Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Gambling With Other People's Money: The High Life & Completely Avoidable Death of Major Label A&R!

The king of "artist development" Mo Ostin, second from left
With the state of the major label music industry in tatters, little remains of the once proud A&R profession that, for as long as anyone can remember, once played God in determining which bands got signed and, sadly, which bands did not.

Legendary A&R execs such as Mo Ostin, Lenny Waronker, Ahmet Ertugen, Jerry Wexler, and Clive Davis trusted their ears over any spreadsheet, building a deep and varied catalog of modern-era recordings that still manages to keep what's left of the music industry afloat even after most folks have stopped buying music altogether.

With each new decade, however, less and less attention was paid by labels on making sure the right people were filling the A&R positions. By the 1980's, A&R executives like David Geffen, John Kalodner, Teresa Ensenat, and Tom Zutaut were becoming as well-known as the artists they signed.

That was just fine because more than a few artists and managers left their "passions" to get in on some of that sweet, sweet A&R action (insert "rolls eyes" emoticon here); most notably Tim Sommer of esoteric mood rockers Hugo Largo, who has the unlikely distinction of foisting Hootie & The Blowfish upon us.

Of course, that was hot on the heels of the grunge explosion set off by A&R execs Gary Gersh and Michael Goldstone, who signed Nirvana and Pearl Jam, respectively, while Mark Kates (Weezer, Beck, Sonic Youth), David Massey (Oasis), and Jason Flom (Stone Temple Pilots) filled in the edges.

Next thing you know, Fred Durst is named VP of A&R at Interscope with a straight face. How far has the A&R profession fallen since that fateful day. you ask?

Well, Atlantic Records could have signed any number of bands who'd paid their dues, built a devoted regional audience, and proven themselves ready for the next big step, but, instead. the esteemed label responsible for giving the world Led Zep, Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin, signed a 14-year-old girl whose sole claim to fame was mouthing off to Dr. Phil. 

While shit hadn't gotten nearly that bad while I was chasing the major label carrot, here are some of my favorite quotes from A&R folks I've had the "pleasure" of dealing with over the years:

'90s A&R Person For Label A: I'm flying to Chicago this weekend to see a band that will be playing their fifth gig.

90s A&R Person for Label B: If they were any good, they'd have been signed after their third. (Whispers to secretary) Book me a flight to Chicago, STAT!

"Let's cut the bullshit. if you want to spend the next three years shopping for just the right deal, that's three years of not having a record out, but if you want a label that will sign you today, give you the money to make a nice record that you can be proud of, and then release it with zero fucking promotion, I'm your guy."

"When I signed them, they didn't even have a name yet!" (We should all be so lucky)

"Yeah, the difference three more letters makes." (A&R dude who informed me that dropped solo artist "E" was now in-demand as singer for "eels".)

"One week, I'm watching Beck get kicked out of a coffee shop in Silver Lake for bringing a leaf blower to  open mic night and, the next, every label in town is after the guy."

"I honestly thought Bang Tango were gonna be huge."

"Sure, I turned you guys down twice before, but that was before I found out that three other labels were interested."

"I once flew to Sweden and schmoozed a band whose music I hadn't heard, just to keep them from signing with John Motherfucking Kalodner. If that makes me a bad person, so be it."

The one conversation that I've had with the most A&R folks over the years is the one where they go on at length about all the cool "bubbling under" stuff that they love, me asking "So why don't you sign them?", and them responding with some variation of "Oh God no!", as if a band that awesome, who also works dead-end jobs between shitty tours, somehow prefers soul-crushing semi-obscurity to even just a brief, fleeting taste of life on a major label.

And my answer has always been that, at the end of the day, the reason Robbie Fulks is "Robbie Motherfucking Fulks" and not "Ralph Fucking Covert" is because Fulks cut a record for Geffen Records back in the day.

Much the same goes for Nada Surf, whose lone record for Elektra Records brought them fleeting "popularity" and then a pink slip, but not before building just enough name recognition around the world to enjoy a very fruitful and long-lasting indie existence that continues to this day.

As an A&R person with signing power, that's the best fucking gift you could give a band that you claim to love, but, hey, if you'd rather sign Trixter because you're afraid Tom Zutaut will sign them first, be my guest.

