Releasing its first effort (a self-titled EP) in 1980, this Los Angeles punk dance band offered a serious version of Devo‘s new wave. Led by Stan Ridgway’s unmistakably wired voice, Wall Of Voodoo combined western Americana motifs with angular art-rock to delicious effect.
Dark Continent (1981) set the scene with Ridgway’s twisted noir narratives played out against jerky guitars, reverberating harmonicas and cheap keyboards played with one finger.
The band recorded their biggest-selling album, Call Of The West, in 1982 and the track Mexican Radio was their only Top 100 hit in the USA. The video for the single gained great exposure on the newly launched MTV.
Original singer Stan Ridgway was replaced by Andy Prieboy in 1983.
In 1985 they released the album Seven Days In Sammystown. The first single, Far Side Of Crazy did very well in Australia, reaching #23 on the ARIA charts.
The band split up in 1988 and Andy Prieboy and Marc Moreland went on to solo careers.
Joe Nanini died of a brain haemorrhage on 4 December 2000, and Marc Moreland died of kidney and liver failure on 13 March 2002.
Vocals, harmonica, keyboards
Charles T Gray