Artist: Klaus Nomi
Album: "Klaus Nomi"
Release Date: 1981
Genre: Synth-Pop, New-Wave, Dark-Cabaret
Mood: Theatrical, Irreverent, Cold, Dramatic
Reminds Of: Fad Gadget, Soft Cell, Lene Lovich, Sparks
What People Think: RYM
Definitely Worth Buying: CdUniverse, Amazon
1. Keys Of Life
2. Lightning Strikes
3. The Twist
4. Nomi Song
5. You Don't Own Me
6. The Cold Song
7. Wasting My Time
8. Total Eclipse
9. Nomi Chant
10. Samson And Delilah (Aria)
One of the first prominent persons to die of AIDS, Klaus Nomi mixed rock and disco stylings with a classical and operatic repertoire. He was born Klaus Sperber in Berlin in 1945, but moved to New York in the mid-'70s, working as a pastry chef and nightclub singer. One of his sets impressed David Bowie, and Nomi soon found himself backing the star on Saturday Night Live. He began touring Europe and the U.S. as a cabaret act and signed to RCA in 1980. His first single was a cover of Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling in Love," and his 1982 debut album included compositions from Chubby Checker alongside Charles Camille Saint-Saëns. Nomi later worked with famed electro producer Man Parrish, but covered baroque composer Henry Purcell as well as Donna Summer. He died on August 6, 1983, after which several compilations were released plus a live date in America.
It only takes a quick look at the cover to get a reasonably decent idea that this isn't your typical pop album: Decked out in a grossly oversized suit and heavy theatrical makeup, Klaus Nomi is not your typical pop singer, either. Both the cover and the music within lean heavily to the dramatic -- Nomi's delivery is all in a very operatic falsetto, though most of the music itself is more of the early-'80s European dance school (indeed, one of his collaborators here was Man Parrish, probably best-known for his later work with Man 2 Man). Only one of the tracks here was self-penned; rather, Nomi gets down to work here as an interpreter, turning in suitably skewed versions of "Lightning Strikes" and Chubby Checker's "The Twist." The real highlights here are his take on Kristian Hoffman's song "Total Eclipse," and a rather straight (ahem) reading of the aria from Saint-Saens' classical work Samson and Delilah. It's pretty hard to imagine your typical classical music buff embracing this song, let alone the entire album, but fans of off-kilter pop music will certainly find a lot to love about this album.
"I'm a simple man, I do the best I can, I got a simple, simple plan, I hope you understand"
Watch Klaus Nomi performing "Total Eclipse" live...
A short interview of Klaus Nomi...
Read more on wiki...
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Artist: Klaus Nomi