Price paid: $10
Location purchased: Exchange, Kent Ohio
Lene Lovich is one of my ‘top ten’ New Wave artists. The poster child for Stiff Records who cultivated a dark, mysterious, and for the most part bogus slavic proto-goth image.
This ten-inch is a bit of a mystery to me. I don’t use the word ‘rare’ lightly, but IMO this piece of vinyl certainly fits the bill. I’d never heard of it, even after a quarter century of collecting. Granted I’ve never sat down and pulled out a comprehensive Lene Lovich discography looking for holes in my collection. Information online is scant. Every copy I can confirm (three total) is marked ‘Demonstration Not For Sale’ with gold embossed ‘promotion’ and ‘plug’ markings on the back. Mine has the same markings. Did this ever see a legitimate release, or was it truly a promo-only item?
Either way this was obviously an attempt by Stiff to push their flagship artist onto the American public. A ‘global assault’ if you will. I think it goes without saying that this disc failed to inspire ‘Lene craze’ in the Yanks. She made nary a blip on the US charts during her entire career. God bless her!
When I first saw this one on the wall at a record store in Ohio it didn’t register. The generic white sleeve was off-putting. After being initially drawn to the ‘Stiff’ label I was repelled by the ‘Epic’ on there as well, as that means it was intended for the US market and not a ‘pure’ British product. (joke)
The sticker makes all the difference though.
Design-wise there’s not too much to talk about. Generic white sleeve with a sticker on it. I will say though that the sticker itself is well designed- minimal in a Russian Constructionist sorta way that manages to convey Stiff’s style, the 80s aesthetic, and Lene’s sham Slavic roots all in just a few lines and one color. The sticker placement isn’t as haphazard as it looks either; every example I can find has the exact same sticker placement with the ‘mock chance’ tilt to it.
B-side recorded live at Paradise Theatre, Boston, 3/15/80
|Lene and Les Chapell getting tipsy.|