Nightmare Great Balls of Fire 7" (PVK, 1979)
Here is one of those records that falls between the cracks. As it was released in 1979, it gets pegged as a punk single, but it really isn't. There is a bit of a glam sound ala Alice Cooper, but a bit cruder. The guitar has an out-of-this-world sound. It is something that you would find on the Pure Pop blog. And it is really good. I'm not talking about the single's A-side. That is a throw-away cover of Jerry Lee Lewis' "Great Balls of Fire." Nah, the killer here is the flip, "Witch Woman."
The band Nightmare based its act on horror movies, and they did have an act, complete with props, dancing girls, fake blood and ghouls. This single was originally released in the UK, and reissued across Europe, where they achieved as much success as a band with a minor hit in Italy and Spain does. If you want to read more about Nightmare, the band leader keeps the name alive on this site.
SS10: Feedtime 05.21.11
Disconnection Bali Hai b/w Aaaah (Y Records, 1982)
The Rodgers & Hammerstein song "Bali Hai" first appeared in South Pacific in 1949 and foreshadows exotica. It has been covered hundreds of time in dozens of different settings. If you play this game of picking up random records for a buck or two, you've heard it done by high school jazz bands, college marching bands, lounge outfits, exotica artists, jazzbos, and surf bands. Here you get a version by the Y Records "house band" Disconnection. One of two, singles by the band (the second a 12"), Disconnection's treatment of "Bali Hai" is, you guessed it, soaked in disco. It is a good version: streamlined, not loaded with lots of instruments, easy on the ears. It is the flip, "Aaaah," which is the star here: Another sleak song, but this time not disco. This is a combination of exotica and no wave, soaring female vocals over fractured jazz-like rhythm. A tad slick, but addictive. Members of Disconnection later appeared in the post-punk/funk band Pigbag.
Spliff Deja Vu 45 (CBS, 1982)
My memory is pretty damn good. I very, very rarely buy records I already have, I know where pretty much all of them are, and I can tell you the origin of nearly every one; however, I have no idea how this came into my possession. And when I dropped needle on it, I figured out why: What the hell would lead me to buy a record with an electric drum lead in. Perhaps this was a blind buy or maybe someone gave it to me. There is a German who I buy records from who uses other records as packing material. Maybe this is one of those. Whatever the case, I am glad I have it.
Spliff were a short lived 80s band made up of former members of Nina Hagen's group. One of the guys produced a great album by the band Extrabreit. Some consider Spliff part of the NDW, others say "Nein." Me? Don't care. I do love the mesh of electric drums, processed guitar, fake Euro-funk, and lazy-sleazy German vocals. I've listened to this slab a dozen times straight and each time have a guilty chuckle. Hope you do, too.