(Kayos) Powerhouse vocalist Genya Ravan will have two of her self-produced solo albums-Urban Desire (1978) and its follow-up ... And I Mean It (1979)-re-released on August 18 (Genya Ravan Productions, distributed by BFD/The Orchard). Both feature Ravan's scorching vocals, her masterful production and her soulful blues-harp in a myriad of settings, most notably an energized hard-rocking '60s girl-group update accented by a Stones-like ferocity, a Jukes-like party atmosphere amid a Spector-ish wall of sound.
Urban Desire, on black vinyl, red vinyl and CD, plus ...And I Mean It, on black vinyl, pink vinyl and CD, display a rare pedigree of rock'n'roll smarts from New Wave, Soul, and Blues to Pop and Classic Rock'n'Roll. No one ever covered The Supremes ("Back In My Arms Again") or John Cale ("Darling I Need You") like this! Genya's duet with Lou Reed ("Aye Co'lorado") contains everything from piano wildness to punk bravado. Her duet with Ian Hunter ("Junkman") is a match made in honky-tonk heaven (complete with Mick Ronson on lead guitar). The version of Marvin Gaye's 1962 "Stubborn Kinda Fellow"-renamed "Stubborn Kinda Girl"-has to be ranked up amongst the greatest Gaye covers ever.
Ravan-Genyusha Zelkowitz, born in 1940 Poland-survived the Holocaust to have a career like no other. Decades sober, she stands as a true pioneer for women who rock. Her 2004 tell-all, Lollipop Lounge: Memoirs of a Rock and Roll Refugee, tells the tale of an immigrant who fought and clawed her way through the boy's club of the music industry. First came The Escorts with future producer Richard Perry (Nilsson, The Pointer Sisters, Ringo, Tiny Tim). Impressed with her vocals during an impromptu jam, he asked her to join the band as lead vocalist. They scored a #1 regional hit with "Somewhere" from West Side Story. Following that, in 1963, she formed the first all-woman rock band, Goldie & The Gingerbreads, before pioneering one of the first rock'n'roll horn bands-Ten Wheel Drive-in 1969. She has, over the course of five decades, carved her place in rock history. Currently hosting "Chicks and Broads" as well as "Goldie's Garage" on Sirius/XM's "Underground Garage "(started by one of her fans, Stevie Van Zandt). "Chicks and Broads" spotlights forgotten females of previous generations. "Goldie's Garage" keys in on today's up'n'comers.
This real-life New York Doll has also produced albums by 13 different artists including The Dead Boys (1977's Young Loud And Snotty) and Ronnie Spector (1980's Siren). After being a key figure in the '70s punk explosion, she was portrayed by actor Stana Katic in the 2013 CBGB movie. Additionally, Genya Ravan will be inducted into the New England Hall of Fame this fall.