Plasmatics Beyond The Valley Of 1984 on LP
The legendary Wendy O. Williams (aka "Queen of Shock Rock," "Queen of Punk," "Dominatrix of the Decibels" and "High Priestess of Metal") and the Plasmatics, the band of changing musicians built around her by radical anti-artist Rod Swenson, revolutionized American culture and music creating a seismic shock wave still being felt today. They introduced the mohawk to mass American culture, fused punk and metal when these groups despised each other and produced stage shows which included the chainsawing of guitars and the blowing up of full size cars.
Beyond the Valley of 1984, the second Plasmatics album, released in 1981, was recorded during one of the most intense periods in Williams and the Plasmatics careers. Following a show in Milwaukee, Wendy was arrested by the Vice Squad on an alleged obscenity charge and beaten unconsciousness. When Rod attempted to go to her defense he too was beaten unconscious. Two nights later after being released on bail Wendy was arrested again in Cleveland on a similar charge and the band now faced serious and mounting legal bills to get out of jail.
Dates followed in Europe with riots after a number of the shows while in the States the Bond's Legal Defense fund benefit shows were set up in New York to raise money to pay the legal bills, and it was right at this time when the landmark Beyond the Valley of 1984 with its Orwellian and apocalyptic themes was recorded. In between touring drummers, Alice Cooper's drummer Neil Smith was brought in to play drums, and the 50's group The Angels were used for backing vocals on the song "Summer Nite."
The album contains numerous classics such as "Masterplan," "Living Dead," "Fast Food Service," "Nothing" and "Pig is a Pig" sung with ferocity and passion coming in no small part from the upcoming trials in Milwaukee. As usual with the Plasmatics the music was ahead of its time with its beginning here of the synthesis of punk and metal, and the first tiime the audience heard the country western opening of "Pig is a Pig" jaws dropped to the floor.
"Valley's cover," wrote Cream Magazine's Edouard Dauphin, "is a masterwork of orchestrated chaos, surrealistic vision and...awesome logistics," while the record inside, he wrote "draws a bead on the laundry list of sickies, sadists, culture vultures, and money clutchers...(a) definitive cry of outrage against those who would like to manipulate and control our patterns of thinking."
Plasmatics Beyond The Valley Of 1984 Track Listing:
4. Summer Nite
6. Fast Food Service
8. Living Dead
9. Sex Junkie
10. Plasma Jam
11. Pig Is A Pig