Lene Lovich


Lene Lovich

Infobox Musical artist
Name = Lene Lovich


Img_capt = "Angels" single sleeve, 1979. Lovich is with collaborator Les Chappell.
Img_size = 230
Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = Lili-Marlene Premilovich
Alias =
Born = birth date and age|1949|3|30
Detroit, Michigan USA
Died =
Origin =
Instrument =
Voice_type =
Genre =
Occupation =
Years_active = 1975-present
Label = Stiff Records
Associated_acts =

Lene Lovich (born March 30, 1949) is an American born British singer who first gained attention as part of the New Wave music scene of the late 1970s and early 1980s, mostly due to her high-pitched voice, and quirky style and appearance. She was one of the pioneers of female punk rock whose most popular hit single was "Lucky Number", first released in 1978.

Early years

Lovich was born Lili-Marlene Premilovich in Detroit, Michigan on 30 March 1949 to an English mother and a Serbian father. After her father had health problems, her mother took her and her three siblings to live in Hull, England. Lene was 13 years old at the time.Lovich met the guitarist/songwriter Les Chappell when they were teenagers, and he became her longtime collaborator and life partner. In autumn 1968, they went to London, England to attend art school. It was there that Lovich first tied her hair into the plaits that later became a visual trademark, though at first she did it to keep her hair out of the clay when studying sculpture.

Over the following decade, Lovich attended several art schools, busked around the London Underground and appeared in cabaret clubs as an "Oriental" dancer. She also travelled to Spain, where she visited Salvador Dalí in his home. She played acoustic rock music around London, sang in the mass choir of a show called "Quintessence" at the Royal Albert Hall, played a soldier in Arthur Brown's show, worked as a "go-go" dancer with the Radio One Roadshow, toured Italy with a West Indian soul band, and played saxophone for Bob Flag's Balloon and Banana Band and for an all-girl cabaret trio, The Sensations. She recorded screams for horror films, wrote lyrics for French disco star Cerrone (including the sci-fi dance smash "Supernature," later recorded by Lovich in her own version and by Erasure, as a B-side) and worked with various fringe theatre groups. She was also one of thousands of audience members invited to sing along at the 1972 Lanchester Arts Festival when Chuck Berry recorded the risqué "My Ding-a-Ling" for Chess Records.

1975-1986

In 1975, Lene joined "The Diversions", a funk group that put out five singles and an album on Polydor Records without success.

In 1977, Lovich, along with recording engineer Alain Wisniak, provided lyrics for "Supernature," a song featuring music composed by French percussionist and disco music performer Cerrone. The song, with its surreal lyrics describing a world in which nature has risen to fight against desecration and destruction by humanity, is indicative of Lovich's interest in animal rights issues.

In 1978, disc jockey and author Charlie Gillett presented her recording of "I Think We're Alone Now", a cover version of a song originally performed by Tommy James and the Shondells, to Stiff Records boss, Dave Robinson. Robinson immediately proposed to release it as a single on Stiff, for which Lovich and Chappell had to write and record a B-side at short notice. They came up with "Lucky Number".

Invited by Robinson to participate in the forthcoming Be Stiff Route 78 Tour in 1978, Lovich quickly recorded her first album for Stiff, "Stateless", which spawned the hit singles "Lucky Number" and "Say When." [Discogs.] Lovich's musical style combined her own quirky inventions with then current punk rock and new wave. Lovich recorded the albums "Flex" and "No-Man's-Land" for Stiff over the next few years, as well as an EP titled "New Toy", the title cut penned by touring band member Thomas Dolby. She also recorded vocals for 'Picnic Boy' by The Residents as "Sandy Sandwich."

Lovich co-wrote with Les Chappell and Chris Judge Smith and performed "Mata Hari", a play/musical at the Lyric Hammersmith, London, UK, Oct-Nov 1982. During this time she was having promotion disputes with Stiff. The success of the show and pressure from Epic, her US label, persuaded Stiff to release and promote "No Man's Land".

Following her departure from Stiff, Lovich released "Don't Kill The Animals," a single with Nina Hagen, with whom she had previously appeared in "Cha Cha", a film that also starred Herman Brood; together, the three created the film's soundtrack.

1989 album

In 1989, after an absence of several years due to raising a family, she recorded the album "March". It was only moderately successful and was not released until nearly a year after the album's single "Wonderland" had been issued and had become an American dance hit.

Present day

Lovich continues to perform in much the same style she did back in the 1970s and 1980s, with Les Chappell still at her side. In 2005 she appeared on Hawkwind's " Take Me to Your Leader" CD, as well as appearing occasionally on stage with them.

Lovich's first album since "March", entitled "Shadows and Dust" received a limited release on the Stereo Society label on September 13, 2005.

Lene played for the first time in many years with a full band at the Drop Dead Festival in 2006. In 2007, MVD Visual released "Lene Lovich: Live from New York", a DVD featuring a performance Lovich gave at Studio 54 in 1981.

In the late summer of 2006 Lene Lovich and Les Chappell co-produced a cover of their song Lucky Number, with London 3 Piece Rock/Punk band, Eastroad. The song is still played in the Eastroad set at most gigs, and was very well received in HMP Stocken, when the band played it during part of the Billy Bragg "Jail Guitar Doors project" in late 2007.

Discography

Albums

# "Stateless" (1978) #35 UK
# "Flex" (1979) #19 UK, #39 DE
# "1980 Global Assault - Recorded Live In London And Boston" (1980) Promo only
# "No Man's Land" (1982)
# "March" (1989)
# "Shadows and Dust" (2005)

Compilations

# "The Best Of Lene Lovich" (1997)
# "The Very Best Of" (1997)
# "Lucky Number - The Best Of" (2004)

DVD

* "Lene Lovich: Live from New York" (2007)

Singles

External links

* [http://www.stereosociety.com/lenelovich.html Lena Lovich] at Stereo Society
* [http://www.lenelovich.com/ Lene Lovich fan site]

References

# Discogs


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