Friday, September 18, 2009

Romeo Void - "Never Say Never" (forgotten song)

Romeo Void had two minor hits in the early 1980s: 1982's "Never Say Never" and 1984's "A Girl in Trouble (Is a Temporary Thing)". While the latter is a decent song, it sounds a bit too much like Duran Duran. Fortunately, the former is a perfect example of early 80s new wave: part disco, part punk. And it prominently features a saxophone -- an instrument that had all but disappeared from main steam pop music by the late 80s (not including sub-genres such as ska & ska-punk; " ain't what they call rock and roll").

Most know "Never Say Never" by Debora Iyall's signature lyric "I might like you better if we slept together", presaging Liz Phair by 10+ years. Sure, that's a great line, but did you catch "sunsuit girls must be discreet / nursing their fathers locked inside/ they masqueraded as his bride" -- that's heavy stuff. Although Iyall is a great singer and has the punk vocal sneer down pat, one can't help but wonder if Romeo Void would have achieved more success if Iyall looked more like Liz Phair and less like Rosie O'Donnell ("...put the blame on VTR").

There are two versions of this song: a 6 min version, radio-unfriendly version from the 1982 EP "Never Say Never" (which was co-produced by Ric Ocasek), and 3:30 radio edit released on the 1982 LP "Benefactor".

Radio Edit: YouTube (the video, ironically enough, features a full minute of beginning filler).

Original Version: Rhapsody, 4shared.

Bonus Link: YouTube: a cover by Queens of the Stone Age on some versions of the 2000 LP "Rated R". It's not a particularly good cover, but it should make you appreciate Romeo Void and Deborah Iyall that much more.

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