Friday, February 29, 2008

Music Box: Romeo Void

Filling my Romeo Void

While 48 percent of American teenagers reported buying not one CD in 2007, this old fart spent the year adding lavishly to my collection, with my Amazon purchases reaching new highs in '07. While shopping online last night I came across quite a surprising and wonderful find -- the debut Romeo Void album (1981's "It's a Condition") and singer Debora Iyall's sole solo release (1986's "Strange Language") on compact disc for the first time ever -- packaged on one disc from the good people over at Wounded Bird Records.

Although I had long ago gotten my vinyl of these two gems ripped to disc, an official release (complete with "White Sweater" b-side bonus track "Apache") was what I'd always dreamed of, and if the band actually gets some royalties out of their great work, so much the better. I share this with you because I figure that if I -- one of the band's most psychotic fans -- hadn't even heard about this monumental release (apparently it came out last summer), then I doubt many others have either. Hopefully this will help spread the word to other fans of this often overlooked San Francisco band that was truly one of the highlights of the American New Wave scene.

Also available:
"Benefactor"/"Never Say Never" EP -- which I wrote about here. The only way this CD reissue of the band's second album along with the "Never Say Never" EP thrown in as bonus tracks could have been better is if it had included the "Never Say Never" 45 b-side "Guards." (That rare track can, however, be found on the fun Sony compilation "Never Say Never: Hits, Rarities & Gems.")

"Instincts" -- the band's third and final album, featuring their one Top 40 hit, "A Girl in Trouble (Is a Temporary Thing)," and the dance club favorite "Say No."

"Never Say Never"

"A Girl in Trouble (Is a Temporary Thing)"

"Say No"

Super bonus! Here are MP3s of Romeo Void's unreleased 1993 reunion demos. The label didn't show much interest, but hardcore fans will love them:

"If I Was Your Cat"
"Stormy Eyes"
"Two Rivers"
"Safe Place"

Debora Iyall can be contacted via Instagram here!


Anonymous said...

Kenneth, you are such a doll for featuring our music. Very flattering to see how much you care. I still love singing and writing new songs now and again. Someday it'll all be up and available. My husband-to-be is an audio engineer. he transfers vinyl all the time.

Thanks for buying cds. I get the best royalties from Australia these past two years. Who knew?

Love ya, Debora

Unknown said...

This is the best post ever, Ken. I've loved Romeo Void ever since my days in SF. I had to push play on my Romeo Void CD's after reading your post. It's been a long time! I had forgotten what an angelic voice Debora has.

Please delete this portion before you post this comment, but if you ever come across a ringtone of Girl in Trouble, could you pass the info along to me at I want that song as my ringtone so much!

rostasi said...

I'm just now seeing this nearly 14 years later, but thanks for the memories. When Romeo Void played Tuts in Chicago,Debora Iyall ripped the Cramps t-shirt from my back and kept it! Normally, I'd miss that shirt, but she was so fun that night that I still don't care. It's a great memory!

Debora Iyall said...

@rostasi: It didn’t happen. Sorry. I’ve never assaulted a fan or had a Cramps T shirt.