10 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Wall of Voodoo's second album, Call of the West, will forever be linked with its hit single "Mexican Radio": a winningly woozy trip south of the border and one of the new wave era's defining tunes. But there's a lot more to this record. The moody "Lost Weekend" feels as much like an Elmore Leonard story as a pop song, and if David Lynch ever directed a western, the title track could be its theme. And while there's an abundance of synth riffs and drum machines (it was the '80s, after all), guitarist Marc Moreland's desert-dry licks lend the whole thing an Ennio Morricone–style spaghetti western edge that helped set the band apart from the synth-pop pack.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Wall of Voodoo's second album, Call of the West, will forever be linked with its hit single "Mexican Radio": a winningly woozy trip south of the border and one of the new wave era's defining tunes. But there's a lot more to this record. The moody "Lost Weekend" feels as much like an Elmore Leonard story as a pop song, and if David Lynch ever directed a western, the title track could be its theme. And while there's an abundance of synth riffs and drum machines (it was the '80s, after all), guitarist Marc Moreland's desert-dry licks lend the whole thing an Ennio Morricone–style spaghetti western edge that helped set the band apart from the synth-pop pack.

TITLE TIME
3:04
4:59
5:33
3:18
3:54
4:11
2:40
4:31
2:45
5:59

About Wall of Voodoo

Best known for their alternative radio classic "Mexican Radio," Wall of Voodoo formed in Los Angeles in 1977, originally as a soundtrack company. Led by singer/songwriter Stan Ridgway and rounded out by guitarist Marc Moreland, bassist/keyboardist Bruce Moreland, keyboardist Chas Gray, and drummer Joe Nanini, the group issued its self-titled debut EP in 1980. With the additions of bassist Bruce Moreland and his brother Marc on guitar (replacing Noland), the band's sound crystallized on 1981's full-length Dark Continent, which couched Ridgway's highly stylized and cinematic narratives -- heavily influenced by Westerns and film noir, and sung in the vocalist's distinctively droll, narcoleptic manner -- in atonal, electronically based settings.

In 1982, following the exit of Bruce Moreland, Wall of Voodoo released Call of the West, which featured "Mexican Radio," their biggest hit. After an appearance at the 1983 US Festival, Ridgway left the group for a solo career. The remaining members enlisted singer Andy Prieboy, and resurfaced in 1985 with the LP Seven Days in Sammystown. Happy Planet followed two years later, while 1988's live effort The Ugly Americans in Australia* (the asterisk denoting that a few tracks were recorded in Bullhead City, Arizona) effectively closed out the Wall of Voodoo story. ~ Jason Ankeny

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