Sunday, March 29, 2015

Katrina and the Waves - Katrina and the Waves

Today (March 29th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of the self-titled third studio album from Katrina and the Waves. This 1985 release from the English band hit number 28 in the UK and spent thirty-two weeks on the US Billboard Album chart with a top spot of 25. This was the band's first release on a major record label (Capitol), and it was made up entirely of tracks that had appeared on their first two Canadian independent label releases from 1983 and 1984.

Side one starts off with some "Red Wine and Whisky". The mid-tempo new-wave rocker first appeared on the 1983 debut album (also called Katrina and the Waves and sometimes referred to as Walking On Sunshine (click here for that review) on the Attic label.

The second single, "Do You Want Crying", hovered at number 96 in the UK, number 38 in Australia, number 37 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and number 29 in Canada. The song first appeared on the band's second album on Attic, the 1984 Katrina and the Waves 2. The song, about a woman confronting her boyfriend, has a bouncy beat and growling guitars.

"Que Te Quiero", also from their second album, stalled as a single at number 71 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in 1985. Musically, this song about running away for love has a south-west rock vibe to it. The title is Spanish for "I love you".

"Machine Gun Smith" also comes from their 1983 debut. It is a high energy number that really rocks.

From that second album came "Cry For Me", a slower blues-rock number.

Side two kicks off with the hit "Walking on Sunshine", a re-recorded version of the song from the 1983 debut. As the lead single, this version went to number 28 in Germany, number 23 in Poland, number 21 on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary and Mainstream Rock charts, number 20 in New Zealand, number 19 on the US Billboard Dance charts, number 14 in Switzerland, number 12 in Sweden, number 9 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 8 in the UK, number 4 in Australia, number 3 in Canada, and number 2 in Ireland. It has been covered by a number of artists, including Dolly Parton and Disney Channel sisters Aly & AJ. It has also appeared in over ten films to date as well as on a number of television shows. This high-energy, uplifting tune was a big dance hit back in the day and was guaranteed to get everyone on their feet. Even today, it makes me smile and want to dance around the room when I hear it.

"Going Down to Liverpool", a song about being unemployed in England, also first appeared on the 1983 debut. The Bangles then did a cover of it on their 1984 debut album All Over the Place. Katrina provided the lead vocals on the re-recorded version for this album. It was released as the B-side to the first single.

The final three tracks here also first appeared on the band's second album.

"Mexico" has a bit of a Spanish-rock sound to it, with the band channeling Ritchie Valens' "La Bamba". it is a fun, up-tempo tune.

The band slows things down with "The Sun Won't Shine Without You", a love song about how important her man is to her life. It was used for the B-side to the second single.

The record closes out with the rousing "The Game of Love". A guest horn section helps the band out on this one.

I bought Katrina and the Wave digitally from emusic many years back, along with the group's earlier albums. While most would write them off as one-hit wonders, I definitely think their catalog is worth checking out. You might find a few hidden gems in there as I have.

1 comment:

HERC said...

When I snatched this album up, I had no idea it was a compilation of sorts so thinks for dropping that knowledge.

Was certain it was still on the vinyl wall but alas it is not. The import twelve inch of "Walking On Sunshine" is, though. Took that one for a spin and am ready for a great and glorious day.

Yes, Katrina, it does feel good.