Lene Lovich

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Lene Lovich
Lene Lovitch 1979.jpg
Lovich, University of Bradford, February 1979
Background information
Birth nameLili-Marlene Premilovich
Born(1949-03-30) 30 March 1949 (age 64)
Detroit, Michigan United States
GenresNew Wave, post-punk, gothic rock
OccupationsMusician, songwriter, actress
InstrumentsVocals
Years active1975–present
LabelsStiff (1978-1982)
Pathfinder/Justin Time (1989)
Stereo Society (2005)
Flex Music (2013)
WebsiteOfficial website
 
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Lene Lovich
Lene Lovitch 1979.jpg
Lovich, University of Bradford, February 1979
Background information
Birth nameLili-Marlene Premilovich
Born(1949-03-30) 30 March 1949 (age 64)
Detroit, Michigan United States
GenresNew Wave, post-punk, gothic rock
OccupationsMusician, songwriter, actress
InstrumentsVocals
Years active1975–present
LabelsStiff (1978-1982)
Pathfinder/Justin Time (1989)
Stereo Society (2005)
Flex Music (2013)
WebsiteOfficial website

Lene Lovich (born 30 March 1949) is an American singer of English descent based in England, who first gained attention as part of the New Wave music scene of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Her most popular hit single was "Lucky Number", first released in 1978.

1949–75: Early life and starting point[edit]

Lovich was born Lili-Marlene Premilovich in Detroit, Michigan, to an English mother and a Serbian father. After her father had health problems, her mother took her and her three siblings to live in Hull, England. Lovich was 13 years old at the time. She met the guitarist/songwriter Les Chappell when they were teenagers, and he became her longtime collaborator and life partner. In autumn 1968, they went to London to attend art school. It was there that Lovich first tied her hair into the plaits that later became a visual trademark, though at first she did it to keep her hair out of the clay when studying sculpture.

Over the following decade, Lovich attended several art schools, busked around the London Underground and appeared in cabaret clubs as an "Oriental" dancer. She also travelled to Spain, where she visited Salvador Dalí in his home. She played acoustic rock music around London, sang in the mass choir of a show called Quintessence at the Royal Albert Hall, played a soldier in Arthur Brown's show, worked as a go-go dancer with the Radio One Roadshow, toured Italy with a West Indian soul band, and played saxophone for Bob Flag's Balloon and Banana Band and for an all-girl cabaret trio, The Sensations. She recorded screams for horror films, wrote lyrics for French disco star Cerrone (including the sci-fi dance smash "Supernature", later recorded by Lovich herself) and worked with various fringe theatre groups. She was also one of thousands of audience members invited to sing along at the 1972 Lanchester Arts Festival at the Locarno Ballroom in Coventry when Chuck Berry recorded "My Ding-a-Ling" for Chess Records.[citation needed]

In 1975, Lovich joined The Diversions, a funk group that put out five singles and an album on Polydor Records, without success.

1976–86: Stateless (1978), Flex (1979), No Man's Land (1982)[edit]

In 1976 Lovich released a 7" 3-track "maxi-single" in the UK under her own name, aimed at the Christmas market: "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus/The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You)/Happy Christmas" (Polydor 2058 812). In 1977, Lovich, along with recording engineer Alain Wisniak, provided lyrics for "Supernature", a song featuring music composed by French percussionist and disco music performer Cerrone. The song, with its surreal lyrics describing a world in which nature has risen to fight against desecration and destruction by humanity, is indicative of Lovich's interest in animal rights issues. In 1978, disc jockey and author Charlie Gillett presented her recording of "I Think We're Alone Now", a cover version of a song originally performed by Tommy James and the Shondells, to Stiff Records boss, Dave Robinson. Robinson immediately proposed to release it as a single on Stiff, for which Lovich and Chappell had to write and record a B-side at short notice. They came up with "Lucky Number", which was then released as an A-side and became a Top 3 hit in the UK. Invited by Robinson to participate in the forthcoming Be Stiff Route 78 Tour in 1978, Lovich quickly recorded her first album for Stiff, Stateless, which contained "Lucky Number" and another Top 20 hit, "Say When".[1] Lovich's musical style combined her own quirky inventions with contemporary punk rock and new wave styles. She then recorded the albums Flex and No-Man's-Land for Stiff over the next few years, as well as an EP titled New Toy, the title cut penned by touring band member Thomas Dolby. She also recorded vocals for "Picnic Boy" by The Residents as "Sandy Sandwich".[citation needed] Lovich co-wrote with Chappell and Chris Judge Smith and performed Mata Hari, a play/musical at the Lyric Hammersmith, London, October/November 1982. During this time she was having disputes with Stiff. The success of the show and pressure from Epic, her US label, persuaded Stiff to release and promote No Man's Land. Following her departure from Stiff, Lovich released "Don't Kill The Animals," a single with Nina Hagen, with whom she had previously appeared in Cha Cha, a film that also starred Herman Brood; together, the three created the film's soundtrack.

