Message on a wire comin' through a wall

Stan Ridgway started his carreer in the band Wall Of Voodoo from L.A. in 1977. Their music was a fusion between synthesizer-based new wave music with the spaghetti Western soundtrack style of Ennio Morricone. They scored their biggest success with the single "Mexican Radio" and their second album "Call Of The West" in 1982. After their second album Stan left the band to prepare for his solo career. He first collaborated with Stewart Copeland from The Police on the song "Don't Box Me In" from the soundtrack to Francis Ford Coppola's "Rumble Fish".
Wall Of Vodoo in 1981
In 1986 Stan Ridgway released his first solo album titled "The Big Heat". It includes the hitsingle "Camouflage" that reached #4 in the UK and #11 in the Netherlands. On the album he expanded the Wall of Voodoo sound further into the world of synthpop and new wave and mostly abandoning the spaghetti western stylistic approach. Story telling lyrics and emotional arrangements were his formula. Sketches about soldiers, cabbies and other outcasts. In The US he didn't impress with his first solo album.
Camouflage - single cover
The success continued on his second album titled "Mosquitos" from 1989 which included Tori Amos on backing vocals before she started her solo career. She was at that moment still trying to breakthough with her band Y Kant Tori Read but never managed to succeed in doing this. Again he scored a hitsingle with "Calling Out To Carol". Finally he charted in the US with "Going Southbound" at #8 as well as "Calling Out To Carol" at #13. The album tells the story of a person named Heat. Heat realises that leaving his little town isn't the answer as well as drinking liqour. Acceptance comes from facing who you are. It could be autobiographical referring to Stan's own life.
After his first two albums he released more albums but never reached the success of those first two albums again.
Original album cover
The Big Heat
The Big Heat / Pick It Up (And Put It in Your Pocket) / Can't Stop the Show / Pile Driver / Walkin' Home Alone / Drive, She Said / Salesman / Twisted / Camouflage / Rio Greyhound
Original album cover
Heat Takes a Walk / Lonely Town / Goin' Southbound / Dogs / Can't Complain / Peg and Pete and Me / Newspaper / Calling Out to Carol / The Last Honest Man / A Mission in Life

Calling Out to Carol



Lonely Town

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