And that, my friends, is why Magnetic Fields never got a major label deal.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Overthinking The Jesus & Mary Chain's 'Darklands'!

Seeing that the Jesus & Mary Chain are set to perform their second album Darklands in its entirety this year (sadly, no U.S. dates are on the books...yet), what better excuse is needed to yank out that divisive slice of post-punk wax and give the ears a good old-fashioned cleanin?

Of course, no discussion of any JAMC album can take place without first paying proper respects to the band's game-changing debut album Psychocandy, which hit the otherwise prim and proper UK music scene like a Molotov cocktail of chaos and resignation. I consider myself lucky getting to hear those first few JAMC singles on the radio thanks to some far-away radio station that I don't think I ever pulled in clearly.

As a result, whether I was listening to Aztec Camera or House of Love, you could never quite tell exactly what you were hearing because you were only pulling in the high frequencies, so the first time I heard Jesus & Mary Chain, it was all reverb, distortion and a high-end squeal that I had initially attributed to the shitty reception, but, upon hearing those same tunes on wax, I realized that that's just how JAMC sounded.

As an aspiring musician at the time, I couldn't imagine walking out of a recording studio with a tape of that under my sleeve, but I sure as hell admired their dedication to doing so. Those who wrote them off as some sort of musical fraud missed the band's affinity for great Motown melodies and their ability to do in 20 minutes what most bands fail to do after 90 or more (leave fans speechless).

So, hell yes, I was excited about how the band was going to top Psychocandy. I mean, they'd cut those tunes when they were nobodies and had nothing but a couple of cheap fuzzboxes. Imagine the fucking racket you could make with a budget!

And then I heard "April Skies", which was released as a single in the UK (of course) prior to Darklands. The single's cover looked darkly foreboding (someone on a crucifix), giving this fan no reason to believe that the band would be deviating from the sound that had become THEIR TRADEMARK.

What I heard was a cool tune that just didn't sound finished and, to this day, sounds like a demo. That's not a bad thing, some of my best friends are demos, but there were a lot of alums being released at the time with big pieces missing...Three O'Clock's Ever After missing guitar, Billy Idol's Whiplash Smile missing live drums. and the Jesus & Mary Chain's new album missing that impenetrable reverb and manic distortion of every other song they'd ever recorded.

On the surface, "April Skies" is not that far removed from Psychocandy's "Taste Of Cindy", but what the latter tune gets right is that, while deviating from the "all-distortion-all-the-time credo" in favor of a more song-oriented presentation, the band still manages to slather on the fuzzy frosting layer by delicious layer.

On "April Skies", though, it just seems like, at some point, the band decided their cake didn't need any frosting and then, once the whole album was finished, decided that nothing else did either.

Thing is, there are songs throughout the album just screaming for the band's one-of-a-kind TRADEMARK SOUND, like "Down On Me" and the album's title cut. Admittedly, by removing that sonic syrup from the mix, the band renders itself completely average and capable of being surpassed by even the most half-assed British guitar band when they'd already come up with a sound that was entirely their own.

Even when the likes of My Bloody Valentine started embracing the murky swirl of reverb and distortion, their musical cacophony could never hold a candle to JAMC's dissonant squeal.

This listener could understand that, if the Jesus and Mary Chain had been besieged by a hundred copy cat bands, they'd have had no other choice but to retool their sound, but they literally had the "distortion-as-symphony" game to themselves.

Six months later, the band would release Barbed Wire Kisses, a deep collection of b-sides and assorted non-LP tracks that did one helluva better job at capturing the true spirit of the band than Darklands did, by a long shot.

Plus, the cassette had TWICE as many tunes as Darklands, making this fan think that if the Reid bothers really wanted to give us a show, they'd be performing that album in its entirety.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

'80s Hellscape: 'Frank & Cindy' And Life After OXO!

What is wrong with me that not only do I recall every nuance of listening to a great album, but also the not-so-great ones? Take '80s band OXO, whose debut album wowed me with its Geffen logo (a label that could do no wrong at the time), but left my ears completely conflicted.

Even before the band's fateful appearance on American Bandstand, I was continually spinning that record in hopes of getting some understanding of just who this fucking OXO was and what they were all about.

The sticker on the album cover made it clear that "Whirly Girl" was the focus track.

