Heavely 'eighties' production. That's the only problem with this record so full of wonderful songs. It should be an iconic album rapresenting those years, and it's exactly that. But with a less oriented production it could be an yper all-time classic..
Does anyone know of a cover version of ‘Mexican Radio’ sung by a brasillian artist? Very similar to the original but s ung in portuguese, I heard it on the radio few years ago but never found out who the hell it was.....
In reference to all of the Wall of Voodoo albums …
“Mexican Radio” nearly always comes to mind when anyone speaks of Wall Of Voodoo, a group whose music is laced with tension, a bit of nervous apprehension, even paranoia, all set to a driving synth, spurred on by the, dare I say, unique vocals of Stan Ridgway. With nearly all of the songs coming off as being absurdly spaghetti Western induced, it’s nearly impossible not to get lost in the stories of a perceived stoner underclass, eternally caught in the work-a-day wheel, where these stories unfold, championing those few who’ve managed to step off of the treadmill and out from under the boss’s thumb, serving as both a warning and an aspiration for those with a penchant for lines that are just slightly crooked, and off the beaten trail.
While I’d like to say that all of the Wall of Voodoo material has been created equally well, I simply can’t, though there are those whose life begins and ends with this band and their brand of intoxication. I’ve been putting off writing a review for any of these albums until I was able to assemble them all, draw out a collection of my most loved songs, slide them into my back pocket, and walk for the rest of my days in comfort … and to that end, I suggest you do the same, as most of them can be tossed into the wind and forgotten. The same applies to Stan Ridgway’s collection, where what’s good is astoundingly so, and what’s not, can easily be forgotten.
Without a thumbs up or down on any of the tracks, this is music designed to be as entertaining as watching a street person attempting to hustle a squirrel, filled with sunbaked melodies that came into existence somewhere on the borders of the dried Salton Sea. The best material rides as cultural artifacts bathed in the black and white flickering of a film noir, and the oddities of a half forgotten thrift store in the middle of nowhere. Without question, the material laid out by Stan Ridgway is the best, and the band has gone through some extreme changes over the years, yet still has managed to keep that compelling attitude alive.
The best songs of Wall Of Voodoo would include the likes of the instrumental “On Interstate 15,” “Lost Weekend,” or the enchanting cover of The Beach Boys’ number “Do It Again.” It’s an extensive and varied catalog, with material for nearly anything your day may toss at you. I’ve attempted to avoid using the word ‘art’, though at this point in my thinking, the songs really are literature set to music … so please, jump into these waters head first and see where the currents channel you. In the end, you’ll come up with a collection, as I have, that are deeply haunting, slightly uncomfortable, and will slide a mile wide smile across you face that will have others wondering just what’s gotten into you.
*** The Fun Facts: The band was named Wall of Voodoo before their first gig in reference to a comment made by Joe Berardi, a friend of Ridgway's and member of The Fibonaccis. Berardi was listening to some of the Acme Soundtracks music Ridgway and Moreland had created in their studio. When Ridgway jokingly compared the multiple drum machine and the Farfisa organ laden recordings to Phil Spector's Wall of Sound, Berardi commented it sounded more like a "wall of voodoo" and the name stuck.
“Mexican Radio”: Wall of Voodoo lead singer and player of organ, synthesizer and harmonica, Stan Ridgway and guitarist Marc Moreland traced the inspiration for the song to listening to high-wattage unregulated AM Mexican radio stations (among the most famous were XERF, XEG, and XERB).