Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Another 12 Forgotten Classics by Women-Led New Wave Bands

Here is the latest installment of forgotten gems by women-led new wave bands, this time by my friend and noted DJ Bruce "Taffy" Derfler. So many great ones -- I had totally forgotten about this funky M+M song that got played on MTV a decent amount. Best discovery: I had no idea "Crazy" was a cover -- I only knew the R.E.M. version!

Altered Images, 'Don't Talk to Me About Love' (1983)

Perfectly, girlishly helium vocals from Claire Grogan backed with heavenly new wave gone disco on my fave track of theirs.

Belle Stars, 'Sign of the Times' (1983)

Seven women strong, rising from the ashes of the Bodysnatchers, a Dutch friend sent me a cassette back in (I think) 1983 with "Sign of the Times" on it and i fell in love with its quirky charms.

Blue Angel, 'Maybe He'll Know' (1980)

Before Cyndi Lauper was a solo superstar, she was the singer in this groovy little rockabilly combo. "Maybe He'll Know" was a bouncy highlight of their only album (beware the inferior remake on "True Colors"!).

Book of Love, 'I Touch Roses' (1985)

Three women, one gay dude, gorgeously minimal yet lush synthpop.

Bush Tetras, 'Too Many Creeps' (1983)

Slashing, funky post-punk from downtown NYC. "Too Many Creeps" is iconic.

Dominatrix, 'The Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight' (1984)

This mysterious act only ever produced one song, but what a doozy. "The Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight" combined icy new wave with Latin freestyle and was the epitome of mid-'80s New York cool.

Lene Lovich, 'Lucky Number' (1978)

Maybe not forgotten, but totally underrated. More quirkiness, a new wave pogo classic!

M+M, 'Black Stations/White Stations' (1984)

"Echo Beach" was the great pop single, but I'm going for the later "Black Stations/White Stations," a sturdily funky dance track with a great anti-racism lyric.

November Group, 'Work That Dream' (1985)

Seminal Boston synth band with a chilly Teutonic sound and image...sort of a Kraftwerk with less smiling! They released three EPs, a high point being this gem.

The Photos, 'I'm So Attractive' (1979)

Wendy Wu led these Brits through a quick run of bouncy power-pop tunes, best exemplified by this one.

Pylon, 'Crazy' (1981)

Pivotal to the Athens (Georgia) postpunk scene, this moody little band fronted by Vanessa Briscoe always had more critical than popular acclaim, but was much lauded by their peers in the B-52s and R.E.M., who covered this song. "Crazy" is jittery pop music for weirdos.

Tribe, 'Abort' (1987)

Maybe a bit of a cheat, as they were a late '80s band, huge in Boston, unknown elsewhere. Janet LaValley's strong moody vocals set the tone for this rock song with tension so thick you could cut it with a knife.

  • See all lists HERE.

    Steve said...

    What about Siouxsie And The Banshees? Too punk? And 'Cities in the Dust' was 1985 so...

    Jack said...

    These are awesome!

    Unknown said...

    Just an FYI, the first (original) version of Abort came out back in 1987. Still a bit late for the "true" new wave, but not as removed as '92!

    schmiedepaul said...

    Have always adored "Don't Talk To Me About Love". I discovered it as a 12" mix on an 80s 12" compilation:


    Gen Xer said...

    I am loving all these groups that I remember so well!