16 Songs, 1 Hour 9 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the right era, Johnette Napolitano could have been a huge star. Her gutsy, gothic twists of phrase and her band's merciless attack made Concrete Blonde an important alternative rock band in the ‘80s and ‘90s. "Joey" is as close to a hit as the band ever came and its acoustic-backed mid-tempo had all the hallmarks of an even greater hit, but fate often runs its own course and CB were never able to capitalize and have had to settle for hardcore cult status. It lends a deeper creepiness to their material. The title track struts with a decadence that requires the proper shadows. "The Sky Is a Poisonous Garden" speeds up the passion and is even grittier and dirtier in its live bonus version here on this 20th-anniversary edition. Andy Prieboy's "Tomorrow Wendy" is given a most heartfelt treatment. "I Don't Need a Hero" uses the deep reverb popular in the era to make an even greater impact. This deluxe package even includes a cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing" that's more than just a curiosity.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the right era, Johnette Napolitano could have been a huge star. Her gutsy, gothic twists of phrase and her band's merciless attack made Concrete Blonde an important alternative rock band in the ‘80s and ‘90s. "Joey" is as close to a hit as the band ever came and its acoustic-backed mid-tempo had all the hallmarks of an even greater hit, but fate often runs its own course and CB were never able to capitalize and have had to settle for hardcore cult status. It lends a deeper creepiness to their material. The title track struts with a decadence that requires the proper shadows. "The Sky Is a Poisonous Garden" speeds up the passion and is even grittier and dirtier in its live bonus version here on this 20th-anniversary edition. Andy Prieboy's "Tomorrow Wendy" is given a most heartfelt treatment. "I Don't Need a Hero" uses the deep reverb popular in the era to make an even greater impact. This deluxe package even includes a cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing" that's more than just a curiosity.

TITLE TIME

About Concrete Blonde

Concrete Blonde grew out of the Los Angeles post-punk club circuit that produced bands like X, Wall of Voodoo, and the Go-Go's, but it wasn't until 1987 that the band even recorded its first album. The group was founded by singer/songwriter/bassist Johnette Napolitano and guitarist Jim Mankey, who initially called themselves Dream 6 and released an EP. Their insistence on complete artistic control was off-putting to the major labels who took notice, however, and it wasn't until 1987 that the group signed to I.R.S. and changed its name to Concrete Blonde at the suggestion of labelmate Michael Stipe. Concrete Blonde's self-titled debut album betrayed the influence of the Pretenders, while 1989's Free was a tighter showcase for Napolitano's developing songwriting and produced a college radio hit with "God Is a Bullet." The morose, textured Bloodletting, a more accomplished record than both of its predecessors, broke the band to a wider audience with the left-field Top 20 hit "Joey," the tale of a love affair ended by alcoholism. Mexican Moon reflected Napolitano's interest in Hispanic music and culture, but Concrete Blonde's commercial fortunes had declined since Bloodletting, and Napolitano broke up the band. They reunited between 2001 and 2004, however, releasing two albums during that period, 2002's Group Therapy and 2004's Mojave, the latter featuring new drummer Gabriel Ramirez-Quezada. Napolitano announced the second and apparently final breakup of Concrete Blonde in June of 2006. ~ Steve Huey

ORIGIN
Hollywood, CA
GENRE
Rock
FORMED
1982

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