Missing Persons: Windows / Rock and Roll Suspension


Format: 7″

Label: Capitol

Country: US

Year: 1982

Price paid: $1

Purchased at: Square Records, Akron OH


‘I watch what’s going on

But I don’t want to belong

Leave me in my introspection

Safely behind protection’

‘Windows’ is the fourth single released from the group’s debut album ‘Spring Session M.’ Upon researching it’s chart ranking I was surprised that it was their second highest charting single- (second only to ‘Walking in L.A.’), beating out their two most iconic songs- ‘Words’ and ‘Destination Unknown.’ It reached #22 on the US Mainstream Rock charts.

If I had to pick one Missing Persons single as my favorite this would be it, as it’s a real standout on an LP filled with sublime tracks. The album has a strong theme of alienation brought on by a modern society twisted by technology- ‘Windows’ can be read as the cry of a soul walled off from society, relegated (by choice) to the roll of observer. A great allegory for the MTV Age as well, where music expressed visually engages the consumer in a near-subconsciously exploitative manner. Dale’s shrill whiny voice (a compliment, BTW) brings a certain desperate fatalist tone that accents the theme perfectly.

The B-side ‘Rock and Roll Suspension’ is damn’ good as well, with further reflections on alienation, ‘the gaze’, and… err… reflections.

‘Windows’ never had an official video made. The following was put together by a contemporary TV show, possibly ‘The Rock and Roll Evening News’ or the short-lived ‘Saturday Night Live’ competitor ‘Fridays.’ Painfully lip-synched, not an atypical practice for the period:

The sleeve art is a cheat. As stunning as it is, it’s merely the same artwork used for the main album. The front and back even have the same design. So that’s ten for design… but a big old zero for originality.

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