Thursday, May 10, 2007

VIVABEAT "One of the great lost bands of the 80's."

House Is Burning

Terrance Robay- Lead Vocals
Alec Murphy- Guitar
Rob Dean- Guitar ( who played guitar on early albums by the British band Japan.)
Steve Lynch- Guitar
Jeff Gilbert -Guitar
Mick Muhlfriedel- Bass/ Songwriter
Marina del Rey- Keyboards/ Vocals
Consuelo DeSilva- Keyboards/ Vocals
Doug Orilio- Drums
Chris Schendel- Drums
Peg McClellen- Additional vocals
Cindy Hope Bernstein- Additional Vocals


Tracklist :

01 Working For William
02 From The Bop
03 To The Heart
04 Not Dead Anymore
05 Pop Girl
06 Man From China
07 Wild World
08 Enemy Fire
09 I Know Your Room
10 Jet Set

Link to download:

THE GOOD LIFE 1979 - 1986

Tracklist :

01 1. Working for William
02 From the Bop
03 Blue Guitars
04 Man from China
05 What We Talk About (When We Talk About Love)
06 House Is Burning
07 I Know Your Room
08 Gray Gray Gray
09 Dreaming of Tigers
10 Napalm Springs
11 Tents
12 House Is Burning (Jane Version)
13 Henry James
14 2000 Light Years from Home

Link to download:

"A retrospective of one of the 80's most interesting and illusive bands. Repeatedly billed in the era, in concerts with the likes of The B-52s, Human League, Depeche Mode and The Psychedelic Furs; Vivabeat, dealt a slightly different hand, would have easily found itself in the ranks of their success. Definitely one to check out." Vivabeat's is the uncanny story of a band that helped define the sound of an era; a band that experienced remarkable strokes of good fortune and tragic twists of fate; got a taste of the best the record industry could offer... and also, the very worst. They left behind a hit dance single, an album on Charisma Records, an impossibly rare European EP, and a clutch of unreleased tracks. A collection of their best work, ironically titled "The Good Life: 1979-1986" was released in Spring 2001 on Permanent Press Records, The roots of the band are in late-70's Boston. "
To continue reading this review check this :

"One of the great lost bands of the 80's. Fell in love with their first album "Party in The War Zone" years ago and then, never heard a peep from them again . Until now that is. From the wacky techno pop of 'The House is Burning (But There's No One Home)", to the brooding menace of "I Know Your Room". this CD is a must have for any serious student of music from the 1980's."

"Vivabeat's "The Good Life" is like a classic from the 80s that somehow hovered beneath the radar and never saw the acclaim it deserves. Think Psychedelic Furs, Roxy Music, Bananarama, Human League -- they'd fit right in. It's really fun and incredibly well produced. I could imagine hearing about half of these songs on the radio. All have a great beat. I love Vivabeat's signature "Man From China", "What We Talk About" and the techno cover of The Stone's "2,000 Light Years From Home"."

More Review:


California synthpop band from the early part of the decade.Vivabeat was, at the time, the only American band on Charisma Records, signed largely at the urging of Peter Gabriel who had heard the band's early four song demo tape and was instantly hooked. Their sound was a conglomeration of Roxy Music and Ultravox, with a dash of Devo thrown in for good measure. Lead singer Terrance Robay combined the suave swagger of Bryan Ferry with the barely controlled lunacy of "Psycho Killer"-era David Byrne. But most importantly, Vivabeat didn't seem to take themselves too seriously. Witness, for example, the deadpan "my my, uh oh/the house is burning but there's no one home" lyrics from Vivabeat's first dance club hit, "The House is Burning (But There's No One Home)". It may be utterly absurd, but that matters little when you're shaking your ass on the dance floor. The Good Life collects the best from Vivabeat's two albums with various and sundry singles. "Working for William" is an odd melding of reggae and synthpop topped off with Robay's Gary Numan-esque vocals that somehow works. The funky, hypnotic "Man From China"'s lead whistle allegedly inspired Gabriel to write "Games Without Frontiers." On "Blue Guitars," Marina del Rey's detached vocals invoke Bananarama fronting Depeche Mode. Definitely one of the more esoteric releases so far this year; The Good> Life is an exhilarating blast of synthpop for 80's people. -- Rick Schadelbauer

