Dark and Beautiful
It’s not often you’ll hear a voice like Johnette Napolitano’s. Strong, gripping, haunting, beautiful. It’s no surprise she became a star – talent like that rarely goes unnoticed. She is also a brilliant songwriter, responsible for such hits as Joey and Happy Birthday. Concrete Blonde were a great rock band with some fantastic albums. Surely you’ve heard of them, but if you haven’t, go forth and download!
What you need to know about Concrete Blonde:
Singer-songwriter/bassist Napolitano formed the band Dream 6 with guitarist James Mankey in Los Angeles in 1982, releasing an eponymous EP in France on the Happy Hermit label in 1983. When they signed with I.R.S. Records in 1986, labelmate Michael Stipe suggested the name Concrete Blonde, describing the contrast between their hard rock music and introspective lyrics. A “Concrete Blonde” is also a derogatory term for the heavily hair-sprayed, permed and big haired guys from the “Sunset Strip Metal” bands, such as Poison and Ratt. During an MTV interview, Napolitano can also be quoted as saying that the name Concrete Blonde is just “two words that sound good together.”
They were joined by drummer Harry Rushakoff on their eponymous debut album. Roxy Music drummer Paul Thompson replaced Rushakoff on Bloodletting and several tracks on Mexican Moon, while Rushakoff was in treatment for drug addiction. Rushakoff rejoined the band to record 2002′s Group Therapy, but was kicked out of the band for failing to show up for shows. He was replaced by Gabriel Ramirez.
Their most commercially successful album was Bloodletting (1990), fueled by the top 20 radio hit “Joey”. Joey is a beautiful song about being hopelessly in love with an alcoholic. It was written by Johnette about Marc Moreland, lead guitarist for Wall of Voodoo.
The band broke up in 1993, but reunited in 2001, releasing the albums Group Therapy (2002) and Mojave (2004). On June 5, 2006, Napolitano announced in a MySpace blog entry that the band has officially retired. From the Concrete Blonde website, there is the following open message: “Thanks to everyone who heard and believed in the music. Music lives on. Keep listening. Keep believing, keep dreaming. Like a ripple, the music moves and travels and finds you. Drive to the music, Make love to the music, cry to the music. That’s why we made it. Long after we’re gone the music will still be there. Thanks to everyone who helped us bring the music to you & thanks to every face and every heart in every audience all over the world.”
Source – Wikipedia
Not Concrete Blonde Educated? Download These Songs:
God is a Bullet
Sky is a Poisonous Garden
Bloodletting (the Vampire Song)
I Don’t Need a Hero
–All available for purchase on iTunes–