On first listen, I found the tune to be the sort of hit that could do more harm than good to your career unless you had nine more songs just like it. After listening to the rest of the band's self-titled debut album, I could tell you without question that they did not have nine songs just like it.

OXO circa 1983, Frank Garcia far right
That's not to say the album sucked. In fact, quite the opposite was true, but just the mere presence of such a song as "Whirly Girl" seemed to throw the legitimacy of everything else into question.

And so this rust belt teenager went back to listening to his Siouxsie & The Banshees, Peter Gabriel, and Ric Ocasek albums - all on Geffen Records!

Decades later, after something made me think of OXO the other day, I re-listened to OXO's sole Geffen release on Spotify ad was delighted to find that the album was everything I remember: a great little new wave record with just enough darkness around the edges ruined by one song: "Whirly Girl".

Further Googling revealed that nobody in the band did much of anything in the music business afterwards and that the band's bass player, Frank Garcia, and his wife seemed to be the subject of an episode of "This American Life" that I had somehow totally missed.

My curiosity was piqued and, as is happening more and more these days, a few keystrokes confirmed that YouTube had the entire episode.

The producers at "This American Life" (2007-2009 Showtime) had received a bunch of footage shot by an unknown filmmaker whose intent, at least initially, had been to humiliate his no-good alcoholic step dad, who just so happens to be Frank Garcia, the former bass player for OXO.

My heart immediately sank, but I hit 'PLAY' anyway.

I could write about what I saw, but I'm still processing it. Plus, why should my lame prose taint your experience when you could just hit 'PLAY' like I did and form your own opinion?

Where you choose to go from there is up to you, but I'll bet that it leads you to tell at least one other person about what you saw and to maybe watch a movie starring Oliver Platt and Rene Russo that you didn't even know existed (it's on Netflix, by the way).

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Happy 67th Birthday Robin Zander And The Ten Best Cheap Trick Songs EVER!

As Robin Zander celebrates his 67th birthday by getting to be Robin Zander the rest of us are left to marvel at his roof-rocking vocals and the legendary output of his band Cheap Trick. Today, we're happy to provide our "Outsiders List" of the Ten Best Cheap Trick Songs Ever (until the next time).

Keep in mind that, unlike, say, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. whose hit singles represent the band at their best, Cheap Trick's deep cuts are where the magic often resides.

10. I Can't Take It

After a few years of headlining arenas, by 1983, Cheap Trick had been reduced to playing clubs or, even worse, carrying lesser bands' water so, in hopes of righting the ship, the band hit the studio with Todd Rundgren with the goal of making a stripped-down Trick record that simply allowed the music to do the talking.

While Rundgren's final mix left a LOT to be desired, when the song is this top-shelf, no amount of studio negligence can hide the fact that this Robin Zander composition is a stone-cold gem that screams "hit single" to everyone except the suits at Epic Records, who took one listen to the song and sent the band back into the studio to record a fucking Motors song.

9. Daddy Should Have Stayed In High School

At the time, there was no shortage of "shock rock" acts dabbling in dark song matter, but seeing a band fronted by two hunks who looked like they could make teenage girls forget all about that Andy Gibb fellow tearing off one savagely perverse song after another without ever getting heavy-handed or gratuitous about it was a sight to behold. Sadly, nobody but a few discerning souls took notice.

Lyrically, the song is a subtle exploration of the sort of fellow played to perfection by Matthew McConaughey in "Dazed And Confused", albeit ten years later when trying to pick up high school girls takes on a decidedly darker edge.

Even so, it wouldn't have been the darkest thing to ever become a smash hit had it been released as a single.

8. Reach Out

With All Shook Up scaring off all the fair-weather fans and bassist Tom Petersson's sudden exit leading many to write off the band, Trick contributed a song by new bassist Pete Comita to the "Heavy Metal" soundtrack in 1981 and, quite frankly, should have had their first hit of the new decade.

After all, the song opens with a perky synth line that was tailor-made for '80s radio and the rest of the song rocks harder than anything Trick had previously done, meaning they could hold their own against the Sammy Hagars and Billy Squiers of the rock world.

The mistake the band made was in letting Elektra Records release and promote the single, which they did halfheartedly, to say the least.  Considering that they were rumored to be attempting to lure Cheap Trick away from Epic Records, one would think they'd have tried just a wee bit harder to give this single the push it needed to begin the '80s on a positive note.

