Review: “Don’t Wanna Lose You” by Madleen Kane (Vinyl, 1981)

Today’s POP RESCUE from an uncertain fate, is the 1981 fourth album Don’t Wanna Lose You by Swedish model and singer Madleen Kane. Should you keep this album close at hand, or should it get lost? Read on…

Madleen Kane - Don't Wanna Lose You (1981) album cover
Madleen Kane – Don’t Wanna Lose You (1981) album

This 8 track album opens with the gentle finger snaps of You Can. This is a slow, almost ballad start to this album. The track slowly builds with beat, backing vocals before all of a sudden changing the tempo with disco synths synonymous with the album’s writer and producer, disco legend Giorgio Moroder. Madleen’s vocals are delicate and sharp, and sit easily on top of this bubbling track, although take the high note carefully in the mid-section, before and after some roaring electric guitars swoop in. It’s quite a long tack, with a teasing false ending.

The Lonely One follows this, and this definitely has a stronger disco feeling from the bass guitar. Madleen’s vocals also sound at home here’s in disco. This track is more upbeat and catchy than You Can, complete with Obligatory 80’s Saxophone solo, and some male backing singers who throw in occasional ‘woah woah’, despite its slightly sadder theme.

This is followed by Playing For Time, which was released in the UK, but sadly didn’t chart. An almost-siren opens the track over the top of a racing beat. Madleen’s vocal style here sounds almost a little bit Debbie Harry. The backing vocalists really help to give Madleen some great harmonies and duel partners. This track is the catchiest so far, and really should have given her a UK hit.

Treat Me Like A Lady closes Side One of this LP. This is a gentle ballad, with Madleen asking to be treated fairly. Perhaps this harks back to her career as a Playboy model. It reminds me a little of the Bee Gees.

Side Two gently creeps in to the titlular track Don’t Wanna Love You, which is loaded with more “woooh woooh” vocals from both Madleen and her backing vocalists. The track also has a slight country music vibe to it via the use of guitar. Madleen sounds great here, if a little Cilla Black at times in the chorus. Again it’s a catchy track that could probably have been a UK hit single.

Fire In My Heart follows this with racing synths-a-plenty. Again I’m reminded of Blondie, or generally most early 80’s female-led tracks including those of The Coconuts. Sadly it was not released in the UK, and again that’s a shame.

Next track Mon Amour gives Madleen her first and only writing credit on this album, and it’s in collaboration with Giorgio. The tempo drops, giving Madleen a gentle loving ballad. It has a nice melody, and the synths build up beneath her, helping to lift her higher.

Some lovely synths and guitars hop straight in for the final track Take Me To Your Heaven. It has Giorgio all over it, whilst also sounding like it has some Caribbean roots too courtesy of the bass, brass, and percussion. It’s a nice upbeat ending to this 8 track album. A remix of this could be phenomenal.

Madleen’s lead single ‘You Can’ (1981).

Verdict

Over all, this album oozes Giorgio Moroder’s synth and disco style. He’s all over it musically and has writing credits throughout. It feels like a clear link between 70s disco and 80s pop.

Madleen puts in some really great vocal performances, but in a couple of places her vocal power doesn’t quite duel enough with the music and she sounds overpowered. She has a great disco pop vocal and she shines in many of the tracks, even if some of the lyrics are a bit dry.

It’s a nice example of early 80s electronic-heavy music, and definitely worth a listen. A sort of commercial Goldfrapp 20yrs earlier.

Rated 3 stars - Give it a go!
  • POP RESCUE 2020 RATING: 3 / 5
  • 1981 UK ALBUM CHART PEAK: Not released in UK.
  • POP RESCUE COST: £3.99 from a Discogs.com seller.

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