Remastering: Annabel Lamb – Once Bitten


Annabel Lamb ca. 1984

Annabel Lamb is a slightly obscure singer who came to my attention when A+M released her debut album, “Once Bitten” in the US in 1983. I saw it in the bins and bought it because it looked interesting. There was a song called “Snake Plisken” on it and any references to John Carpenter’s beloved schlock film “Escape From New York” were endearing enough to investigate. The album was notorious for a cover of The Doors “Riders On The Storm” with Ray Manzarek reprising on keyboards. I remember reading about the single as sold in the UK in Billboard at the time. It seems that A+M courted great controversy by bundling a [PAL] VHS cassette with the single as a freebie to push it up the charts. The BPI then acted to put a moratorium on further such actions that only eventually gave way for that brief period in the 90s when CD singles sometimes had the music video for a song included as a bonus session on a disc for playback on a computer. Then there was that even briefer vogue for DVD singles that completely passed me by.

I liked Annabel Lamb. She has a dry, arid singing style that sounds like nothing else. Her music binds New Wave with jazzy touches that also manage to straddle rock and pop. Her early records were produced by her husband at the time, Wally Brill. He’s best known, probably, for producing Alternative TV and spin off artist Henry Badowski in addition to Ofra Haza. The last thing I have he manned the boards on was Voice Farm’s “Bigger, Cooler, Weirder” album. When her second album, “The Flame” came out in 1984 it was a quantum leap from the latent quality of the first album. Every song on that one was a real winner and the production was closer to dance-rock, making her a slightly easier sell.

After her first two albums on A+M, she moved to RCA for 1986’s “When Angels Travel” and “Brides” from the next year. Subsequent albums seem to have surfaced in Germany only. I have a third album, “Justice,” which is actually her fifth disc as released in Germany on Metronome in 1988. I have a single 12″ single for “The Flame” but I had never ever run across any other Annabel Lamb material, but a friend of mine did and sent me the following 7″ treats. As they arrived yesterday, I’ve not yet had the pleasure of hearing them.

A+M | UK | 7" | 1982 | AMS 8230

Annabel Lamb: Tell Him UK 7″

  1. Tell Him
  2. All-Night TV

This is Annabel’s debut single. It’s completely non-LP. The cover art is surprisingly childish for a woman who just doesn’t go there. If anything her music and singing reminds me of Chrissie Hynde and Marianne Faithfull. Very strong. Who thought this was a good cover?

A+M | UK | 7" | 1982 | AMS 8741

Annabel Lamb: I Know How Love Goes UK 7″

  1. I Know How Love Goes
  2. Electronic Toys

Here’s a second, non-LP single. The cover is still dire. I guess they keep using pink ‘cuz she’s a girl!

A+M | UK | 7" | 1982 | AMS 8257

Annabel Lamb: Cinderella UK 7″

  1. Cinderella
  2. Safety In Numbers

And finally, this was yet another non-LP single that predated her “Once Bitten” album of 1982. Getting these three singles set off proximity alarms in my mind. It might now be a good time to make the definitive CD remaster of “Once Bitten,” which has never been issued on CD. I checked around and lo and behold, “The Flame” is now available on CD RM from Cherry Red with five bonus tracks! These three singles were unknown quantities to me prior to my friend sending them my way. Discogs.com is surprisingly sparse on details and these need to be entered into the database there. Out of curiosity, I dug around some more and found that – gloryoskiAnnabel Lamb has an official website. It reveals all kinds of intriguing information.

A+M | UK | LP | 1982 | AMLH 68555

Annabel Lamb: Once Bitten UK LP

  1. Once Bitten
  2. Take Me In Your Arms
  3. Heartland
  4. Hold Fast
  5. Backwards Through The Looking Glass
  6. Dividing The Spoils Of Love
  7. Red For Danger
  8. Snake Plisken
  9. Missing
  10. No Cure

For instance, this was the initial UK release of the “Once Bitten” album. It has a cover differing from my US copy and a revised track order. Most significantly, it lacks “Riders On The Storm” and has a song called “Red For Danger” instead.

