The voice is unique, unmistakable and timeless . . . Los Angeles Times’ Robert Hilburn called her “arguably the most charismatic female performer in rock” . . . .
For Martha Davis, the most important thing has always been the songs she writes. Martha began writing songs at the age of fifteen. Born and raised in Berkeley, California., she moved to Los Angeles in the early ‘70s, along with the first incarnation of The Motels. The band reformed in 1978 and was immediately signed to Capitol in 1979.
Davis soon formed a new Motels roster with guitarist Jeff Jourard, his saxophonist/keyboardist brother Marty, bassist Michael Goodroe, and drummer Brian Glascock; signing to Capitol, in 1979 the group issued their self-titled debut LP, scoring a minor hit with the ballad “Total Control.” Guitarist Tim McGovern, formerly of the Pop, replaced Jeff Jourard prior to the release of the 1980 sophomore effort Careful. After Capitol rejected the Motels’ third album, All Four One, McGovern exited, and the group re-recorded the album with guitarist Guy Perry and assorted session musicians. This time the label relented, releasing All Four One in 1982; the album eventually went gold on the strength of the atmospheric “Only the Lonely,” which ascended to the number nine spot. The evocative “Suddenly Last Summer,” the lead single from the Motels’ 1983 follow-up, Little Robbers, reached Number Nine as well a year later, yielding the Top 40 entry “Remember the Nights”. Shock (1985) generated the band’s final hit, “Shame”. A cancer scare prompted Davis to dissolve the Motels in 1987, the year she made her solo debut with Policy.
In 1988, Martha took a sabbatical from the music scene….prompting the question “Where have you been?” “Looking for my sense of humor,” she says “I seemed to have lost it somewhere around 1984. It’s not a business that one should be in without a sense of humor.”
Though constantly writing, Martha left center stage to work on various collaborations with artists including Ivan Neville, Arthur Barrow (Frank Zappa), Jeff Daniel, Kiki Dee, Richard Feldman, writing songs for a new musical for the Civic Light Opera, and a new musical of her own entitled Rebecca, and is now involved in producing a children’s music project. Additionally, Martha is back on the scene with her newly formed band and plays regularly to packed houses.
Capitol just reissued an expanded and remastered edition of the legendary All Four One album, which contains previously unreleased bonus tracks. The Motels Anthology was released in 2000, a first ever double-disk of rarities, b-sides, soundtrack cuts as well as live performances. Additionally, Martha Davis recently concluded a publishing deal with DreamWorks SKG, and has just finished writing a children’s album.
The album, Clean Modern and Reasonable, issued in September 2007, was the first release under the banner The Motels in 22 years. The album contains acoustic versions of past hits, B-sides and Martha Davis solo material including new takes on “Take the L”, “Only the Lonely” and “Suddenly Last Summer”. In April 2008 The Motels released two new albums on the same day, This and Beautiful Life, the latter taking the listener on a dark journey through Martha’s life.