Romeo Void “Benefactor”

 

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#775 in the Series) is Romeo Void, Benefactor.

Romeo Void’s Benefactor album is another perfect example of some of the cool post punk/new wave sounds of the early 80s. There was a refreshing blend that mixed a little bit of punk, a little bit of ska, a little bit of the new romantics and maybe even a touch of reggae at times.  It allowed many people to hit the dance floor again that might not have since growing tired quickly of the disco era.

Benefactor was released in 1982 and stood up well alongside albums released by bands such as The Psychedelic Furs, Ministry, OMD, Our Daughter’s Wedding, A Flock of Seagulls, Modern English, The Motels, Haircut 100, Split Enz or even Bow Wow Wow etc. I dug the sound and I was never known as “Joe Dancer.”  It allowed me to hear some great playing in the clubs while the dancers were doing whatever that is they do.

A common thread with some of those acts was cool saxophone playing.  It was a great chance to hear some good old fashioned dirty sax playing like we had in the 60s with bands like The Dave Clark Five. No, sax never went away but you’d never confuse the style of Romeo Void’s Benjamin Bossi or The Furs’ Duncan Kilburn with Clarence Clemons or Pink Floyd’s Dick Parry (think “Us and Them”).

Romeo Void was fronted by Debora Iyall. Peter Wood added some nice grungy guitar. The full band shared writing credits on this album.  The only song that they didn’t pen on here was a cover of Isaac Hayes’ “Wrap It Up.”

While this album was strong from front to back it was very much known to many for the home of their great song “Never Say Never.”  The edited version was on the album but it spawned a lengthy remix EP that every club played. You can hear both versions below.

While this release was the favorite of man Romeo Void fans it wasn’t the album for which they were best known.  That would be the follow up, 1984’s Insticts. That album did very well for them on the strength of the single “A Girl In Trouble (Is a Temporary Thing”). We’ve added that for you below as well.

— Larry Carta

Track listing

All songs written by Debora Iyall, Peter Woods, Frank Zincavage, Benjamin Bossi, Larry Carter unless otherwise noted.

  1. “Never Say Never (edit)” – 3:27
  2. “Wrap It Up” (Isaac Hayes, David Porter) – 3:15
  3. “Flashflood” – 4:55
  4. “Undercover Kept” – 6:05
  5. “Ventilation” – 3:55
  6. “Chinatown” – 3:18
  7. “Orange” – 4:15
  8. “Shake the Hands of Time” – 3:19
  9. “S.O.S.” – 5:30

Personnel

  • Debora Iyall – vocals
  • Peter Wood – guitar
  • Benjamin Bossi – saxophone
  • Frank Zincavage – bass
  • Larry Carter – drums, percussion

Additional personnel

  • Walter Turbitt – guitar
  • Marybeth O’Hara – backing vocals
  • Norman Salant – saxophone

Extended Version of “Never Say Never”

BONUS VIDEO: A Girl in Trouble (is a Temporary Thing)

Here are some additional Post Punk and Punk albums

  • Eagulls Treat Phoenix Faithful to High Energy Show
  • Lovesick Saints 'Dia De Los Muertos'
  • Nina Hagen Band 'Nina Hagen Band'
  • The Jam
  • Tuff Darts 'Tuff Darts!'
  • Pussy Riot 'Punk Prayer'
  • The Shaggs 'Philosophy of the World'
  • Talking Heads 'Naked'
  • Robert Gordon 'Rock Billy Boogie'
  • Wreckless Eric 'Wreckless Eric'
  • Old Man Markley 'Down Side Up'
  •  Gibby Haynes (with Jack White) 'Paul's Not Home'
  • Blondie 'Parallel Lines'
  • Minutemen 'Double Nickels on the Dime'
  • Bram Tchaikovsky 'Strange Man, Changed Man'
  • Romeo Void
  • Iggy Pop
  • New York Dolls
  • The Clash
  • Buck Satan and the 666 Shooters
  • The Undertones
  • Garland Jeffreys
  • The Ramones
  • The Wildhearts
  • The Teardrop Explodes
  • Jim Jones Revue
  • Stiff Little Fingers
  • The Screaming Blue Messiahs
  • Orange Juice
  • Elvis Costello and the Attractions
  • Echo and The Bunnymen
  • Lou Reed
  • The Clash
  • Ramones
  • Sex Pistols "Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols"
Posted by Larry Carta


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