March (1989)[edit]

In 1989, after an absence of several years due to raising a family, she recorded the album March on Pathfinder Records. It was only moderately successful and was not released until nearly a year after the album's single "Wonderland" had been issued and had become an American dance hit. She also toured the US three times immediately before, during and shortly after the release of March, giving US fans their only glimpse of her for many years to come. All three tours culminated with benefit concerts for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Her tours supporting March were done with a semi-full band, featuring the electronic duo Tanz Waffen as her backup band in addition to herself and longtime partner Chappell.

Lovich contributed to the opera The Fall of the House of Usher (1991) by Peter Hammill and Judge Smith, singing the part of Madeline Usher.

2005–present day[edit]

In 2005 Lene Lovich appeared on Hawkwind's Take Me to Your Leader CD, as well as appearing occasionally on stage with them. Lovich's first album since March, entitled Shadows and Dust, received a limited release on the Stereo Society label on 13 September 2005. She played for the first time in many years with a full band at the Drop Dead Festival in 2006.

In 2006, she made a guest appearance with The Dresden Dolls at The Roundhouse which is featured as an extra on their DVD Live at the Roundhouse.

In 2007, MVD Visual released Lene Lovich: Live from New York, a DVD featuring a performance Lovich gave at Studio 54 in 1981. In late 2007, both Lovich and Chappell produced a new edge recording of their hit "Lucky Number". The version was performed by rock group Eastroad, and was used by the BBC for its coverage of the 2008 World Snooker Championship.

In 2011, Lovich sang the part of Eurydice in the songstory Orfeas by Judge Smith. In 2013 she sang on the albums Zoot Suit by Judge Smith and Gridlock by Mr Averell.

In 2012, Lovich began performing with a new band comprising Subterraneans frontman Jude Rawlins on guitar, bassist Lydia Fischer, keyboard player Kirsten Morrison, and Morgan King on drums. The Lene Lovich Band made their live debut at London's famous 12 Bar Club on 29 October that year. In 2013 the band undertook their first high-profile tour, concluding with major sell-out shows in London and Berlin, and was the 5th act to be announced for Rebellion Festival 2013.

In September 2013 Lovich and Jude Rawlins started a label together, Flex Music, giving Lovich control of her back catalogue for the first time. Flex Music was launched with a strictly limited edition handmade CD box set of Lene's first three albums, plus a bonus CD of rarities titled Others: Volume 1. In October, the Lene Lovich Band was one of the first British bands to be confirmed for SXSW 2014.

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

[2]

EPs[edit]

Compilations[edit]

DVDs[edit]

Singles[edit]

YearTitleChart-PositionAlbum
UK[2]DEAT
1976"I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"----
1978"I Think We're Alone Now"---Stateless
1979"Lucky Number"3-18
"Say When"19--
"Bird Song"3944-Flex
1980"Angels"---
"What Will I Do Without You"58--
"The Night"---
1981"New Toy"53--New Toy
1982"It's You, Only You (Mein Schmerz)"68--No Man's Land
"Blue Hotel"-100-
1986"Don't Kill The Animals" (feat. Nina Hagen)----
1989"Wonderland"---March
1999"Shapeshifter" (feat. Comical Brothers)---Shadows and Dust

Career as an actress[edit]

Film and television
YearTitleRoleNotes
1979Cha-Cha
1982Rock (TV movie)Lola
1993Queen of Fruit (TV short)

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Discogs.
  2. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 332. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.