sinister "Home" played off the rumors concerning Lovich's exotic Eastern European background (she was actually from Detroit, but she could fake a great accent). “Say When,” the fast moving second single, was a Top 20 hit in the UK, Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland.

"Lucky Number"

Lene Lovich (1978)


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