7. Had To Make You Mine

If ever there was a Cheap Trick song that you could imagine the Beatles performing to thousands of screaming kids at Shea Stadium, "Had To Make You Mine" is that song.

By 1990, however, when the song was released, it stuck out like a sore thumb (in a good way) next to their second Diane Warren power ballad, their second Roy Wood/Move cover, and their second ballad written by Nick Graham (co-writer of "The Flame").

Had it been released as a single instead of the aforementioned Diane Warren tune, one imagines the album might have been seen as less of an attempt to make Lap of Luxury 2.

6. Take Me I'm Yours

To this day, Found All The Parts, the 10" Nu-Disk EP that Cheap Trick released in between All Shook Up and One On One, has left this listener torn. On one hand, the live material (a cover of the Beatles' "Day Tripper" and the bluesy "Can't Hold On) picks right up where Budokan left off, but is far from essential.

As for the two studio cuts, recorded as part of the band's song demo used to secure a new publishing contract, "Such A Good Girl" while an inspired piece of hook-rock, is not Nielsen's best lyrical work by any stretch, but "Take Me I'm Yours" is a stone-cold gem that should have been fleshed out further for one of the band's studio albums.

This Zander-Nielsen co-write remains one of the oddest, yet most inspired songs in the Trick catalog.    
5. ELO Kiddies

After discovering the band during their At Budokan era, it was now time to begin working backwards in order to catch up on all the music that we'd missed. Naturally starting with the band's first album, nothing on Budokan could have possibly prepared us for what we were about to hear.

"ELO Kiddies" was the first song we played and, to this day, we can still feel the visceral thrill as Bun E. Carlos' tom work builds the anticipation to a fever pitch before Nielsen's searing guitar lines start ripping the place to shreds.

4. Way of The World

By the time the band's fourth studio album Dream Police came around, Cheap Trick's studio albums had gotten increasingly slicker and more polished, but, for those who loved the raw energy of their first album, you couldn't help wonder if the band had completely lost touch with their younger selves.

Sure, it had been only three years prior, but, in that time, Trick had cut three studio albums and a live set, so maybe going back to their least commercially-successful period was not on the top of their list of priorities, but "Way of The World" is, without a doubt, a song that could fit on the band's first album with zero effort at all.

3. Just Got Back

To this day, this writer views All Shook Up as a wasted opportunity. While I could give or take the band's constant nods to the Beatles, working with George Martin should have been the sort of "meeting of the minds" from which historic musical achievements are created.

That's not to say the album isn't full of great moments, but, when you remove the completely worthless "Who D'King" and skip over the Vocoder-heavy "High Priest Of Rhythmic Noise", you're left with less than a half hour of music when you'd think Martin and the band could come with with a double-album of winners.

While "World's Greatest Lover" will be played at my wedding, should such a tragedy ever occur, "Just Got Back" is the song that showed Cheap Trick still moving forward and firing on all cylinders.

Was it released as a single? Of course not.

2. He's A Whore

When you hear a song like "He's A Whore" one's first thought is not of its potential as a hit single, but of seemingly endless meetings with label brass where they try to talk you out of putting such a song on your first (and perhaps only) major label album.

After all, there are no promises that a second album is in the cards, which must have been how Cheap Trick approached their first album. because if ever there was a major label album that appears free of all major label compromise and hand-wringing, Cheap Trick's 1977 debut effort is that album

And if there was ever a song that showed just how few fucks Cheap Trick had about pandering to AM radio, "He's A Whore" is that song.

1. Stiff Competition

What makes "Stiff Competition" the #1 tune in Cheap Trick's arsenal is its ability to draw upon the same savage social commentary that made their first album completely inspired, it is the song's pre-chorus breakdown that makes it supremely radio ready and cleanses the listener's palette before that hell-fire chorus comes back around.

For any other band, by the time "Stiff Competition" was mixed, any major label worth their salt would immediately begin pressing up singles and rushing them to radio.

Sure, one can argue that Heaven Tonight was so full of worthy single contenders ("California Man" anyone?) that there was no way to release every track that could have been a hit, but, where I come from, that's the only way to have any hits.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Revisiting Linda Ronstadt's New Wave Period!

With the release of the career-spanning documentary "Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice" and news of the singer's battle with Parkinson's Disease, interest in Ronstadt has been at an all-time high.