A+M | US | LP | 1983 | SP-4969

Annabel Lamb: Once Bitten US LP

  1. Riders On The Storm
  2. Once Bitten
  3. Take Me In Your Arms
  4. Heartland
  5. Backwards Through The Looking Glass
  6. Dividing The Spoils Of Love
  7. Hold Fast
  8. Snake Plisken
  9. Missing
  10. No Cure

This is the album as I’ve known it for the last 27 years. For the North American release, A+M pulled “Red For Danger,” added the 6:00 version of “Riders On The Storm,”shuffled the running order and put a different cover on it. I did some research on what the definitive RM of “Once Bitten” should have and found the following tracks.

A+M | UK | 12" | 1983 | AMSX 8310

Annabel Lamb: Once Bitten UK 12″

  1. Once Bitten [ext.]
  2. Once Bitten [tough ver.]
  3. Take Me In Your Arms

The title track as released on 12″ has two alternate mixes of “Once Bitten” that I still need.

A+M| UK | 7" | 1983 | AM 109

Annabel Lamb: Heartland UK 7″

  1. Heartland
  2. Backward [reflection]

The “Heartland” single seems to have been released on 7″ only, and sports a non-LP B-side.

A+M | UK | 12" | 1983 | AMX 131

Annabel Lamb: Riders On The Storm UK 12″

  1. Riders On The Storm [long]
  2. Riders On The Storm [dub version]
  3. No Cure

The long version is already on the “Once Bitten” album that I have and I also have a German compilation CD called “Heartland” that compiled tracks from the first two Annabel Lamb albums. It has the dub version of “Riders” so I’m set there. Ideally, I should get the UK 7″ of “Riders On The Storm” for the 4:00 edit of that cut. So as I see it, the ultimate RM of “Once Bitten” will have the following tracks:

  1. Once Bitten
  2. Take Me In Your Arms
  3. Heartland
  4. Hold Fast
  5. Backwards Through The Looking Glass
  6. Dividing The Spoils Of Love
  7. Red For Danger
  8. Snake Plisken
  9. Missing
  10. No Cure
  11. Tell Him
  12. All Night TV
  13. I Know How Love Goes
  14. Electronic Toys
  15. Cinderella
  16. Safety In Numbers
  17. Riders On The Storm [7″ edit]
  18. Riders On the Storm [long]
  19. Riders On The Storm [dub ver.]
  20. Once Bitten [ext.]
  21. Once Bitten [tough ver.]
  22. Backward [reflection]

That’s a lot of tracks covering her ’82-’83 period. I still need the original UK LP pressing for “Red For Danger,” the UK 12″ of “Once Bitten” for the two remixes of that track, and the UK 7″ of “Heartland” for “Backward [reflection].” I might need to drop the 7″ edit of “Riders” for running time. But that’s only three more records to lock down for this period of this relatively unsung artist. I’m on a mission now!

– 30 –

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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4 Responses to Remastering: Annabel Lamb – Once Bitten

  1. ronkanefiles says:

    These 45’s came from a guy who had virtually all A&M UK promo 45’s of this era. I didn’t know the ones I found were non-LP (and consequently of interest). Enjoy! Still, I can’t help wondering what he had that I never got to see…

    Like

    • postpunkmonk says:

      @ronkanefiles – I would imagine that these ultimately came from an A+M rep whose stash eventually found its way into your contact’s bins. Of course, non-LP singles are not merely “of interest.” They are of great interest!

      Like

  2. chas_m says:

    I used to play the HELL out of “The Flame” on my radio show, and I’m sure I got round to some of her other stuff, but the only album (or anything) I owned of hers was “The Flame,” which I thought was just terrific Bowie-influenced New Wave rock.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      @chas_m – So right on Annabel Lamb’s “The Flame.” There are but a handful of female Bowie-influenced artists but it sure came through on that album. The Cherry Red dlx RM is in my sights… it may take years to finally get, but at least it’s on my list.

      Like

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