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Cock Robin

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Biography

During the early '80s, the American charts were subjected to a second British Invasion. Bands such as Duran Duran and Culture Club seemed to dominate, and from this, a new breed of U.S. new wave act emerged, including, among others: the Motels, Cyndi Lauper, 'Til Tuesday, and Cock Robin.

Led by singer/songwriter Peter Kingsbery, who also played bass and keyboards, Cock Robin was complemented by singer Anna LaCazio, guitarist Clive Wright, and drummer Louis Molino III. Like their contemporaries, Cock Robin matured fast. From the sleeve of their first album, the four members looked to imitate the mix of romanticist art rock (Roxy Music) and disco-funk (Chic) that Duran Duran had blended not so long before them. LaCazio looks like the proverbial high school prom queen, however by the time of their final record in 1989, she had transformed into a sophisticated woman.

Their first self-titled album on CBS from 1985 was produced by Steve Hillage and proved to be the most basic outing. Tracks like the opening 'Thought You Were on My Side' ooze all the charm of a band in the studio together for the first time. The sparkling single 'The Promise You Made' became an instant hit in Europe — where they became huge — and gave them their only British hit (number 28 in May 1986, though it did hang around for 12 weeks). They fared little better at home — only number 35 with "When Your Heart Is Weak." From this point on, Cock Robin were essentially the duo of Kingsbery and LaCazio. (Mysteriously, Wright appears on every succeeding album sans First Love: Last Rites as a session player!) Opening their second album, After Here Through Midland was the single "Just Around the Corner," which again did nothing aside from Europe, where a steady fan base had been built up, especially in France. A grittier sound was evident, a hallmark of producer Don Gehman (renowned for his work with John Mellencamp).

The third, final, and most impressive of Cock Robin's albums was 1989's First Love: Last Rites, this time mastered by veteran producer Rhett Davies (Roxy, Eno, Icehouse). Guest musicians included drummer Pat Mastelotto (Mr. Mister, the Rembrandts, and later XTC and King Crimson) and the Mariachi Horns, who helped authenticate a Latin pop/rock blend as featured on the gorgeous closing single "Worlds Apart." Once again, a sense of space was a prominent feature of the album sleeve, which also boasted a poem by writer Charles Bukowski. One more single, "It's Only Make Believe," graced the greatest-hits package The Best of Cock Robin, which also included a live performance of the Bob Dylan song "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright." In their wake, Kingsbery went on to produce several fine albums, vastly different from his previous work. In 1992, he contributed to Tim Rice's adaptation of the stage play Tycoon, guesting alongside Cyndi Lauper, Nina Hagen, Celine Dion, and Tom Jones.

Top Songs

Formed:

1984 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre
Years Active:

'80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Contemporaries