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Wasn't Tomorrow Wonderful?

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Album Review

The Waitresses' 1982 debut album, Wasn't Tomorrow Wonderful?, was a unique and fairly important moment in early-'80s new wave, though the band failed to gain momentum from their success and effectively broke up within two years of releasing their first record. Lead singer Patty Donahue's singing ranged from a playful sexiness on the well-known hit "I Know What Boys Like" to a half-talk, half-yell with shades of post-punk groups like Gang of Four and the Raincoats on "Pussy Strut" and "Go On." The guitar and bass were bizarre and funk-influenced in much the same way as other well-known Akron, OH, groups like Devo and the Pretenders. Wasn't Tomorrow Wonderful? was, in a sense, the brainchild of Chris Butler, who wrote most of the songs and co-produced the album in addition to playing guitar. Butler's version of new wave was danceable and fun, certainly, but witty and insightful lyrics were also an essential ingredient. Ultimately, though, it was Donahue's attitude that gave the music its personality and made the album a critical and commercial success.

Biography

Formed: 1980 in Akron, OH

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s

To most new wave fans, the Waitresses are a fondly remembered part of the '80s one-hit wonder pantheon, even in spite of the fact that that one hit was a cult phenomenon that didn't even reach the Top 40. Yet "I Know What Boys Like" was the sort of daring, instantly memorable pop nugget that epitomized the era — all cool detachment, subversive wit, and an irresistibly off-kilter dance groove. Lead singer Patty Donahue's dry, cheeky attitude supplied a not inconsiderable sex appeal, but even...
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Wasn't Tomorrow Wonderful?, The Waitresses
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