For a singer whose restless musical spirit, and desire to remain commercially successful. led her to explore at least as many musical styles as that Bowie fellow, we thought it was time to revisit our favorite era...Linda Ronstadt's "new wave" period.

The year was 1979 and "new wave" was just starting to infiltrate the Top 40.

Picture disc for 'Living In The USA",
featuring a cover of Elvis Costello's 'Alison'.
For those living in L.A. at the time, even members of the Laurel Canyon Soft Rock Society, it must have been next to impossible to avoid those Police, Pretenders, and Blondie billboards that peppered Sunset Blvd., much less the B-52's, Devo, and Gary Numan songs pulling down heavy rotation on L.A. radio station KROQ, which, at the time, was playing an ever-growing list of new wave favorites alongside more mainstream fare.

For Linda Ronstadt, whose 1978 smash Living In The USA had been her second consecutive #1 album, to top the charts. the "new wave" bug had bitten her much sooner than it would most of her peers.

Included on the double-platinum-certified album was a cover of Elvis Costello's "Alison", from My Aim is True, that would become a major revenue stream for the young English troubadour.

 In preparing for her next album, Ronstadt asked Costello if he had any tunes lying around. Costello responded by sending her a tape with three tunes on it.

Those songs - "Party Girl", "Girls Talk", and "Talking In The Dark" - quickly became the basis for what would become Ronstadt's first full-scale foray into "new wave" territory, the 1980 album Mad Love.

After cutting those three Costello tracks, Ronstadt and producer Peter Asher chose to continue the theme for the remainder of the album, thereby begging the question "What other new wave songs should we do?"

This is where it gets weird.

Rather than cherry pick from the dozens of new wave semi-hits floating around, or, better yet, do an entire album of Costello covers, Ronstadt and Asher chose to cover not, not two, but three songs by L.A.'s Cretones, whose two albums for Planet Records had cratered.

They also recruited Cretones' songwriter/guitarist Mark Goldenberg to play guitar on most of the album - again, an odd choice.

However manner in which Goldenberg worked his way into the Ronstadt camp, it wound up giving his career a new lease on life, as co-writer of Peter Frampton's Art of Control album in 1982, which cratered almost as hard as a Cretones album, but the story didn't end there.

Three years later, the former Cretone would co-write the smash hit power ballad "Along Comes A Woman" with Peter Cetera and was rewarded with his first Top 20 hit.

Of course, it was 1996's "Novacaine For The Soul" by eels that remains our favorite Goldenberg co-write.

As for Ronstadt, her "new wave" period was ultimately a hedged bet. Not only were no Goldenberg or Costello tracks chosen as singles. it was Billy Steinberg's "How Do I Make You" that has come to define Ronstadt's foray into new wave while subsequent singles - The Hollies' "I Can't Let Go" and Little Anthony & The Imperials' "Hurt So Bad' - saw Ronstadt jumping off the bandwagon mid-album, never to return.

By 1983, Ronstadt had become one of the first rock performers to record an entire album of traditional pop standards with none other than the Nelson Riddle orchestra.

Friday, January 17, 2020

We Are The 4%: Why Vinyl Outselling CD's Is Actually Quite Depressing!

Towards the end of last year, there were a handful of articles proclaiming a full-on vinyl resurgence, touting sales numbers from the first half of 2019 tat confirmed vinyl sales ($224 million) were on-par to surpass CD sales ($248 million).

Keep in mind the very same music industry that is currently singing vinyl's praises is the very same one that killed the format in the first place.  Guiltiest of all was Sony, who not only hoped to profit from the sales of CD players, but, after acquiring CBS Records in 1987, but CD's as well.

This was no secret to those of us who kept track of such things in the pre-internet age and left quite a bad taste in the mouths of those music consumers with the longest memories and a penchant for banging out computer code in their sleep.

Having screwed consumers, it was only a matter of time before the labels turned on the very retailers that had always kept the industry afloat through thick and thin.

Who can forget when Best Buy started selling CD's at below-cost in hopes of luring customers into their stores stocked with expensive home appliances and entertainment systems? By using CD's as a loss leader, the big-box retailer hoped to move expensive appliances and entertainment systems.

Record retailers were the first to cry foul, but the major labels remained oddly silent.

