80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/ Bands ~ The Nails

So many of the artists and bands featured in this series have been named “one-hit” wonders. Although this title may hold up from a statistical viewpoint, in many instances the artist/band did indeed have more than one “hit” (maybe just not a top-10 chart topper), and/or ultimately produced a much better body of work than the declared “hit.”

The Nails falls into the latter category. Formed in the mid-seventies in Boulder, CO, the group originally started out with Marc Campbell (vocals), George Kaufman (bassist, RIP 2009), Douglas Guthrie (saxophone), Mike Ratti followed by Dennis McDermott (drums), Dave Kaufman (keyboards), and Steve O’Rourke (guitar).

The Nails languished on the club circuit for several years before moving to New York. There, they recorded an EP in 1981 that contained the song they are most well-known for: “88 Lines About 44 Women.” Even though it contains unmistakable (and hilarious) double-entendres, “88 Lines” enjoyed widespread airplay, bringing the band well-deserved attention.

The problem is, The Nails have other New Wave gems that most of us have never heard. Thanks to airplay on such obscure-80’s focused shows as Ed-FM’s Retrospect , and David Marsden’s twice-a-week broadcast on 94.9 The Rock, some incredibly great Nails songs have surfaced. Ed-FM’s show has aired such nuggets as “Home of the Brave (Apocalyptic Bepop),” “Juanita Juanita,” “Hotel For Women,” “Things You Left Behind,” and “ Every Time I Touch You.” David Marsden keeps the infamous “88 Lines” alive, more importantly, fueling the band’s memory.

The band recorded three albums, only two of which were released in the 80’s. The third album, “Corpus Christi, decorated a shelf for 5 years before finally seeing the light of day in 1993. Fortunately, these collections are still in print and can be found here.

Again, the lesson here is if you loved a song that a band/ artist was noted for, or even if you think of a solid group/ artist that has been deemed a “one-hit wonder,” dig a little further. Chances are, there are songs that received no promotion for a multitude of reasons (corporate hubris), and that outshine the ones that were in heavy rotation.

“Home Of The Brave” via YouTube user dak8844:

“Let It All Hang Out” via YouTube user NormN354:

“Things You Left Behind” via YouTube user disident666:

 “88 Lines About 44 Women” via YouTube user Fronic:

Discography

Mood Swing (1984)
(1986)
(recorded 1988, released 1993)

Dangerous Dreams

Corpus Christi

Advertisements

9 thoughts on “80’s Music Rules ~ Criminally Underrated Artists/ Bands ~ The Nails

  1. I was looking forward to your post this week. I have been listening to there music all week. Great job.

    Cheers

    Ed

    Like

  2. I saw The Nails perform at the Charles Ives Center for the Performing Arts – an outdoor space – with David Johanson and (I think) NRBQ years and years ago. They were great fun live and “Let It All Hang Out” blew the non-existent roof off the place!

    Like

  3. Heya ((((Joey)))))) – I’m really liking some of their other offerings. “88 Lines* is a brilliant song, but it has been played to death, which I find odd, because they have other songs that blow that one away. I am always curious to know why certain songs are picked for promotion and others overlooked. At any rate, they *look* like they’d be a fun band to see live. Thanks for your comment!

    Hugs,
    MissP
    xo

    Like

  4. Hey, this is unrelated to the Nails, but I am looking for music/references to a women’s punk band that played in Vancouver club scene in the 80’s. Any suggestions on where to look?They were called Cracked Maria.

    Like

  5. Heya bryhre –

    I did a quick look on Google and came up enpty-handed. I’ll keep on looking this weekend and if I should come across anything, I’ll get in touch – thanks for stopping by.

    Cheers!

    Like

  6. I saw The Nails perform at the Charles Ives Center for the Performing Arts – an outdoor space – with David Johanson and (I think) NRBQ years and years ago. They were great fun live and “Let It All Hang Out” blew the non-existent roof off the place!

    ^^^
    I remember that gig, Marc was sick with the flu or something and it was hot as hell out. We weren’t used to play day gigs back than. Did a good show with David Jo though. Thanks for the kind words.

    Steve O’Rourke

    Like

  7. Thank *you* for sharing your story – I live vicariously through comments like yours.

    Hugs,
    MissP
    xo

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s