You Say It's Your Birthday: The Art of Noise's Anne Dudley

It's also Janis Ian's birthday today.

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

Edit)."

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.

The

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

Winegarner