Smiths Complete - Available at Rhino.coma-ha "Hunting High & Low" and "Scoundrel Days" Deluxe Editions Rhino Handmade raids the vault!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

"I needed the heat from a young man's lips to break the darkness of my room..."

New Wave slammed headfirst into the '60s girl group aesthetic and out came Get Wet, a duo led by the chirpy vocals of Sherri Beachfront (really?) aided by songwriter Zecca Esquibel. Signed to Neil Bogart's post-Casablanca label Boardwalk Records, the band had some promotional muscle behind it that scored the duo a shot on American Bandstand, where they mimed their single, "Just So Lonely."

An upbeat, chirpy number at odds with its lyrics, "Just So Lonely" caught the ears of a few regional Top 40 program directors and began to climb the charts, thanks in no small part to the superb Phil Ramone production. Beachfront's voice didn't hurt either - a mix of classic teen romance angst with a new wave squeal, not unlike her contemporary, the lead singer of a similar retro-futurist combo called Blue Angel who went by the name Cyndi Lauper. The Blue Angel/Lauper comparison was even more striking on "Lonely's" b-side, "Turn On Your Lights,", a more straight-ahead new wave number.

Get Wet bested Blue Angel by copping a Top 40 hit, something Lauper's band was unable to do. But despite the promotional push and nationwide TV exposure, Get Wet was left with that single (barely) hit and not much else. Their self-titled debut album is long out of print, but "Just So Lonely" turned up on the awkwardly named Then: Totally Oldies '80s Again Vol. 7, keeping this should-have-been summer smash available.

Zecca continues to perform as a keyboardist and Sherri is an HIV educator and activist who hosts Straight Girl In A Queer World, a podcast for the here! network.

"Just So Lonely" peaked at #39 on the Billboard Pop Singles Chart in 1981.

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posted by John, 2:40 PM