And if anyone happens to have the "Nona" album mentioned upthread on their computer and wants to share, please drop me an email.
― Tuomas, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 12:49 (4 years ago) Permalink
I've got the LP, but not on my computer. Can't be that hard to find, if you search the dollar bins, can it? And Nona Hendryx (Epic, 1977) rocks even harder, so you might want to look for that, too.
― xhuxk, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 13:00 (4 years ago) Permalink
She performed with a her own band at the University of Maryland in the early 80s and I interviewed her at the university radio station. I recall being underwhelmed by her funk-rock band.
I loved her funk-rock band when they played at Central Park in the late eighties/early nineties. Maybe they got better.
― James Redd and the Blecchs, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 13:10 (4 years ago) Permalink
I just found Skindiver on vinyl second hand - the cover is fabulous. Unfortunately my turntable is broken so I can't really judge the music.
― Tim F, Thursday, 19 June 2008 11:36 (4 years ago) Permalink
Labelle reunion album this year (w/ lots of Nona compositions and co-compositions) was real good by the way.
Reason I bumped this, though: Somehow didn't realize til yesterday (listening to Ze's A Christmas Record) to what extent Madonna's "Holiday" was a blatant rewrite if not ripoff of Nona's 1981 "It's A Holiday" with Material. (Wouldn't be at all surprised if Madonna was listening to Ze stuff in the early '80s, either.)
― xhuxk, Friday, 26 December 2008 15:00 (4 years ago) Permalink
Oh, I think that's a definite..
Shake Your Head (Let's Go To Bed) Madonna recorded lead vocal with Don and David for the Was (Not Was) album Born to Laugh at Tornadoes produced in Detroit in 1982-83. The released vocal were by Ozzy Osbourne with backing vocals by Kathy Kosins and Carol Hall. Madonna and John "Jellybean" Benitez are both in the album credits. During a May 2006 Kathy Kosins phone interview with Bruce Baron it was revealed that Ozzy recorded his vocal first. Kathy and Carol added vocals in Detroit. Kathy's vocals were intended to be replaced by Madonna by producer Don Was. Madonna's label Sire Records did not agree to the release and Kathy's vocals were restored for the ZE Records release as a backing track. Kathy then became a longtime Was (not Was) contributor. Madonna originally became involved via her friendship with Stephen Bray and his group The Breakfast Club who were also signed with ZE Records (later acquired by MCA). Madonna requested her original vocal not to be used in an early 1990s remix released as a single in Europe to support a Was (Not Was) Greatest Hits album. Kim Basinger did the new vocals. The 90's remix version with Madonna's vocals leaked onto the internet in April 2008.
― Billy Dods, Friday, 26 December 2008 17:32 (4 years ago) Permalink
She ruled at EMP Pop Conference tonight
― Ned Raggett, Friday, 17 April 2009 07:14 (4 years ago) Permalink
And now that I have it settled, my blog coverage on it: http://tinyurl.com/empnona
― Ned Raggett, Friday, 17 April 2009 14:31 (4 years ago) Permalink
I know so little about her beside the backup vocalist stuff for the Heads, a few Labelle tracks, and the contributions to Material!
― I'm crossing over into enterprise (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 17 April 2009 14:33 (4 years ago) Permalink
I remember her being real nice when I interviewed her at my university radio station way back when in the early 1980s (I'm old). I think my questions were not that good (but I was 19, does that count as an excuse) and so it was good that she did not get frustrated. Not too many people at the show. I think I remember it being more rock than funk or r'n'b.
― curmudgeon, Friday, 17 April 2009 15:10 (4 years ago) Permalink
I found a cutout cassette of "Skindiver" for a dollar a few years back. I had heard some of her other solo stuff, knew of her association with T. Heads, and actually own/like Baumann's "Repeat Repeat" album, but this is like none of those. This is a little new-agey in spots, but yeah "lush" and great on the car stereo. I liked it enough to upgrade to a CD later, but then really never played it.
