Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Wall of Voodoo

Do you have albums by artists that are considered one-hit wonders, and if you do, do they stay in your rotation for more than a couple of plays?

It's hard to believe "Mexican Radio" came out 25 years ago. For some reason, Wall of Voodoo only had that single hit -- once they were compartmentalized as a novelty group on the basis of that tune, I guess that was all she wrote. At some point a few years ago, I saw the CD it was on, Call of the West, in a used CD bin, and I've been listening to it every so often since. "Mexican Radio" is probably the poppiest of the tunes, but the rest of it is pretty catchy as well, with Stan Ridgway's distinctive vocals being supported by creative percussion and a Western synth sound. There's a fair amount of darkness in the lyrics and tone, something that's hardly noticeable in "Mexican Radio" when heard outside of the context of the album.

Regardless, you already know "Mexican Radio," so have a listen to a couple of other tracks off the album, "Factory" and the title track (I find it amazing that not only are they on youtube, but several others tracks are as well). They're not wholly true to the album versions -- in particular the percussion's a bit different -- but after all, that's the point of live performances. That, and to show off the early '80s threads.