Today is the birthday of Anne Dudley, keyboardist for the
Art of Noise, who was born in 1956. The Art of Noise spent the 1980s
specializing in postmodern pop; although their occasional hits featured
high-profile guests, its core musicians remained virtually anonymous. Dudley
was working along with keyboardist Jonathan "J.J." Jeczalik and Gary Langan as
part of Trevor Horn's production team when the trio decided to work together as
a musical outfit. They wanted to produce dance music, and from the 1985 release
of their debut, (Who's Afraid of) The Art of Noise, the group had found
success in England and America with songs like "Beat Box" and "Close (to the
For a song from their 1986 album In Visible Silence, the Art
of Noise brought in Duane Eddy to remake his classic "Peter Gunn;" the song was
later nominated for a Grammy. They also hired on computer persona Max Headroom
for the vocals and video of "Paranoimia," which became a Top 40 hit in the U.S.
They also donated sounds to ads by Swatch, Revlon and Barclay's Bank.
group's final album together was 1987's In-No-Sense? Nonsense!, after
which Dudley, Jeczalik and Langan began focussing on solo projects. A selection
of The Art of Noise albums were recently reissued, including a new "drum and
bass" mix album.
Other birthdays: Jimmy Ruffin, Johnny Maestro
(Crests/Brooklyn Bridge), Rick West (Tremeloes), Ray Monette (Rare Earth),
Thelma Houston, Janis Ian and ex-porn star Traci Lords. -- Beth