― Such A Hilbily (Dan Peterson), Friday, 17 April 2009 17:04 (4 years ago) Permalink
Found a $1 used copy of The Heat from 1985 last month, and it's definitely not nearly as compelling as her first two albums, or the "Busting Out" or "It's a Holiday" Ze tracks she'd done with Material a few years before. (I've never heard The Art of Defense from '84, also Material-produced apparently, though consensus from the time suggests it was fairly lame.) Anyway, production on the '85 LP is split between Arthur Baker (just three songs) and Chic's Bernard Edwards, and there are some interesting and expansive electrofunk beats at least in "Revolutionary Dance" and "The Heat Pt II," but Nona's songwriting seems totally lazy throughout ("If Looks Could Kill" is a Bryan-Adams-level pile of cliches). I get the idea they were trying to make this her Private Dancer (with maybe some side glances to Cyndi Lauper and Madonna, and gratutious rock guitar parts as was the fashion at the time), but it's impossible to pull that off when you don't actually have any songs or hooks at your disposal. Too bad.
Btw, if anybody reading this is in Austin, last time I was in the St. Vincents Thrift Store on South Congress (a month or two ago) there was a $1 copy of 1983's far better Nona. Not sure if it's still there or not, but I wouldn't be shocked if nobody's picked it up since.
― xhuxk, Tuesday, 8 September 2009 02:45 (3 years ago) Permalink
god, was there any major artist chic and baker didn't produce or remix in 85 (sometimes on the same album)? jeff beck, mick jagger, bruce springsteen, haulin' oats, diana ross, carly simon, billy crystal (?!)
― jaxon, Tuesday, 8 September 2009 06:55 (3 years ago) Permalink
also, chuck, i'm pretty sure u can get most of nona's albums in any dollar bin in any record store across the country.
― jaxon, Tuesday, 8 September 2009 06:56 (3 years ago) Permalink
"Transformation" is a marvelous bit of icy art funk.
― raging hetero lifechill (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 26 September 2010 23:58 (2 years ago) Permalink
ya, i love that song
― jaxon, Monday, 27 September 2010 01:21 (2 years ago) Permalink
― Tied Up In Geir (Geir Hongro), Tuesday, 28 September 2010 00:56 (2 years ago) Permalink
Still missing the "Nona" album though. Used to love this:
― Tied Up In Geir (Geir Hongro), Tuesday, 28 September 2010 00:57 (2 years ago) Permalink
The Art Of Defense, 1984 -- Not nearly as good as the first two albums (or the "Bustin' Out" and "It's A Holiday" Ze Records tracks she'd made with Material around 1982), better than the fourth album. Just a lack of memorable songwriting, by which I mean melodies/hooks at least as much as lyrics; "I Sweat (Going Through The Motions)" and "Electricity" are kind of catchy, maybe, but compared to what she'd done earlier, "going through the motions" is about right. The longer cuts -- "To The Bone" which has Afrika Bambaataa shouting some Zulu Nation-style chants toward the end, maybe "I Want You," and especially the six-and-a-half-minute "The Life" at the end of Side One which seems to have some Remain In Light in it -- let you hear Material stretching out their prog-funk a little, and basically are what save the album. (The diet reggae of "Ghost Love" sure doesn't.) But even those cuts really seem like slumming for Laswell and Beinhorn after Material's Memory Serves and One Down, both of which I really wish I still owned, not to mention their more free-jazzy/no-wavey early records. Also on Art Of Defense, not that you can tell in most cases: Bernie Worrell, Eddie Martinez (guitar on every cut), Daniel Ponce (congas on a couple), Fonzi Thornton, Dolette McDonald, Peech Boy Bernard Fowler. Christgau gave it a C+; I actually think it's better than that, though it's more evidence that Nona belongs on the list of Artists Who Got Worse With Every Subsequent Album (at least judging from all the ones I've heard.)
― xhuxk, Wednesday, 17 November 2010 04:46 (2 years ago) Permalink
Always thought 'Ghost Love' was the best cut on that album...strange ambient reggae soul/funk...a Bill Laswell production in a nutshell...
