Song of the Day, December 29: The Sun Won’t Shine (Without You) by Katrina and the Waves

KWavesSunWon'tToday’s song is The Sun Won’t Shine (Without You). The orignal band the Waves featured guitarist and songwriter Kimberley Rew and drummer Alex Cooper, performing around Cambridge, England in the late 70s. Rew departed to join psychedelic punk pioneers the Soft Boys and Cooper played with a number of groups, eventually settling in with Mama’s Cooking. That unit featured Americans Katrina Leskanich on vocals and keyboards and Vince de la Cruz on guitars and vocals. When the Soft Boys broke up, Cooper invited Rew to join his new band, which was quickly re-christened the Waves. Rew had a huge backlog of songs he had written; he, Leskanich and de la Cruz shared lead vocals as this material replaced the covers that had been the band’s primary output. Rew began to write for Leskanich’s voice, and the unit became Katrina and the Waves.

After a moderately successful U.K. debut broke big in Canada, the band recorded a second album for that market. Their northern success got them a U.S. deal with Capitol, and they picked ten tracks from the two discs and re-recorded them for an eponymous U.S. debut. One song was the international smash Walking On Sunshine; another was the quietly desperate Going Down to Liverpool, covered by the Bangles between its U.K. and U.S. releases. The show-stopper, however, is the bluesy ballad The Sun Won’t Shine (Without You) written by Rew for the Canadian album. Leskanich shows off the earthy power of her vocals, moving from a quiet smolder to an achingly belted chorus. The band create a perfect musical backdrop, driven by Rew’s stellar guitar work and the sturdy rhythm section.

Enjoy this magnificent song today.

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About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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