Bio from All Music:
Peter Gabriel was responsible for bringing the synth pop outfit Vivabeat to the new wave forefront in late 1979. They combined elements of new romanticism and glam rock for an ambience quite similar to the likes of Roxy Music, Alphaville, and Visage. The band, which consisted of Mick Muhlfriedel, Terrance Robay, Consuelo Desilva, Doug Orilio, Alec Murphy, and Marina Del Ray, were also the first group to be signed to Charisma Records. They issued Party in the War Zone in 1980 and the single Man From China sparked success for the band overseas, mostly in dance clubs in Europe. By 1982, however, other sorts of work entailed more responsibility for other band members. Robay began his flirtation with films and newcomers Cindy Hope, Peggy McClelland, and Rob Dean joined the group. Vivabeat's second effort The House Is Burning (But There's No One Home was released and tours with Depeche Mode, Gang of Four, and the Human League followed. But other passions and interests plagued the group. Robay departed by 1984 for a career in acting, whereas Dean joined the Gary Numan band. Name changes also riddled them: Muhlfriedel opted for See Jane Run or Neko Maka, for the underlying musical swagger of Vivabeat could no longer be possible without the songwriting of Terrance Robay. See Jane Run was the moniker of choice and a new sound resembling a dramatic B-52's and ABC was now part of the image. Vivabeat couldn't stand the test of time to outlast contractual pressures and expectations. Muhlfriedel left the band by the end of the decade, also pursuing a career in film documentaries. The new millennium did recognize the work of the band, paying tribute to Vivabeat with the release of the greatest hits collection The Good Life: 1979 - 1986, issued on Permanent Press Recordings in early 2001. ~ MacKenzie Wilson, All Music Guide

"The band's experiences in writing songs for movies, led Mick to becoming a composer of music for films, TV, commercials and documentaries. He has a new band project, Buff Roshi, which will be releasing a CD in summer. Marina meanwhile, works as a writer/producer in film and TV. They are both liiving in Los Angeles and raising their son there. Doug returned to Utica, New York where lives to this day. Rob settled in the Costa Rican Cloud Forest where he works as a naturalist painter and leads bird-watching tours."

More info:


Anonymous pavelse said...

Hi Salty, i never heard this, but it's good music. Thank you so much. pavelse

1:38 AM  
Anonymous Fernando said...

Thanks a lot for uploading these records, didn´t know the band and was a pleasant discovery. I only could download the compilation, the Party In The War Zone file has an unknown format. Thanks again,

9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


we can solve the problem with rename the file.

So just download the file and
you will get this:


please rename it (-you have to write to the end: .rar ) :


and you can unzip!

If you still have troubles i will upload it again!:)


3:19 AM  
Anonymous Fernando said...

Thanks! I used rar. at the end of the file and the problem was solved:)I. Thanks a lot!. I am a collector of early eighties 'synth-pop', so this band has been a very pleasant surprise, didn´t know them before

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im glad you are happy with it Fernando!:)

all the best

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After years and years, I can´t believe that I finally found the band of "Man from China" !!!!! Thank you very much.
This track was a super hit in Argentina in 1980/81, and I never knew the band that played it.
Best from Buenos Aires.


8:23 AM  
Blogger mick said...

Wow i can't believe you uploaded PITWZ ,
thanks for reconnecting me with my past


10:58 PM  
Anonymous Dee Jay Bad said...

Thank...! Thank...! Thank...! Very good band forever!!! VIVABEAT! "man from china" Thank ! Friends!
you as me...remember forever 70s and 80s...! Greetings friend!

7:29 PM  
Blogger SynthiaYaYa said...

I love this band and could never figure why they just evaporated. I keep expecting them to show up in some version on a summer tour of the states with Depeche Mode, HUman League or the Furs. Thanks for all.

10:38 AM  
Blogger Kloud said...

One of the reasons Vivabeat couldn't stand the test of time to outlast contractual pressures and expectations is that they were signed on speculation based on the song "Man from China". The song was written by Robert Garman and Alec Murphey as Audio Vidiot.

