Bonnie Hayes with the Wild Combo

  • Bonnie Hayes with the Wild Combo
  • Good Clean Fun (Slash) 1982 
  • Brave New Girl (Bondage) 1984 
  • Bonnie Hayes
  • Bonnie Hayes (Chrysalis) 1987 

Originally known around San Francisco as the Punts, singer Bonnie Hayes and her backing trio took the grossly overused pure pop formula and managed to turn it interesting again on Good Clean Fun. She follows in the tradition of early Blondie and the Go-Go’s with bright, simple melodies that hop and skip incessantly. Hayes and crew avoid the monotony that sometimes plagues their counterparts by downplaying the preciousness and incorporating a wide variety of influences, including jazz and R&B.

Hayes’ 1987 major-label album employs a larger backing band and a brand-name producer (Stewart Levine), but nothing can stop the vim and infectious enthusiasm of this adorable one-woman pop dynamo. Hayes writes mature songs about romance from a gingerly hopeful, self-reliant standpoint and performs them with pristine, airy simplicity that at one point (“The Real Thing”) precisely resembles Todd Rundgren at his most joyfully upbeat.

[Jon Young / Ira Robbins]