Missing Persons Biography

This 80s new wave act comprised Dale Bozzio (Dale Frances Consalvi, 2 March 1955, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; vocals), her husband Terry Bozzio (b. 27 December 1950, San Francisco, California, USA; drums/keyboards; formerly of the Frank Zappa band and UK), Warren Cuccurullo (b. 8 December 1956, Brooklyn, New York City, USA; guitar) and Patrick O’Hearn (b. 6 September 1954, Los Angeles, California, USA; bass/keyboards), both also veterans of earlier Zappa formations. Outwardly bearing an image of space age sexuality they produced a radio-friendly power pop sound. They released a debut EP, having changed name from U.S. Drag, after which they signed to Capitol Records who re-released the EP with extra tracks as the Missing Persons mini-album. Their debut album, the anagramatical Spring Session M, brought Dale Bozzio’s vocals to the fore, and managed to sound simultaneously playful and world-weary. The musical backing anticipated the synthesizer-led bands of the mid- to late 80s, but the lyrics were largely in advance of anything those bands were using. Rhyme & Reason perfected the formula, igniting typical rock ‘n’ roll topics such as ‘Surrender Your Heart’ with an appealing subtext of intrigue and disaffection. For Color In Your Life, the band changed tack. Bernard Edwards took over the producer’s role, and the addition of horns and funk rhythms did little to extend their appeal, and in many ways neutered it. An obvious attempt to make Missing Persons a credible dance pop band, the results were passable but disappointing given their previous work. The band broke up in consequence (the Bozzios having already done so on a personal level), leaving Cuccurullo to join Duran Duran and Dale to sign a solo contract with Prince’s Paisley Park imprint. O’Hearn went on to record well-received instrumental albums for Private Music. The band reconvened for a series of live shows in 2001 and again during 2006/7.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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