by Brian Varney
This reissue of Stiv Bators‘ debut solo album, originally released in 1980, will hopefully improve the album’s unfairly low profile. I’d consider myself a huge Dead Boys fan, but I’d never heard Disconnected or, really, even knew much of its existence until it turned up in the mail. And, after having played it four or five times, I can’t figure out why it’s not held up as a classic.
First of all, I do need to clarify something about the album so folks who only know Young Loud and Snotty don’t rush out to buy it and promptly turn up their noses. Disconnected is a power-pop album. That may seem a bit strange if you only know Young Loud and Snotty, but folks who also know and love the second Dead Boys album, the unfairly-maligned We Have Come for Your Children, know that the band was already headed in more of a classic ’60s pop direction. And when I say ’60s pop, I’m talking about early Rolling Stones sides, a bunch of the one-hit wonders that ended up on the Nuggets collections, and girl groups like The Shangri-Las. Taken in this context, Disconnected is unquestionably a point along the same curve the band was charting before it blew apart.
What emerges here, especially on tracks like “A Million Miles Away,” is something that has more in common with angry young man-era Tom Petty than Dead Boys’ punk brethren. I suppose it’s inevitable that this will disappoint a lot of the more regimented folks in the punk audience, but fuck them with a spoon anyway, right? If you like pop-flavored rock music of an era, especially that of the ’60s (see the lovingly faithful cover of The Electric Prunes’ Nuggets classic “Too Much to Dream”), you’re gonna like a great deal of Disconnected. Hindsight being what it is, I can’t believe I managed to get along for so long without this record in my collection.