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Concrete Blonde

Concrete Blonde grew out of the Los Angeles post-punk club circuit that produced bands like X, Wall of Voodoo, and the Go-Go's, but it wasn't until 1987 that the band even recorded its first album. The group was founded by singer/songwriter/bassist Johnette Napolitano and guitarist Jim Mankey, who initially called themselves Dream 6 and released an EP. Their insistence on complete artistic control was off-putting to the major labels who took notice, however, and it wasn't until 1987 that the group signed to I.R.S. and changed its name to Concrete Blonde at the suggestion of labelmate Michael Stipe. Concrete Blonde's self-titled debut album betrayed the influence of the Pretenders, while 1989's Free was a tighter showcase for Napolitano's developing songwriting and produced a college radio hit with "God Is a Bullet." The morose, textured Bloodletting, a more accomplished record than both of its predecessors, broke the band to a wider audience with the left-field Top 20 hit "Joey," the tale of a love affair ended by alcoholism. Mexican Moon reflected Napolitano's interest in Hispanic music and culture, but Concrete Blonde's commercial fortunes had declined since Bloodletting, and Napolitano broke up the band. They reunited between 2001 and 2004, however, releasing two albums during that period, 2002's Group Therapy and 2004's Mojave, the latter featuring new drummer Gabriel Ramirez-Quezada. Napolitano announced the second and apparently final breakup of Concrete Blonde in June of 2006. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Noisemakers they are
lastgasp61
Joey is a song so great I just have no words.
One of the greatest guitarists alive is Jim Mankey. Without his unbelievable rhythm and lead riffs, the band would be good, with them they're outstanding.
Where's Harry the original drummer? He was the backbone of the band.
I've seen her perform about in '06 or '07 in SD. She is absolutely amazing, does not disappoint!
If a female vampire could sing this is what she'd sound like. I mean that in a good way.
I wish the great bands would tour way down south like Blonde.
I stand corrected. Blonde is still together. I must make a road trip to see them.
I discovered Blonde too late to see them in concert but still listening to their music is liberating.
jwu15
20 years ago they were playing in San Francisco but they did a show couple days before that in a small venue under the name Dream 6 and sent out invitations to all the people on the Concrete Blonde mailing list. That was one of the most awesome shows I've ever seen. Thanks, Johnette.
put on a great show here at park west in chicago last december
j.brian.ouel l e t t e
To be fair, this bio is a bit old. They reunited after this bio was written.
great live band
yeti30312
The moron who wrote this bio should be fired. They are still together,sti l l touring,stil l recording.
Little wing , my favorite!! Love them!!!
I too LOVE this band. I have since the first LP. The first time I heard Adele, I thought, Oh my god that's Johnette!!!! I wonder what Johnette thinks of Adele and I wonder if Adele has ever heard Johnette? They are not identical, of course, but it sure seems like Adele went to the Johnette Napolitano school of haunting vocals.
I saw them over 20 years ago for the first time they open up for sting. I thought they were better than sting
I just love this band
Saw them last night in Chicago... just as badass as 20 years ago!
Can't believe Pandora didn't mention Still In Hollywood. 120 Minutes played the f**k out of it. They also did a cover a Everybody Knows by Cohen on the Pump Up The Volume soundtrack. Whomever does these reviews don't know chit about the bands they are reviewing.
lilshish64
Concrete Blonde paved the way for the current vampire craze. Can't believe True Blood hasn't featured music from Bloodletting yet. Dumb HBO execs.
lilshish64
One of my all-time favorites. Best moment was in the 90s and they played the Chestnut Cabaret in Philly during a snowstorm. Only 100 brave fans made it to the show but Johnette, Jim and Harry didn't care. She came out drunk as hell and did an amazing rendition of Mercedes Benz, Janis Joplin style. Unreal and one of the best shows I ever witnessed.
hellomrs.rob i n s o n
walked the earth to see them. will walk it again. long live the blonde
sir_robert_i i
I still love Johnette. Saw them live in the late 80s... Lots of music coming from three musicians. Dance Along the Edge is one of the finest tunes ever...
Saw this band at First Ave in Minneapolis. ROCKED! Such great musicians
My favorites by this band are Caroline and Cold Part of Town .
peabuttnutte r
Joey is a good song but if you really want chills up your spine listen to Cold part of town.
A great Blast in the Past! A terrific example of music that didn't suck in the 90's
just searched for concrete blonde...sin c e I hadn't listened to this band since the 90's...oh how this takes me back! So glad to find this on Pandora!! I'm a little proud that I still rememered all the of the lyrics to Joey as well! My all tme favorite!!
I cant get Caroline out of my head . the one song that gives me peace even though it seem sad
danb7273
I'm 56 and have every CB album, Mexican Moon being my favorite. Free was my 1st and Mankey with his signature style is 1 of my favorite guitarists.
i been listening to the blonde since the 80's
What a band! Love them........ . . . .
A new favorite of mine. Thanks to Pandora I have passed Joey.
one song i know really of them called joey,shoulda been called danny .good song..i can relate
GENOVALLE
if you get the chance to see them live, take it! they are in Austin Oct. 27th and I'm thinking about flying in. I see them about every other year, always braced for the chance she's lost it, lost her voice, her energy. Every time I am more amazed by the show than the last time. Love them.
So talented...
Johnette is one of the main people who inspired me to learn how to play bass. That was 15 years ago, and I still think of her each time I get on stage. Bloodletting is one of my all-time favorite albums!
They need to add "Group Therapy" to the discography.
I wore out my vinyl and casette versions of Bloodletting .
thomas.marsd e n 3
My god, Her voice still gives me shivers 20 years later!
johnette is the real deal!i fell in love with her voice and inflection of the music seems lke only yesterday.on l y one close is chrisie hynde forever JOHNETTE
UNA DE LAS MEJORES BANDAS DEL MUNDO ESTILO UNICO >>>
Concrete Blonde saved me from the agonies of high school back in the 80s
milosdad
I love listening to Free. Just makes me happy.
The power of the original trio is something that has inspired me as a musician from the very first minute that I saw them over 20 years ago. The reunion tour this year was just as good if not better.
amarketon
Wish there were more female singers like Johnette. New music these days, when it comes to most female singers, is just awful and they all sound the same. When you hear Johnette sing, you KNOW it's her.
Favorite band of all time PERIOD!!!
No one has ever managed to take a step in Johnette's shoes. CB is my favorite band and Bloodletting is easily in my top five favorite albums. I've had a copy since I first heard it and replaced it every time I needed to.

Heck of a thing for an unrepentant metal-head, eh?
I feel that Johnette is not just a singer she's an artist in every sense of the word. It's just unfortuneate that the Blonde came out during that horrible time when seattle puked out all that flanel garbage it did in the 90's that so overshadowed the true artist like johnette. Her music is truly the soundtrack of my life and I'm a better person for having experienced it.
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