By the spring of '83 when we recorded the new 2nd LP, I was totally stressed out. The record company not only rejected the original LP I turned in, but they degraded it yelling, “Freaks, freaks, Barbie Dolls! What is this shit you’re singing about?” I really wanted to make the new revised LP be the best it could be, but we had no budget, therefore no time to develop the record into a totally focused work. I remember one record executive throwing the tapes against the wall during the new sessions and just yelling AT THE TOP OF HIS LUNGS at me. These people were supposedly on my team, yet they kept attacking me. Didn’t they remember who they originally signed?
Secret Lover: One
of the good things that came out of re-recording the 2nd LP was that everyone
became more involved in the creative process.
Secret Lover was shaped as a true group effort.
Wild Night Tonight: Hanging out for years in East Chicago and Gary, Indiana and in South Chicago inspired this: The gangs, violence, shootings, and that ever-present feeling that something “wild” was always on the verge of happening.
Made Up In The Dark: I woke up hearing these words, “Eye shadow’s blue, your lipstick’s red, in a room you’re alone, are you made up in the dark?” Since co-lyricist Glinda Harrison had spent the night, I told her that I had this “message” that came to me in my sleep, but I wasn’t sure what it meant. She immediately vibed into the idea that these were the chorus lyrics to a new song, so I wrote the rest of it right then and there.
Victims Of The Night: We wanted to capture a grey, melancholy tone, but didn’t have any time to focus and develop it in the studio. This song deals with the point in people’s lives where they’ve experienced negative repercussions for their choices, and are trapped in a feeling of hopelessness. To me the lyrics reflected an empty “stranger in the city” essence.
She Lives For Love: I revised this piece from our early performances. Live, Karen Winner used to vocally segue from “She Lives For Love” into “Beyond the Sea” by Bobby Darin while I played with a beach ball on the ground. When we did it at CGBG’s in New York, I kept trying to hand the beach ball to the audience and they looked at me like I was Betty Davis in the beach section at the end of the movie “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” I kept forcing the ball to one guy at the front of the stage. He was really hating it. Finally he threw it back at me, and disgustedly stormed out of the club.
Mother Is Waiting: My mother was such a tremendous soprano, that I wanted to at least feature her briefly on the record. Ideally, I would have loved to produce an entire album by her, but at least I’ve got this recording. I thought it would be touching to write about her missing my dad.…
Lover In Masquerade: There’s so many people who wear masks, not just the “comb your hair in the morning” mask, but people who sell illusion, falsehood, all designed to manipulate the mind and heart of another. We wanted to portray the sense of deception we’ve all felt in a relationship.
She’s Taking Her Love Away: Right before we went into the studio in November of 1982, I wrote this in a matter of minutes-again the cosmic flow of the universe lent me a helping hand. It didn’t make sense to me at the time why I wrote it. Then when the record company heard the 1st completed 2nd LP, this was the only song they really liked. Without this particular track, they would have never let us go back into the studio. It seemed ironic to me that the record company then did not release it as the first single from the album.
I Might Move In Next Door: I performed this for years before the press picked up on the idea of me as the freak moving in next door. I really felt proud of myself when the press would say things like “I’m gonna send him to live next door to you!” As ridiculous as this may sound to any sane person, I took such comments as cherished compliments.
Bad Feelings Have Died: The clean and crisp old Moog synthesizers we used really made this song sparkle to me. It was fun for Barbie and I to sing about being out and about, kind of like Petula Clark’s “Downtown.”
Another Time In Another Place:
I wanted to write
about the regrets of a love that seemed so out of sync, badly timed and unable
to work out.