Personnel: Chris Jacks (guitar); Mitch Kaplan (pandora, keyboards, vibraslap); Derrick Smit (keyboards, drums, programming, keyboard programming, drum programming); Mike Green (keyboards, keyboard programming, drum programming); Brooks Brunner, Denise Fraser (drums); Curtis King, Robbie Brown, Robert Brown, Mitchy, Julie Griffen (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Doug DeAngelis.
Recording information: .38 Fresh, Los Angeles, CA; Axis Studios, New York, NY; Axis, New York, NY; Bakery, Burbank, CA; David Dunn Recording, Los Angeles, CA; East Hill Studios, New York, NY; East Hill, NY, NY; Entourage Studios, North Hollywood, CA; Entourage, Burbank, CA; Power Station Studios, New York, NY; Powerstation, NY; Soundtracks Recording Studios, New York, NY; Soundtracks, NY, NY; The Bakery, Burbank, CA.
Photographer: Ellen Von Unwerth.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Mitch Kaplan; Derrick Smit.
Sandra Bernhard's 1994 album, Excuses for Bad Behavior, Pt. 1, went largely unnoticed, which is unfortunate because the album is quite funny and very musical. Bernhard's red-hot interpretation of the Sylvester classic "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)," which tells the story of a young man's coming out experience in San Francisco, turned out to be a Top Ten U.S. dance hit but was about all the attention the album ever received. The album includes several originals, including the Madonna-esque "Who Knew?!," as well as her signature interpretations of rock classics such as the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil," Jimi Hendrix' "Manic Depression" (retitled "Manic Superstar"), and a sizzling remake of Paul Simon's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover." Her wit and humor, whether obvious, subtle, or ironic, is prevalent on nearly every track. On spoken word interludes, she pokes fun at topics ranging from the prevalence of Christmas in Jewish life to militant lesbians. She channels Dionne Warwick and other clairvoyants on "Prophecies," which, despite its obvious humor, possesses an irresistible hook, which is another one of her trademarks: No matter how funny the topic, the music is always catchy and first-rate, resulting in serious, earnest performances and further showcasing her wide array of talents. Of note is "Phone Sex," probably the funniest song on the album, which finds her imitating a selfish, fitness-obsessed phone sex operator to a shuffling, hypnotic R&B beat. This overlooked gem is a comedic, earnest, and thoughtful album from one of the most engaging and dynamic personalities of her time. Also check out the artwork, which finds Bernhard sprawled on a bed in a cheap and sleazy rundown motel. ~ Jose Promis