2007   JULY 24   #205

Debi Neal

Side 1:
   Not This Girl (2:45)
   Krissie (3:37)
Side 2:
   Lighten the Shadows (3:21)
   One Shot Deal (3:13)

I received this record through an associate of Bill Mumy (the kid from Lost in Space, and more recently, one half of Barnes & Barnes as his alter-ego, Art Barnes). It seems that back in 1981, Mumy and a bunch of his friends somehow got together with this Debi Neal person (probably the girlfriend of one of them, pffft) and recorded this 13-minute, ten-inch(!) picture disc. Apparently only 250 copies were made, and I own number 63. Too good to just have regular black vinyl and a picture sleeve, huh? And there's no reason this EP couldn't have fit on a 7", either. As such, since it is a picture disc, I apologize for the high amounts of surface noise.

I don't think it's very hard to tell why Ms. Neal's career didn't take off. All four songs on this EP are musically unremarkable and terribly hackneyed- the worst offender is "Krissie", where Debi moans "Krissie, don't nobody love you? Is that the reason why you left school?" and how Krissie never sleeps because she's "scared of dreaming". Oh, BOO HOO! Your standard mushy sob-story of a life gone down the wrong path. Unfortunately, it's also the most memorable tune because of an unrelenting three-chord piano riff that refuses to let up during the entire song (which also happens to be the longest on the record). Debi's voice also sounds weak and unsubstantial; perhaps it's the mixing, but it's probably just that her voice just isn't very distinctive at all. I detect some multitracking of it on the choruses, which barely helps and just ends up proving my point more. The backing vocals (provided by the band?) aren't any better.

The most notable thing about this EP today is its aforementioned connection to Mumy, who co-wrote the jazzy "Lighten the Shadows", which starts side-B. I doubt he remembers much about the record today. I was able to find out that Debi sang backup vocals on several Eric Burdon albums- oh, so the guy who started War wasn't good enough to stick with, huh?

- Contributed by: The Swill Man

Images: Label, Disc, Pic

Media: 33 rpm 10" promotional picture disc, #63/250
Label: "A Pic Disc Product", "Direction" by "The Fitzgerald Hartley Co."
Tracks 1, 2 and 4 written by Debi Neal, track 3 written by Debi Neal and Bill Mumy
Produced by Paul Gordon
Players: Kevin Dukes, Mark Williams, Michael Barry, Paul Fox
Engineered by Frank Wolf
Recorded at George Englunds (sic)
Date: 1981