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DEAD FINGERS TALK (Buy CDs by this artist)
Storm the Reality Studios (UK Pye) 1978

Dead Fingers Talk, although never very well known, was an important band ahead of its time. Tom Robinson, for one, reportedly took heart from Bobo Phoenix's frank discussions of gay life on this record before taking the militantly gay stance that first won him recognition. On this lone album, DFT play with a gritty recklessness reminiscent of the early Velvet Underground, a resemblance heightened by Mick Ronson's audio vérité production. (Forget overdubs!) Singer/songwriter Phoenix's tunes don't mince words: "Nobody Loves You When You're Old and Gay" is simultaneously cutting and hilarious, while "Fight Our Way Out of Here" mixes desperation and anger. Elsewhere, he offers optimistic tunes just to show he's well rounded, but these too have a harsh intensity. Not to be missed, if you can find it.

[Ira Robbins]