Thursday, February 7, 2008

DIVINYLS - Desperate (Again) + Live at the Ritz

This must be the year of Divinyls. First the classic Aussie band reforms out of the blue after a 10 year hiatus during much of which principal members Chrissy Amphlett and Mark McEntee were not on speaking terms. Then they release a new single called Don't Wanna Do This, embark on a mini tour of Australia and announce plans for a brand new album. Now, to top it off, their long out of print, classic first album Desperate has been reissued by Caroline Records.

The CD reissue is a replica of the original 1983 vinyl release, complete with a mini album cover and insert. It also features remastered sound. The only thing that would have made it better is bonus tracks - especially the punky Sahara Rock from the Australian version of the LP - but you can't have everything.

Buy the CD here.

Desperate is quite possibly Divinyls' strongest release. Chrissy Amphlett screams, yodels and yelps through these tracks like she's on fire. While her voice would become slightly smoother and more controlled on future releases (see diVINYLS), from the explosive opening of Boys in Town to the closer I'll Make You Happy, it's obvious she's holding nothing back.

Another highlight is Only Lonely, with a perfect pop-rock melody reminiscent of The Pretenders or Blondie. Science Fiction is the most "new wave" of the cuts, with catchy, quirky lyrics and some truly amazing high-pitched noises by Amphlett at the start of the bridge. Take a Chance is a heavy-hitting straight-up rock tune, while Ring Me Up and the manic rave Siren are the band at its most fun.

Elsie is a slow burner, and perhaps the most powerful song in Divinyls' catalog. It's about suicide and complete desperation, and Amphlett could not have delivered a better vocal for the morose subject matter. She makes a few sounds during this one that seem like they came directly from the depths of hell.

Desperate is a truly classic new wave album that was long overdue for reissue. Let's hope other Divinyls releases - What a Life!, Temperamental, diVINYLS and Underworld - follow.

Divinyls - Live at the Ritz

In honor of the Desperate reissue, below is my vinyl rip of the Live at the Ritz 3 track promo EP from 1986. These are blistering, high energy versions of Pleasure and Pain, In My Life and Sleeping Beauty that really show what an amazing live band Divinyls were (and still are).

Divinyls - Live at the Ritz (1986)


Lito Sandoval said...

Cool post. Have u seen the video of Live at The Ritz? It's a better performance than the mTV New Years eve show.

Bob said...

Wow, thanks for this one. I was actually at that show at the was killer.

Maggie said...

Hi, would it be possible for you to re-upload "Live At The Ritz"? Thanks.

rex said...

I'll second that request! Thanks

Frank said...

I will re-up this week guys said...

the link is broken
could you pls re-upload it ? Thank you so much

footyvision said...

still no link? plz

Koala Sprint said...

Hi there,
Any chance of a re-up of the Live at the Ritz EP please?