Monday, June 11, 2012
AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The Motels
Song:Only The Lonely
It might surprise music fans to know that The Motels were around for over a decade before the 1982 top ten hit Only The Lonely. They had a second top ten hit in 1983 with Suddenly Last Summer. Record company squabbling prevented them from being bigger. Lead singer and main songwriter Martha Davis started The Warfield Foxes in 1971 in Berkeley, CA. The band moved to Los Angeles in 1975 and changed the name to Angles Of Mercy and then The Motels. Local gigs generated some buzz. The Motels recorded a demo for Warner Bros. They turned it down but Capitol offered them a contract which The Motels turned down. They split up in 1977 but Martha convinced guitarist Jeff Jourard formerly of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers to reform The Motels. After auditions, Jourard's brother Marty Jourard on keyboards and sax, Michael Goodroe on bass and Brian Glascock on drums were added. They were again offered a contract by Capitol. This time they signed. Their debut album The motels was released in 1979 and didn't do well. Then Jeff Jourard left and was replaced by Martha's boyfriend Tim McGovern. Their second album Careful did better but there was no hit single. Capitol was unhappy with The Motels. The band wanted to be dark and moody and all Capitol wanted was a hit single. So they brought in producer Val Geray who had just had success with Kim Carnes' Bette Davis Eyes to keep them on track. It didn't work out at first. The album was to be called Apocalypso. McGovern threw Geray out of the studio and The Motels produced this dark music. Capitol rejected it as too weird and told the band to redo the album and listen to Geray. Meanwhile, Davis and McGovern split up and he left the band. They used studio musicians to fill in. The album All Four One was released Apr. 1982 and Only The Lonely reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100. The video went into heavy rotation on MTV. In 1983, they had another top ten hit with Suddenly Last Summer. Geray became the group's manager but he was fired during their tour. So for their fifth album, Capitol brought in Richie Zito to produce the 1985 album Shock. It did OK but not as well as previous albums. While planning the next album, Martha Davis split up The Motels to go solo.
Her 1987 album Policy did not do well and she left Capitol. You can get all The Motels' hits on this budget comp. Martha Davis' career in the 90s was sporadic until she reformed The Motels in 1997. They continue to tour and occasionally record today. Here's the video for Only The Lonely by The Motels.