Lost Weekend: The Best of Wall of Voodoo - The I.R.S. Years

Lost Weekend: The Best of Wall of Voodoo - The I.R.S. Years

by Wall of Voodoo


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Few bands were more poorly served by a hit single than Wall of Voodoo. "Mexican Radio" was easily the least troubling song on 1982's Call of the West, and while the single led folks to imagine Wall of Voodoo were some quirky new wave novelty act, the album (like 1981's less rewarding but still impressive Dark Continent) was a tour through a land littered with emotional wreckage and dashed hopes, brought to life by the group's buzzing and chirping synthesizers, junk yard percussion, spaghetti western melodies, and Stan Ridgway's tense, frantic vocals. The success of "Mexican Radio" also had the unexpected effect of heightening tensions within the band, and by the time Wall of Voodoo released their third album, 1985's Seven Days in Sammystown, Ridgway had left the group, and even though Andy Prieboy was a talented and distinctive vocalist and songwriter, the tone of the music became very different, and Wall of Voodoo never recaptured the off-kilter brilliance of Call of the West. Lost Weekend: The Best of Wall of Voodoo, The I.R.S. Years is, as its title suggests, a compilation that features the highlights from the band's tenure at I.R.S. Records (meaning the group's early independent sides for Index Records don't make the cut), and it's divided between their two albums with Ridgway (nine songs) and three with Prieboy (eight songs). Ultimately, the five tracks from Call of the West are the most satisfying, but the material with Prieboy suggests Wall of Voodoo might have been better off taking a new name when he joined; the personality and approach of the music changed a great deal with the arrival of their new frontman, and while the best songs are impressive (especially "Far Side of Crazy" and "Elvis Bought Dora a Cadillac"), they ultimately sound like the work of a different group, talented but with a different agenda. (It's also worth noting that three of the Prieboy-era tunes here are covers, while all the Ridgway-era cuts are originals). The track selection on Lost Weekend gives an excellent picture of Wall of Voodoo's creative arc, the audio is solid, and Jerry McCulley's liner notes summarize the band's duality very well indeed; if this doesn't feel like the definitive Wall of Voodoo collection, as an introduction or career summary it does the job and captures what was best about both lineups of this important, under-appreciated band.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/15/2011
Label: Varese Fontana
UPC: 0030206711929
catalogNumber: 067119
Rank: 28253

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Wall of Voodoo   Primary Artist
Andy Prieboy   Vocals,Group Member
Bruce Moreland   Bass,Group Member
Marc Moreland   Guitar,Group Member
Joe Nanini   Percussion,Group Member
Stan Ridgway   Keyboards,Vocals,Group Member
Ned Leukhardt   Drums,Group Member
Chas Gray   Bass,Keyboards,Group Member

Technical Credits

Merle Travis   Composer
Wall of Voodoo   Producer
Brian Wilson   Composer
Andy Prieboy   Composer
Mike Love   Composer
Ian Broudie   Producer
Richard Mazda   Producer
Paul McKenna   Producer
Bruce Moreland   Composer
Marc Moreland   Composer
Stan Ridgway   Composer
Barry Rudolph   Producer
Jerry McCulley   Liner Notes
Merle Kilgore   Composer
Bill Pitzonka   Art Direction
Jim Hill   Producer
Chas Gray   Composer
June Carter   Composer
Pete Hammond   Remixing
Oliver Nanini   Composer

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