Monday, December 5, 2011

Missing Person - Missing Persons

Happy fifty-fifth birthday this week (December 8th) to Brooklyn born rocker Warren Cuccurullo. In his teen years, he was a devote fan of Frank Zappa and traveled to many of the band's concerts throughout the northeast. At age 22, he auditioned as a guitarist for Zappa's new road band. That led to some studio work on with the band on Joe's Garage.

In 1980, Cuccurullo decided to form a band with husband and wife team Terry and Dale Bozzio and friend Patrick O'Hearn. Thus Missing Persons was born. They put together a four-song, self-titled Missing Persons EP to help promote their band while on tour. In 1982, the album finally entered the US Billboard Album chart, peaking at number 46 and spending a total of forty-seven weeks on the charts.

Side one opens with "I Like Boys" with its early new-wave sound. The lyrics are fairly simplistic in subject matter, but the song really showcases the musical chops of the three guys.

"Mental Hopscotch" has a rapid-fire rhythm with very catchy guitar hooks. It was released as a single in 1982 but failed to make any impression on the charts. Still, it was a very popular song on college radio stations and at parties (as it has a very danceable beat to it).

Side two begins with "Hello I Love You", a cover of the 1968 classic by the Doors. Missing Persons gives the song an updated sound with synthesizers and a slightly changed up rhythm. Dale's vocals give the song a distant feeling.

"Destination Unknown" spent thirteen weeks on the charts and reached number 42 when it was released in 1982. This one is my absolute favorite tracks from the band. Something about the ambiguity theme in the lyrics spoke to my teenaged self. It seemed like a great song for someone who wasn’t completely sure where the future was going to take him. There are times even as an adult that it fits.

Before they signed a deal with Capital Records, the EP was re-released in 1982 with a change in songs. This then was followed by their first major label release Spring Session M (click here for that album review).

After Missing Persons broke up, Cuccurullo got involved with the guys from Duran Duran. He worked with them in the late 80's and the 90's.

1 comment:

Empoprises said...

Warren merited a lyrical mention in the Joe's Garage song "Catholic Girls" ("kinda young, kinda wow!").