Monday, May 17, 2010

New Wave for the New Week #66

For a band that had two well-loved cult hits, very little biographical data is out there concerning Los Angeles New Wavers Burning Sensations.

Formed by Tim McGovern after he left The Motels, Burning Sensations attempted to meld New Wave pop with multi-cultural sensibilities, with mixed results. Their 1982 debut, a four-song EP, put them on the map with the postively joyous "Belly of the Whale" - the first example of their "world-beat new wave" sound clicking on all cylinders. The song is insanely catchy and the video, which received moderate airplay on MTV at the time, puts the whole thing over the top. Fun, funny, danceable, memorable, and should have been a bigger hit than it was. A full self-titled album followed hoping to build off the success of "Belly of the Whale," but nothing else came close.

In 1984, Burning Sensations would pop up on the radar one last time, exiting with almost as big of an impact as they arrived. That year, they contributed a cover of Jonathan Richman's "Pablo Picasso" to the soundtrack of the movie Repo Man; their cover became almost more well-known than the original thanks to the publicity it received by being attached to the film. If there were hopes of this soundtrack appearance leading to a second album, they were never realized. Burning Sensations disappeared.

"Belly of the Whale" remains a classic piece of New Wave bubblegum, and is presented as this week's NW4NW entry. Enjoy!

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