Lene Lovich

Lene Lovich is an American-born New Wave/art-pop singer who cut several singles with English funk band The Diversions during the mid-1970s. Singed to Stiff as a solo artist, she released three albums and an EP on the label between 1978 and 1982.


Background

Lovich was born Lili Marlene Premilovich on March 30, 1949 to an English mother and Serbian–American father. At thirteen, Lene moved with her mother and three siblings to Kingston Upon Hull. As a teenager, she met songwriter Les Chappell, who became her musical collaborator and personal partner. In 1968, they enrolled at a London art school, where Lena cultivated her braided hairstyle (initially to keep it free of clay in pottery class).

In the early seventies, Lene portrayed an Oriental dancer at cabaret clubs and go-go danced for the Radio One Roadshow. She sang in the choir of the Royal Albert Hall production Quintessence and partook in the Lanchester Arts Festival audience singalong featured on the 1972 Chuck Berry hit “My Ding-a-Ling.”

Lene played saxophone for Bob Flag’s Balloon and Banana Band (a comedy act) and The Sensations (a cabaret girl trio). In 1975, Lovich and Chappell joined The Diversions, a funk sextet with Van Der Graaf Generator co-founder Chris Judge Smith. They released three 1975–76 Polydor singles and a fourth under the name Commandos.

Sep 12, 1975
A. “Fattie Bum-Bum”
B. “Jamaica”

Feb 13, 1976
A. “But Is It Funky”
B. “To Make Us Happy”

(Commandos)
A. “The Bump”
B. “Drop In Sometime”

Oct 8, 1976
A. “Raincheck”
B. “Disco Limbo”

In 1976, Lene Lovich debuted under  her own name with the Polydor Christmas maxi-single “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus / The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You) / Happy Christmas.” In 1977, Lovich collaborated with engineer Alain Wisniak on they lyrics to “Supernature,” recorded by French disco artist Cerrone.


Stateless

Lene Lovich released her debut album, Stateless, in October 1978 on Stiff.

1. “Home” Lene LovichLes Chappell (3:40)
2. “Sleeping Beauty” LovichChappell (3:00)
3. “Lucky Number” LovichChappell (2:47)
4. “Too Tender (To Touch)” LovichChappell (4:04)
5. “Say When” Jimme O’Neill (2:49)
6. “Writing on the Wall” LovichChappell (3:08)
7. “Telepathy” O’Neill (2:45)
8. “Momentary Breakdown” LovichChappell (3:18)
9. “I Think We’re Alone Now” Richie Cordell (2:45)
10. “One in a 1,000,000” LovichChappell (2:48)
11. “Tonight” Nick Lowe (4:27)

Recorded 1978
Studio Pathway, London; Wessex Sound, London

Lene Lovich – vocals, saxophone
Les Chappell – guitar, EMS synthesizer, percussion, vocals
Jeff Smith – synthesizer
Nick Plytas – Hammond organ, piano
Ron François – bass, percussion, vocals
Bobby Irwin – drums, percussion, vocals
Don Snow – piano on “Too Tender (To Touch)”

Producer The Stateless (Lene Lovich, Les Chappell)
Aldo Bocca, Jeremy Green, Pete Fox, Roger Bechirian – engineer
Brian Griffin – photography

“I Think We’re Alone Now”
Released: July 1978

“Lucky Number” / “Home”
Released: January 26, 1979

“Say When”
Released: May 11, 1979

Australian Albums (Kent Music Report) 13
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100) 17
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ) 19
UK Albums (OCC) 35


Flex

Lene Lovich released her second album, Flex, on January 18, 1980, on Stiff.

1. “Bird Song” Lene LovichLes Chappell (4:27)
2. “What Will I Do Without You?” Judge Smith (3:35)
3. “Angels” LovichChappell (3:08)
4. “The Night” Bob GaudioAl Ruzicka (4:31)
5. “You Can’t Kill Me” Smith (3:45)
6. “Egghead” LovichChappell (2:26)
7. “Wonderful One” LovichChappell (4:28)
8. “Monkey Talk” LovichChappell (3:20)
9. “Joan” LovichChappell (3:18)
10. “The Freeze” LovichChappell (4:40)

Recorded 1979
Studio Wisseloord Studios, Hilversum, Netherlands

Lene Lovich – vocals, saxophone, backing vocals
Les Chappell – guitar, synthesizer, backing vocals
Justin Hildreth – drums, backing vocals
Mark Heyward-Chaplin – bass, backing vocals
Dean Klevatt – keyboards, backing vocals
Nick Plytas – keyboards
Chris Judge Smith – additional vocals

Design
C-More-Tone Studios – design
Brian Griffin – photography

Production
Roger Bechirian – producer, backing vocals
Alan Winstanley – producer
Peter Bord – engineer

“Bird Song”
Released: September 28, 1979

“Angels”
Released: January 1980

“What Will I Do Without You?”
Released: March 1980

UK (Official Charts Company) 19
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan) 38
Germany (GfK Entertainment Charts) 39 


New Toy

In 1981, Lene Lovich released New Toy, a six-song EP.

1. “New Toy” Thomas Dolby (3:18)
2. “Savages” Lene Lovich Les Chappell (3:50)
3. “Special Star” Lovich Chappell (3:11)
4. “Never Never Land” Jimme O’Neill (4:05)
5. “Cats Away” Lovich Chappell (3:41)
6. “Details” Lovich Chappell (3:12)


No Man’s Land

Lene Lovich released her third album, No Man’s Land, on November 12, 1982, on Stiff.

1. “It’s You, Only You (Mein Schmerz)” Ferdinand BakkerHugo Sinzheimer (3:42)
2. “Blue Hotel” Lene LovichLes ChappellMauro Goldsand (3:43)
3. “Faces” LovichChappell (3:32)
4. “Walking Low” LovichChappell (3:16)
5. “Special Star” LovichChappell (4:31)
6. “Sister Video” Jimme O’Neill (4:45)
7. “Maria” LovichChappell (3:02)
8. “Savages” LovichChappell (3:47)
9. “Rocky Road” LovichChappell (6:37)

Recorded 1980–82
Studio
Konk Studios, London
Wessex Sound, London
Good Earth Studios, London
Sound Suite, Camden
Basing Street Studios, London
Genetic Studios, West Berkshire
AIR, London

Lene Lovich – vocals, saxophone, trumpet
Les Chappell – guitar, synthesizer, vocals
Jeff Smith – synthesizer
Mark Heyward-Chaplin – bass
Bogdan Wiczling – drums
Justin Hildreth – drums
Dean Klevatt – piano
Nick Plytas – keyboards
Thomas Dolby – synthesizer on “Rocky Road”
Jimme O’Neill – rhythm synthesizer, vocals on “Sister Video”
Alvin Clark, Bryan Evans, Damian Korner, Gordon Fordyce, Jon Walls, Martin Rushent, Peter Rackham, Steve Nye

Technical
Recording Engineer – Jon Walls
Produced by Lene Lovich, Les Chappell

October 22
“It’s You, Only You (Mein Schmerz)” / “Blue”


“Don’t Kill The Animals”

In January 1987, Lene Lovich returned with “Don’t Kill The Animals,” a duet with Nina Hagen intended to raise awareness to animal cruelty.


Discography:

  • Stateless (1978)
  • Flex (1979)
  • New Toy (EP, 1981)
  • No Man’s Land (1982)

Sources:

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