― sonnyboy, Wednesday, 17 November 2010 14:36 (2 years ago) Permalink
Was surprised to notice that Nona gets six of eight songwriting credits on Labelle's 1976 Chameleon LP. Other two songs are credited to outside writers. Not sure if that was business as usual for Labelle albums or not. (It's the only one I own.) Two of her songs, "Who's Watching The Watcher" and "A Man In The Trenchcoat (Voodoo)" start out teasing you into thinking they're going to sound like the hard funk rock of her debut solo album from a year later, but after a half-minute or so both wind up being more piano (think Billy Preston style maybe) than guitar oriented, which is disappointing though I kind of like them (especially the trenchcoat one) anyway. "Gypsy Moths" is sort of salsa, and the rest of the album very gospel-oriented. No songs even a tenth as catchy or memorable as "Lady Marmalade" (from '74's Nightbirds); now curious if Labelle ever did any other songs that were. (Christgau gave Chameleon a B-, Nightbirds an A-; I'll pick up the latter if I ever see it for a buck.)
― xhuxk, Sunday, 19 December 2010 19:24 (2 years ago) Permalink
Other than "Bustin' Out" and Whitney Houston on on "Memories," I find One Down pretty stale; the funk sounds so damn constricted.
― Gus Van Sotosyn (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 19 December 2010 19:36 (2 years ago) Permalink
BBR reissued her solo debut last year. Hopefully they'll go on to reissue "Nona" as well.
― You're Twistin' My Melody Man! (Geir Hongro), Sunday, 19 December 2010 19:46 (2 years ago) Permalink
xp And "One Down" wasn't even on the album as originally issued in 1982.
Actually, I do own one other Labelle album, just not on vinyl -- their 2008 comeback Back To Now, which is actually better than Chameleon. Two Nona-alone songwriting credits, and she collaborates on others, including the Wyclef Jean feature. Favorite tracks, last time I listened, were "The Truth Will Set You Free," "How Long," and the Cole Porter cover "Miss Otis Regets."
― xhuxk, Sunday, 19 December 2010 19:58 (2 years ago) Permalink
Oops, I meant to say "Bustin' Out" wasn't on the album as originally issued in 1982.
― xhuxk, Sunday, 19 December 2010 20:01 (2 years ago) Permalink
so you consider her first solo album her best?
― Gus Van Sotosyn (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 19 December 2010 20:04 (2 years ago) Permalink
Didn't know that the "Winning" on her first album is the same one with which Santana scored a hit in the early eighties.
― Gus Van Sotosyn (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 19 December 2010 20:06 (2 years ago) Permalink
you consider her first solo album her best?
Yeah, but remember, I'm hard rock guy! Your mileage may etc.
― xhuxk, Sunday, 19 December 2010 22:47 (2 years ago) Permalink
The second album is surely the one I miss. But the debut is interesting because it is so different from what you'd expect from an ex-Labelle member.
― You're Twistin' My Melody Man! (Geir Hongro), Monday, 20 December 2010 17:10 (2 years ago) Permalink
All her solo albums getting reissued.
― lumber up, limbaugh down (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 15 January 2012 01:48 (1 year ago) Permalink
― Display Name (this cannot be changed):, Sunday, 15 January 2012 15:17 (1 year ago) Permalink
wau -- no one bought'em?
― Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 7 May 2012 22:35 (1 year ago) Permalink
How do you know?
― Stars on 45 Fell on Alabama (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 7 May 2012 23:25 (1 year ago) Permalink
no trees in this forest
― Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 8 May 2012 03:13 (1 year ago) Permalink
i reviewed her 1977 debut in MOJO last year, it's a solid 3/5.
― It was you. Miming to Tenacious D. (stevie), Tuesday, 8 May 2012 08:09 (1 year ago) Permalink
Nona is shit-hot.
― Exile in lolville (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 12 May 2012 15:59 (1 year ago) Permalink
Reason I bumped this, though: Somehow didn't realize til yesterday (listening to Ze's /A Christmas Record/) to what extent Madonna's "Holiday" was a blatant rewrite if not ripoff of Nona's 1981 "It's A Holiday" with Material. (Wouldn't be at all surprised if Madonna was listening to Ze stuff in the early '80s, either.)
Just listened on Spotify to the version on the Bustin' Out EP -- and I gotta say: I don't hear it at all.
― Naive Teen Idol, Saturday, 12 May 2012 22:49 (1 year ago) Permalink