One need not be a detective to see why Sony (you know, the same label that bought CBS Records) was so tight-lipped. As a manufacturer of TV's, stereos and other gadgetry, they stood to profit the most from Best Buy's scheme to use CD's as a loss leader.

Lo and behold, along comes the internet. Suddenly, there is a whole new avenue for music sales and promotion, but it still takes five minutes for a .jpg to load. A few years later, though, even your Aunt Marge has high-speed internet so when Napster comes along, everybody's getting in on the action.

Whatever moral qualms we may have initially had about illegal downloads were quickly smothered by our desire to stick it to the very music industry that had gone out of their way to force us down a dead-end digital path in the first place.

Those who take vinyl's comeback as a sign that the music industry has learned some hard lessons and is once again embracing physical product need only realize that vinyl sales still only account for 4% of all revenue, with 60% coming from paid subscriptions to streaming services.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Matthew Sweet And Peter Frampton: Fucked By The Coolest Label On Earth!

Matthew Sweet and Peter Frampton

Most days, I am of the mind that A&M Records is one of the coolest labels that ever was and that being signed to such a label would have been a mad thrill. This was, after all, the label that gave America The Police, Joe Jackson, Urgh, A Music War!, Squeeze, and Matthew Sweet!

Do you remember where you were the first time you heard "Vixen"? Yeah, me neither.

Thing is, it's the catchiest song on the whole over-produced album, yet seems to be the only song A&M didn't release as a promo single (not to be confused with a commercial single available to we consumers).

Can you IMAGINE if it had been a hit and Matthew Sweet had to whip that one out on the Ribfest circuit for the rest of his days?

Dollars to doughnuts, if such a thing had transpired, there'd have been no Girlfriend because A&M would have demanded more of the same and Matthew would have delivered because, why not?

In one of this writer's favorite daydreams, only when the album cratered did a roots-rock lovin' Sweet take a look at the piles of synths, drum machines, and big-name co-writers that had resulted in exactly zero success, leading him to put a boot clean thru a DX7 before yelling, "Fuck this shit. Somebody get me a distortion pedal before I ring Thomas Dolby's neck."

Boom, Girlfriend was born.

In reality it wasn't quite that simple, but you get the point.

Here's another reason to loathe A&M with a fiery passion: They passed on Girlfriend.

Funny thing is, everybody else passed on it, too. At one point, Sweet was even shopping the album to the Shoes' label Black Vinyl Records. According to my sources, head Shoe Jeff Murphy was still hemming and hawing when, out of nowhere, Zoo Records came along with an open checkbook and the rest is history.

But the warning signs that A&M Records had a consumerist dark side were evident long before the likes of "Roxanne" or "Steppin Out" were even written, much less recorded.

In fact, one need only gaze upon the album cover for Peter Frampton's 1977 album, I'm In You to realize that the biggest pop star on the planet was being guided by a bunch of morons.

Or was it Peter's idea to wear silk pajamas on the cover, with his chest fully exposed for the ladies?

It is my contention that this decision, made by the label, absolutely ruined his career.

The rock crowd that had embraced Frampton Comes Alive to the tune of 70 bajillion albums sold took one look at "pajama boy" and went "Pfft!", never to return, thereby forcing Frampton to start chasing hits like everybody else instead of making music from the heart, which is why Frampton Comes Alive had resonated with so many.

Sometimes, I just listen to Breaking All The Rules or The Art Of Control - two of his 80's era albums that were certified lead - and just weep at the misguided lunacy of it all.

Granted, his involvement in that unfortunate Robert Stigwood "Sgt. Pepper's" reboot did him no favors, but that's nothing to kill a career over.

The bad shit didn't end there, with a car crash in Barbados nearly killing him so, by the time 1979's Where I Should Be came out, Frampton was a man so eager to reconnect with the top of the charts that he was second-guessing his every move while fighting off as many suggestions from his label as he could.

My favorite one is where Frampton was teamed up with the Cretones' Mark Goldenberg for no other reason than Linda Ronstadt had covered a bunch of Cretones tunes for her 1980 faux-new wave album Mad Love.

Keep in mind that the Cretones sold exactly six copies of their two albums for Planet Records during their brief existence and that none of the songs Ronstadt covered had become hits, but such was the nature of the brain trust at A&M Records in 1983 when it was decided to...DROP Peter Frampton..