An excerpt from Be Stiff: The Stiff Records Story
Lene Lovich had been the surprise package of the station-to-station trip. An intriguing sight, her dark hair in plaits and her head adorned with an array of scarves and ribbons, she gave off an aura of mystique. Her music had a dark, Germanic feel that nodded more towards Bertolt Brecht than the Motown groups of her childhood, ‘Writing On The Wall’ being a case in point. What also made her music so removed from the norm was the way she used her voice, from short punctuated yells to Hammer House screams. It was this unorthodox vocal style that would shoot her to stardom.
Stiff hadn’t released a single by Lovich at the time of the Be Stiff tour, although Stateless had been one of the five albums issued on the same day. But ‘Lucky ‘Number‘, the track she and Chappell had hastily written when a B-side for her debut single had been needed, had proved a hit with audiences and Stiff moved to promote it to an A-side.
“Stiff was small and able to react very quickly and make decisions quickly,” says Lovich. “I think that’s why, once the tour had got started and our album was out there, the next single for me was ‘Lucky Number’. I think that was because it went down well on stage. They didn’t really know it was going to be a hit record and Dave Robinson told me several times it wasn’t a proper song because there was no chorus. I have spoken to him since and he denies it and tries to make it appear he was the mastermind behind it all, but no. It had its own chorus, ‘Ah Oh! Ah Oh!’. It’s a new kind of chorus, but there it is.”