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Nomo - 1985 The Great Unknown

ALBUM: The Great Unknown
LABEL: Atlantic
SERIAL: 90258-1
YEAR: 1985


LINEUP: David Batteau - lead & background vocals, acoustic guitar * Tony Humecke - keyboards, drum programming, simmons, background vocals * Eric Nelson Pressly - bass, bass synth, background vocals

Additional Musicians: Andy Summers - guitar * Michael Sembello - guitar, background vocals * Scott Shelly - lead guitar, guitar synthesizer * Carlos Vega - drums, percussion * Paulinho da Costa - percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 We Go To Sleep Believing * 02 The Great Unknown * 03 Dance The Dance * 04 Let It Come Down * 05 What A Little True Love Can Do * 06 Wailing Wall * 07 Killer Love * 08 Red Lipstick * 09 Facts Of Life Slave For Love

Just one album from this trio but the big name here is David Batteau; a singer/songwriter who has continually popped up on album credits as long as I can remember. His career took off in 1969 and the critically acclaimed baroque country rock outfit Appaloosa and later in Batteaux with his brother and future Pierce Arrow guiding light Robin Batteau; releasing a highly regarded soft rock classic on CBS in 1973. Going solo three years later with the excellent 'Happy In Hollywood'; the stage was set for a song writing career which would gradually develop into an impressive client list including Michael Sembello, John Farnham and Robert Palmer among others.

The Songs
Considering Batteau's soft rocker background, Nomo comes totally out of left-field although 'The Great Unknown' holds more than its share of fine moments. With its stylish 80's nouveau cover; the Nomo approach is fairly typical hi-tech, awash in synths and technology with production kudos going to Richard Rudolph whose previous outings were surprisingly non-AOR including his wife-the late Minnie Riperton, Manhattan Transfer and Teena Marie. Out of the box 'We Go to Sleep Believing' is a lovely opener recalling Frozen Ghost and Mr. Mister with an undeniably great chorus with a big nod to Aussies Men At Work especially on the primo title track and 'Wailing Wall' which features Andy Summers from The Police on six string. 'Red Lipstick' was the single, a bouncy track similar to forgotten popster's Shy Talk and warm like a moist kiss with the decade's positive attitude, I remember seeing the video on MTV briefly but never heard the tune on the radio and with so much of this techy-pop stuff clogging the airwaves, my guess is Nomo never stood a chance.

In Summary
I'm not sure if the band had a chance to play out live or if 'The Great Unknown' was ever released on CD but it's always been easy to find and is well-worth the effort. With Nomo no more David Batteau went back to writing hits although in 2000 he apparently gave recording one more shot in the band Soul Mission who I know nothing about. Keyboardist Tony Hemecke went into soundtrack work while tooth-pick chomping Eric Nelson Pressly formerly of Carerra went on to form Euro-pop band Transister releasing one disc in 1997.

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#1 | Geir on October 06 2011 21:05:12
Thanks for bringing this to our attention, Eric. I've always been curious about David Batteau, specifically because of his excellent co-writing on the sole album by The Strand, without actually having heard any of his solo or Batteaux material ... or for that matter, this.

Speaking of The Strand, I see that Scott Shelly also appears here and while it hardly seems like much of a guitar record going by your description, I may well check this out eventually. Thumbs Up
#2 | Eric on October 06 2011 22:18:41
Thanks Geir. Yeah not a exactly a guitar album, but good for what it is. Points to George for reminding me of the Carerra connection...
#3 | super80boy on March 16 2014 00:28:38
There are multiple moments when I hear similarities to Mr. Mister and Mike and The Mechanics. Side One suffers from a bit of sameness in the song structures with the exception of the excellent lead of 'We Go To Sleep Believing'. Side Two is more diverse with stylish melodic new wave / high tech AOR melodies. Standout Songs: 'We Go To Sleep Believing', 'Wailing Wall' and 'Killer Love'.

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