It was Easter Sunday night,
1980, when T.J. Tindall and I drove my 1963 Plymouth Valient (with a slant-six
engine) from Philadelphia to New York City. By June of that year
we were cutting demos in the basement of the Sire Records offices, a brownstone
located "on the upper part of the Upper West Side." The artist was
Melinda "Hurricane" Jones, wife of John Montgomery, who was then a record
promoter for the label.
That basement studio had
a tiny control room, with a small SoundWorkshop mixer and the "original"
Otari 5050 half-inch 8-track. (It used the same stereo recording
electronics as their two-tracks from that era, four of them.) The
control room was a challenge to work in and I will post some of the early
mixes just to demonstrate the process of getting a handle on that space.
Who and what was Hurricane
Jones? Somewhere between punk and Betty Boop, with Cyndi Lauper paving
the way in her group, Blue Angel (1980). This was the seque era between
Punk and New Wave, with stripped-down production. My Faves from this
time period were the Police and Elvis Costello. The Sony Walkman
was the IPOD of the eighties.
I remember hearing Melinda
talk about Blue Angel back then, but I didn't hear Cyndi Lauper until 1984
when I worked at Record Plant and she had just finished the album that
made her famous. Madonna would release her first album on Sire in
You can "taste" the early
eighties in these first five songs recorded at Sire. All but one
made it to the album intact, with perhaps an overdub or two, except "What
is You Number," All will be included below. They range from the punky
"School Monitor," the cute "Yi-Yi-Yi," the sexy "Deep Desire" All
are uniquely Melinda.
5 June 1980
3 August 1980