Hot Ladies of Rock

hotladiesFormat: LP
Label: Pickwick Records
Country: Pressed in Germany for the UK market
Year: 1982
Price paid: $6
Purchased at: Angry Mom Records, Ithaca NY

A sample of classy Pickwick comilations

A sample of classy Pickwick compilations

Pickwick Records is probably better known to readers in the UK- a budget label in the manner of Ronco and K-Tel, they released a flood of  product from the sixties onward and seemed to hit their stride in the late seventies/early eighties with sleazy compilations such as the not at all sexistly titled ‘Hot Ladies of Rock.’

At the risk of perpetuating the misogyny I would have to agree that this LP certainly does a fair job of reflecting the ‘hot’ female artists of the period- at least in terms of quality, cultural relevance, and/or chart action. You couldn’t ask for a better roster actually. The only criticism is that Pickwick could have had a wider selection of artists with less doubling-up, but I’m sure that was done for budget reasons. The only stinker in the bunch is the inclusion of ‘Paying the Price of Love’ by Crush, a group so obscure that I’ve never heard of them. And I specialize in the genre.

I have a thing for kitschy bottom-of-the-barrel vinyl compilations. You can keep your expensive high-profile cover art by The Police and Madonna; if you want to see the REAL design aesthetic of the eighties you’ve got to dig down to the level of ‘Hot Ladies of Rock.’ The uncredited model used for the cover was most probably a randomly chosen secretary working at Pickwick Records, dolled up on a moving bus while rushing to a hasty photo shoot with the promise of extra £5 in her pay, immortalized like some second-rate Toyah clone forevermore. Fantastic.

Track Listing

  • Hazel O’Connor- D Days
  • Pat Benatar- Heartbreaker
  • Toyah- I Want To Be Free
  • Crush- Paying The Price Of Love
  • Rachel Sweet- B-A-B-Y
  • Runaways- Queens Of Noise
  • Blondie- (I’m Always Touched By Your) Presence Dear
  • Blondie- Hanging On The Telephone
  • Suzi Quatro- Rock Hard
  • Pat Benatar- I Need A Lover
  • Hazel O’Connor- Waiting
  • Runaways- American Nights
  • Toyah- War Boys
  • The Belle Stars- Iko Iko


Big Daddy: Big Daddy… What Really Happened to the Band of ’59


Format: LP

Label: Rhino

Country: US

Year: 1983

Price paid: $3

Purchased at: Books and Melodies


“Big Daddy, a popular 1950’s rock ‘n’ roll combo, has recently returned home after being held captive for more than two decades by Communist Revolutionaries in North Laos…”

One of the major themes of American eighties pop culture was an obsession with all things 1950’s. I’m no sociologist, but I’m thinking the tensions of the Cold War coupled with Reagan’s ‘Morning in America’ attitude sent people scrambling for the security of a (mostly idolized) period in America’s history where stability and prosperity shone brightly. Everything from fashion, movies such as ‘Back to the Future’, and of course music, resonated with mid-century modernisms.

Big Daddy took this trend a step further, taking musical styles such as Doo-wop and mutating 80’s hits through their anachronistic prism with humorous results. Sort of like if Shanana and Weird Al had a baby.

Track listing:

  • I Write the Songs
  • Bette Davis Eyes
  • Super Freak
  • Star Wars
  • Whip It
  • Ebony and Ivory
  • You Don’t Bring Me Flowers
  • Hit Me with Your Best Shot
  • The Rose
  • Just What I Needed
  • Hotel California
  • Eye of the Tiger

‘Big Daddy… What Really Happened to the Band of ’59’ was the band’s first album. Admittedly the concept grows a tad thin quickly, but God bless ’em Big Daddy have been at it for well over a quarter century. They’ve released six studio albums to date, a ‘best of’ CD, and an EP. I was only familiar with the 80’s records, but they barreled through the 90s and released an LP as late as last year.

The sleeve design is typical of most early Rhino releases- unremarkable, but it gets the job done.