Sunday, December 31, 2017

Wendy & Lisa

ISR Music Magazine 

 

"Friendly Fire"


Wendy & Lisa - "Friendly Fire"


"Wendy & Lisa" are a music duo consisting of Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman. They are the daughters of famous 1960's L.A. session musicians Mike Melvoin and Gary Coleman.

Wendy's dad worked on TV music and Lisa's dad worked with Steely Dan, The Beach Boys, and others.

Wendy and Lisa through their dads grew up in L.A. together and were friends since they were in diapers.

They began working with Prince in the early 1980's and were part of his band The Revolution.

They appeared on numerous important Prince tracks: "Pop Life", ''Raspberry Beret", "Erotic City", "Take Me With You", "Lady Cab Driver", and my favorites; "Wild & Loose" by The Time, and the 12'' version of "Irresistible Bitch". Wendy & Lisa made major contributions to the Vanity 6 album and the Apollonia 6 album (''A Million Miles'' being my favorite Lisa Coleman co-write).

They appeared and had speaking roles in the motion picture "Purple Rain" and did numerous tours with the 'diminutive purple diva' but by the late 80's they left, or were fired, depending on who you get the story from, and began to release their own albums.

The best of which are: "Fruit at the Bottom", "Wendy & Lisa", and my favorite; "Friendly Fire".

"Friendly Fire" is the rare and hard to find deleted album by Wendy & Lisa produced by the legendary Trevor Horn (YES, ABC, FGTH, The Art of Noise, Malcolm McLaren, Seal). This 2-disc set is a rare album by the duo that was never officially released.

The playlist samples below are un-mastered songs that would have been mixed and mastered if the album was completed and released publicly.

Please leave comments and let me know what you think.

The back story to "Friendly Fire" is Mr. Horn was so demanding that W&L gave up on the creative collaboration as the project neared to a close. The sessions and relationship became so acrimonious that the project was shelved and there was no official release even though 14 to 20 songs were written and recorded with Mr. Horn.

W&L have a long history of producing, mixing, and arranging their own albums. Trevor has a long history as a rigid taskmaster in the studio, but after working together on the Robin Williams' Soundtrack to the movie Toys, and on Seal's debut and sophomore albums a fierce bond was formed between Mr. Horn and W&L.

Their chemistry was off the chain! Check out Seal's "Wild", "Bring it on" and "Bring it on" (reprise), and you'll see why they were drawn to each other and began to work together on an album of their own produced by Mr. Horn.

Unfortunately they all have very strong personalities and creative visions. Seal and Mr. Horn had a well publicized bloody fist fight outside the recording studio, W&L were a lesbian couple who were secretly married for 20 years, Trevor's teen son accidentally shot his mother, Trevor's wife, Jill Sinclair the ZTT Records executive, in the neck and she almost bled to death and was in an induced brain dead coma for eight years. (She recently passed away).

Suffice it to say there were 'perfect songs' alright, but enough drama, YES Drama (hidden pun), to sour any recording project including Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Well anyway, the music is masterful as expected, borderline genius, although sound issues were not addressed or corrected, since the album was never released.

Again, let me know what you think. I think it is one of the most romantic, sweeping, gorgeous, funky things I have ever heard orchestrated. It echoes their prior work separately and together in the production and composition characteristics.

It is passionate, loving and inspired, funky and sexy, and irrepressibly confident. Too bad shots fired by their own side fatally wounded the project just prior to completion.

By James Clark ISR