Wall Of Voodoo Biography

Formed in Los Angeles, California, USA, in 1977, in the immediate punk aftermath, Wall Of Voodoo initially comprised Stan Ridgway (Stanard Ridgway, 5 April 1954, Barstow, California, USA; vocals/keyboards), Bill Noland (guitar/vocals), Chas T. Gray (b. Charles Gray; keyboards/synthesizer) and Joe Nanini (b. Oliver Joseph Nanini, 1955, Japan, d. 4 December 2000, Atlanta, Georgia, USA; drums). However, by the release of 1980’s self-titled EP and the following year’s Dark Continent, Noland had been replaced by ex-Skulls member Marc Moreland (b. West Covina, USA, d. 13 March 2002, Paris, France) while Bruce Moreland had been added on bass. The latter was then dropped for Call Of The West, possibly the unit’s finest album, on which their sense of rhythm and wash of synthesizer lines underscored Ridgway’s droning, offhand vocals, and film noir-influenced lyrics. The band enjoyed a minor radio hit with the album’s best track, ‘Mexican Radio’. Any potential this offered was sundered with Ridgway’s departure in 1983. While he went on to enjoy a UK Top 5 single with ‘Camouflage’, Wall Of Voodoo pursued a less successful career led by new vocalist Andy Prieboy. The returning Bruce Moreland and new drummer Ned Leukhardt featured on the strong Seven Days In Sammystown, but subsequent albums, although of intermittent interest, lacked the adventure of their earlier work. Prieboy went on to release the solo albums ... Upon My Wicked Son (1990) and Sins Of Our Fathers (1995), while Marc Moreland became a session musician and recorded a solo album under the name Department Of Crooks. He died of kidney failure in March 2002 at the age of 44.

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

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