Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Take one listen to the first and only LP by Laurie and the Sighs and it won't surprise you to learn that vocalist Laurie Beechman is best known as a Broadway star. The 1980 album is a showy burst of energy that mixes hard-edged arena rock a la Pat Benatar with spiky, tongue-in-cheek power pop to create consistently fun results.

Prior to the album's release, Beechman played in famous theater productions such as Annie and The Pirates of Penzance. After signing with Atlantic Records, Beechman and the Sighs hoped to find success venturing into rock and roll territory. During a time when Benatar was at the top of the charts, it would seem that Beechman, whose physical and musical similarities to the popular singer were not exactly subtle, would be a marketable act for her label. Unfortunately, Laurie and the Sighs received little support from Atlantic and soon faded into obscurity.

The LP rocks harder than you might expect, and it's clear that Beechman put everything she had into belting out the tunes. Some of the material, such as the brief jolt of Face to Face, an amped-up cover of the 60s Claudine Clark hit Party Lights and the aggressive Stop Telling Me No, even shows traces of punk. The LP only slows down once with the rock opera ballad Your Bridge Is Burning.

After the album failed to make a dent, Beechman turned back to musical theater, going on to star in Cats, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Les Miserables. Unfortunately, after a diagnosis of ovarian cancer in 1988 - which went into remission and then returned in 1995 - Beechman passed on in 1998 at the age of 44.

Check out a vinyl rip of Beechman's one and only foray into rock, which has never seen reissue on CD. Update: The album has been released on CD by Wounded Bird Records! Get it here.

Laurie and the Sighs - self-titled LP, 1980

Track listing:
1 - Midnight Love
2 - Touch Me
3 - Party Lights
4 - Love Hostage
5 - Face to Face
6 - Never Go Back
7 - Your Bridge Is Burning
8 - Runaway
9 - Stop Telling Me No
10 - Burning Up

Pat Benatar, Scandal, Sue Saad and the Next, Spider


Ryan W said...

Thanks for posting this. I had this album for a couple of years, but never got around to ripping it.

Curty Ray said...

Cool blog! Lots of great music, Thanks.

I have dded you to my blogroll, Welcome!!

Frank K said...

Thanks, CR. You have an excellent blog yourself! I've linked you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this! A VASTLY underrated album! ;)

Anonymous said...

WOW, thank you for this! This was one of my favorite albums when I was a kid and I never thought I'd get a good copy of it again! You most definitely ROCK!


Anonymous said...

This album needs to be put on iTunes! I bought this album in 1982 and STILL play it! Laurie's voice is incredible! Your Bridge Is Burning is a very haunting song. The guitar riff is very heartfelt and wails as if the heart for which it was written for is wholeheartedly felt during the riff. A totally awesome album which, as least, should go to cd so others can understand what I'm talking about. Too bad this little gem wasn't given the radio time it so well deserved!! I certainly give it 10 out of five stars!

Frank K said...

Thanks for your comment. It led me to do a search and it appears as though this album has been put out on CD by Wounded Bird! The amazon link is below and it is also available from the Wounded Bird website.