Monday, August 09, 2010
Another thing that made them unusual among the New Wave bands I listened to was that their songs were actually pretty. They tended towards haunted, melancholy love ballads rather than the more up-tempo sounds that I usually preferred. In fact, their two biggest hits, "Only the Lonely" and "Suddenly Last Summer," were more Adult Contemporary than New Wave. I pretended not to notice.
Here's four from the Motels.
"Total Control" (1979)
This is my favorite Motels song now. I love the way Martha sells the emotion in this version. There aren't any histrionics, no vocal fireworks, just a little catch here and a quaver there, but you still almost expect her to burst into tears at any moment. It's a great example of getting more emotion out of less drama.
This was my favorite Motels song back in the day.
"Only the Lonely" (1982)
"Suddenly Last Summer" (1983)