gullbuy music review

Stiv Bators




Bomp Records


Zonk CD coverDisconnected is the 1980 solo album Stiv made after Dead Boys broke up in 1978. In Summer 2004 Bomp released a 25th Anniversary edition reissue with five bonus tracks.

The record followed up the It's Cold Outside b-w The Last Year single from May 1979 and its follow-up Not That way Anymore b-w Circumstantial Evidence. I really wonder why these tracks aren't on this CD (The Last Year is).

Despite really entertaining liner notes written by band member Frank Secich, the songs on the disc aren't very distinctive..

Disconnected is pop like The Boyfriends (I Don't Want Nobody, I Want You) or The Automatics (When Those Tanks Roll Over Poland Again) .

The doubled vocals in The Last Year even sound like Translator (Everywhere That I'm Not) or Bram Tsychovsky (The Girl of my Dreams).

I Wanna Forget You (Just the Way You Are) has vocals that sound like Tom Petty and guitars that sound like Brian May of Queen.

Opening track Evil Boy, which was co-penned by Dead Boy Jimmy Zero) sounds like a poppier Lords Of The New Church song. Lords Of The New Church is the hard rock/goth band he formed with The Damned's Brian James in England after this record.

The bonus tracks aren't any reason to buy this anniversary edition. The rough mix of Evil Boy has backing vocals that were left out of the final version. The rough version of Swingin' A Go-Go has backing vocals by the band instead of by the Cynthia of the Canadian band B-Girls. Crime In The Streets is an instrumental that is pretty good. Vocals were planned for the track but never ended up getting written. The live version of the Sound Syndicate song Hey Little Girl (which Dead Boys also recorded) is pretty good. Junebug Skillet is a recording on a phone call Stiv placed to a barbecue place across the street from the Tropicana Hotel in Santa Monica, where he lived for some time. It shows Stiv's ability to perform over-the-top voices a la Judson Fountain, but could have easily been left off the disc with no ill effect.

Why Bomp didn't include the 7inch single It's Cold Outside on this disc baffles me. It may have been the highlight of this CD.

Frank Secich emphasizes how good the band Stiv used on these recordings was, but technique doesn't amount to much without inspiration. In the end none of these songs have the passion or spirit that Stiv communicated so well as a singer in Dead Boys.

In May 1990 while recording a new solo album in Paris Stiv was hit by a car and died the following day from internal injuries. As a performer his presence was amazing. Stiv Bators was a performing force as vibrant as Iggy Pop, Johnny Rotten or anyone else. The two Dead Boys records will remain as testament to his amazing talent.

---Carl, October 12, 2004