Missing Persons - Hollywood Lie album cover

Missing Persons – Hollywood Lie (Album Review)

Formed at the beginning of the ’80s, Missing Persons are one of the most interesting acts of the period. Comprised of Frank Zappa collaborators – Guitarist Warren Cuccurullo, Vocalist Dale Bozzio, and Drummer Terry Bozzio – they were a unique bunch who understood what it took to stand out. Doing just that, Dale Bozzio (with her quirky vocal approach and bold stage wardrobe) led the band, while Currurrullo (who also is a big contributor to Duran Duran), Terry Bozzio (who is an outstanding drummer), along with Keyboardist Chuck Wild (an Emmy-nominated artist), plus Bassist Patrick O’Hearn (also a Frank Zappa collaborator) made up a stunning lineup of Missing Persons.  This team pumped out a list of memorable songs in the early ‘80s which included ‘82s “Mental Hopscotch,” “Words,” and “Destination Unknown,” followed by “Walking in LA” in ’83. Keeping things going strong for a while, unfortunately by 1986, Missing Persons were no longer.

A tragic result of forces pulling the band apart, the positive side is that each band member has continued on with other projects, and found success. That in mind, Dale Bozzio has kept Missing Persons alive through the decades in various formations, but with little new music coming out. Yes, there was 2014’s Missing in Action, but that was under the name Missing Persons featuring Dale Bozzio. Then, in 2020, to the surprise of many the Missing Persons’ album Dreaming emerged, and it was a delightful listen. A release consisting largely of cover songs, and three new originals, it had many curious if more new music was to come solely under the name Missing Persons. Well, ‘dreaming’ has become a reality, and Dale Bozzio’s Missing Persons returns with a brand-new studio album in 2023.

Entitled Hollywood Lie, and due out November 10th on all formats (including CD and vinyl) via Cleopatra Records, some might wonder, who is Dale working with this time? Answering the question, the cast consists of Producer/Musician Adam Hamilton (who worked with her on Dreaming), along with a live band consisting of The Knack Bassist Prescott Niles, Guitarist Karl D’Amico, and Keyboardist Fred Bensi. Adding even more intrigue, there is even a special guest appearance from Billy Idol’s Steve Stevens. A really cool lineup, the best part about Hollywood Lie is that it is all original music… and that is the first time Missing Persons have put out an all-original album in 37 years!

Soaking all of this in, the album consists of eleven songs, and this includes the singles “Ice Blue Eyes,” as well as “Because Of You I’m Crying.” Quickly looking at these two tracks, “Ice Blue Eyes” is classic Missing Persons; sounding like it could have been recorded at the peak of the band’s success. Then there is “Because Of You I’m Crying” which is a moody, seductive song including guitar work from, yes, Steve Stevens.

These two singles aside, the remainder of the album is really a delightful experience from beginning to end. Very well composed, dark, atmospheric, and intensively melodic, there are so many high points. To name a few, the opener, the album’s title-track, immediately sucks you. This while other songs such as “Fading Away,” “I Can’t Take It Anymore” and “Movie Star” follow a similar vibe. Then there are more guitar heavy moments, as heard on the upbeat “King 4 A Day” and “Castles In The Sand.” In-between it all, there are also classic Dale Bozzio vocal stylings of the highest order; explicitly prevalent on “Circles” and the spoken word closer “Gatsby.”

Considering the history of Missing Persons and the absence of new material for so long, Hollywood Lie is nothing less than outstanding. Not just lip service, or just for the sake of being nostalgic, the songs are all really well constructed, catchy as hell, and exactly what you would want to hear from Missing Persons. Dale Bozzio continues to be the eccentric individual that she has always been, and bless her for that! Refreshing, fun, and a throwback to the golden age of Missing Persons, Cryptic Rock gives Hollywood Lie 5 out of 5 stars. 

Missing Person - Hollywood Lie album artwork
Missing Persons – Hollywood Lie / Cleopatra Records (2023)

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  • “Missing In Action” was also new material, a few years before the AWFUK “Dreaming”. Also on Cleopatra! And that was a good album too… for the most part! It was released in 2014.

  • Whatever you’re smoking, put it down. After the first song, you have to sludge through 6 midtempo stinkers before you get to anything that remotely has the energy of the original band, and Dale’s voice is shot for the most part – she can’t even manage one of those hiccups that came every couple of lines in her heyday. She also resorts to repeating a few phrases over and over in place of actual lyrics on several songs. Sorry, but this one should have stayed missing.

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