A mutual record friend took 'Man from China' to Brian Eno and Peter Gabriel. Gabriel loved the song and was thinking of his new record company Charisma. Excited by the speculation of signing Alec brought his buddies out from Boston who in essence highjacked the band. One of the people that came out from the east coast Mick Muhlfriedel wanted Robert Garman out of the way or he was going back to Boston. Garman left and the rest signed up as VivaBeat and took 'Man from China' as their own and signed to Charisma.
Audio Vidiot moved on with Alec's brother Dave and formed The Vidiots with Chris Bailey.

Of course VivaBeat could not produce "the sound" that got them signed since none of the band members outside of Alec created the music in the first place that initially got them signed. Marina Del Ray had a small claim to helping with the playing on 'Man from China' But, it was after all, just a riff lifted in part from the song '96 tears' by The Mysterians that Alec was goofing around with one sunny day in LA. Sad.

12:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Kloud,
thanks a lot for the detailed info!!! Just wonder how do you know all of this. Perhaps you were in the band:)


5:54 AM  
Blogger mick said...

Hi this is Mick Muhlfriedel. Usually I find it best to ignore this kind of anonymous slurring but, Cloud’s posting pushes the factual envelope to such a degree that I couldn't just let this one go. First, the obvious misinformation -
Peter Gabriel did help us secure a record deal, however as I'm sure most people with any working knowledge of late 60’s and 70’s pop music would know, Charisma Records was not Peter's new label. It was, at the time, a rather distinguished British label started by a fellow named Tony Stratton -Smith back in the late 60's and had on it's roster Genesis, Monty Python, Van der Graf Generator and a host of other English “prog” rock bands plus, Sir John Benjamin, the English poet laureate. Brian Eno, as fond as we were of him, had nothing to do with the band. The tape that was delivered to Peter was a six song demo recorded by Vivabeat of which "Man From China" was one of the tracks (not Robert and Alec’s orig version), the tape was not delivered by "a mutual record friend" it was delivered by Marina del Rey who, of course, was a member of the band.

The original demo of "Man from China" was indeed written and recorded by Alec and Robert. It consisted of the pseudo- “96 Tears” Farfisa organ riff, Alec strumming a guitar and Robert singing. I still have the original cassette that Alec gave me of it. The techno dance version that ended up on our first album was the result of extensive reworking, and the addition of musical bridges to the extent that Alec insisted that the entire band share publishing credit for the music. Robert was also given credit on the album for the song.

As for me wanting Robert "out of the way", I was actually the one who left "Audio Vidiot " to form Vivabeat. I think that ultimately, we both ended up with bands that suited our musical instincts and sensibilities best. I do remember, at the time, being a big fan of the reformed Vidiots (saw them many times and we even played the occasional gig together). They released a compilation CD a few years ago that I think is brilliant.

As for not being able to produce "the sound" of "Man from China ", I'm assuming that you've never heard any of our other stuff Cloud, and have no idea why you're spinning such a load of revisionist crap. Unfortunately, many of the people who know the real story -- Alex, Connie, and Terrance from the band, Tony Stratton-Smith, and our lawyer Don Biederman aren't alive anymore so I feel compelled to, in their memory, set the record straight.

Most of Vivabeat’s history happened after Alec was out of the band being replaced by Rob Dean from the band Japan (and for a short while, Jeff Gilbert). Although we played a lot of gigs with the original line-up, we toured much more in the later days and our most well-known song (and still getting by far the most downloads) is “The House Is Burning” which was featured in the movie Body Double. Another song, “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” was recently in the MTV movie, Pedro.

I had nothing but love and respect for Alec but sadly, for a time there, his lifestyle choices made it impossible for him to sustain his role in the band. Nonetheless, like Connie and Terrance, I will always miss and value him.

If you ever have the courage to lose your anonymous status, email me and we can continue this discussion. Maybe you can explain why after 30 years you’re suddenly so upset about Vivabeat. What’s the point? Those of us who are fortunate enough to have survived to tell the tale seem to be happy doing the music our paths have taken us on. I am and I believe Robert is too.

11:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome Mick! Thanks for the detailed info and put things right! I just don't understand why Kloud wrote for me,i like very much Vivabeat and there is nothing can change it!:)

One question, is there any plan to release some live stuff and unreleased songs on CD in the future? Or to upload some to your Myspace site? Fans would be very happy !

if you dont wanna leave your email here, message me please and will send yours to Mick

my email is :

Best regards

2:18 PM  

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