Tuesday, March 18, 2008


While new wave sirens such as Josie Cotton and Holly Beth Vincent produced records in the early 80s that have since developed a cult status among the genre's fans, Karen Lawrence's lone new wave LP, Girl's Night Out, remains criminally under the radar.

Maybe this is because the bulk of Lawrence's work, including time as vocalist for both Blue By Nature and 1994, features a bluesier, more straightforward rock sound. Or maybe it's because it has never been reissued. In any case, 1981's Girl's Night Out is a thoroughly enjoyable homage to 60s pop, highlighted by Lawrence's consistently impressive vocals.

Like Josie Cotton on her classic Convertible Music LP, Lawrence delivers Girl's Night Out with a knowing, tongue-in-cheek nod to classic girl groups such as The Shangri-Las and The Ronettes. Even the artwork oozes retro style, with its bright pink sleeve and black and white photo of Lawrence decked out in a prom dress.

Musically, much of Girl's Night Out comes in twos. There is a pair of irresistible, punky power pop numbers in Blondes and Hold Me Closer - my personal favorites. Then there's a couple of top-notch sugary ballads, Rebel and So Tough, which best bring out the tough-but-tender, Mary Weiss vibe in Lawrence. Not to mention I Won't Stop and March of the Pins, which bring to the table a more synth-heavy, quirky 80s style of fun.

Throughout the album, the star of the show is Lawrence's big voice, which ranges from a raspy pur to a bluesy wail to a giddy squeak all in the course of a single song. She really digs into the material and makes every single cut convincing.

Unfortunately, I hear the masters of this album were destroyed before Lawrence could acquire them from RCA. The good news is that you can check out my vinyl rip of Girl's Night Out here:

Karen Lawrence and the Pinz - Girl's Night Out (1981)

Track listing:
1 - Girl's Night Out
2 - Blondes
3 - I Won't Stop
4 - Rebel
5 - Sealed With a Kiss
6 - March of the Pins
7 - Fix It
8 - Hold Me Closer
9 - So Tough
10 - Modern Times

The Motels, Holly & the Italians, Josie Cotton, The Crocodiles, The Dugites, Pat Benatar, The Pretenders

- Karen Lawrence on MySpace
- Karen Lawrence on Wikipedia


Anonymous said...

Thanks very much for this, I only became aware of the album after seeing the cover in a book of new wave album art! Great stuff. Love the site.

phaota said...

Thanks for sharing this, but you or whomever ripped this album needs to do it again. The volume of each track is too loud, so the waveform peeks are being cut off the top and bottom, which alters the quality of sound. Always make sure the peeks are below the borders of the editing box.

Anonymous said...

congratulations for such a good blog. Karen Lawrence was superb!!!

Anonymous said...

wOW !!!!!!!!!! I can't believe I have found this album again. I loved this album. Pretty good quality too. Thank You !!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I had the wonderful pleasure of meeting Karen Lawrence where she used to live in Venice Beach, California and seeing her perform at a local nite club/bar & Cafe. She is a very charming and fun lady to talk to when it comes to music, and she always sounds fantastic listening to her incredible vocals, plus she plays the heck out of the guitar and is damn good at it too! I am hoping she releases some new material on CD someday, but in the meantime, myself along with many other fans of her previous bands would love to see CD's released of the L.A. Jets, 1994's "Please Stand By," and also her solo LP called "Rip & Tear," not to mention "Karen Lawrence & The Pinz-Girls Night Out."

Mr Hercules said...

Thanks a lot! (Just found out about her)

Lee said...

Thank you so much! I've been looking for this album for many years. I may cry!

Frank said...

You are welcome - enjoy!