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Album Review

In the 1980s, the Stock/Aitken/Waterman team was to British dance-pop what Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, or L.A. Reid and Babyface, were to urban contemporary. Producing hits for Bananarama, Rick Astley, Samantha Fox, and others, the threesome was despised by many rock critics. But critics can say what they want — Stock, Aitken, and Waterman knew how to deliver the hooks — and many of the songs they produced were undeniably infectious. The team also produced some of Dead or Alive's best work, so when Dead or Alive quit working with them, fans were understandably apprehensive. But on Nude, which was produced by Dead or Alive members Pete Burns and Steve Coy, the group demonstrated that they could get along without Stock/Aitken/Waterman. Though not among the band's essential releases, this is a respectable, if uneven effort, that has a lot to offer from both a dance-pop/Hi-NRG/Euro-disco perspective and a pop-rock perspective. No, there isn't another "You Spin Me Round," or another "Something in My House," but cuts like "Turn Around and Count 2 Ten," "Come Home With Me Baby," and the early-'60s-influenced "Stop Kicking My Heart Around" aren't anything to be ashamed of either. If you've never experienced the pleasures of Dead or Alive, Rip It Up would be a better starting point. Nude is, however, easily recommended to the group's diehard fans.


Formed: Liverpool, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

A British dance-pop group that found fame thanks to the antics of androgynous frontman Pete Burns, Dead or Alive formed in Liverpool in 1980. Burns first surfaced three years prior in the Mystery Girls, later heading the proto-goth rockers Nightmares in Wax; he founded Dead or Alive with keyboardist Marty Healey, guitarist Mitch, bassist Sue James, and drummer Joe Musker, debuting in 1980 with the Ian Broudie-produced Doors sound-alike "I'm Falling." "Number Eleven" followed, but just as the group...
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Nude, Dead or Alive
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