Cherry Vanilla

  • Cherry Vanilla
  • Bad Girl (UK RCA) 1978 
  • Venus d'Vinyl (UK RCA) 1979 
  • Bad Girl/Venus d'Vinyl (Renaissance) 2000 

Onetime Warhol scene actress and David Bowie publicist Cherry Vanilla left Staten Island to pursue a recording career in Britain, making two inconsistent but surprisingly good albums. Along with guitarist/songwriter Louis Lepore and a loose collection of backup players, Vanilla — a stiletto-heeled glamourpuss who, it turns out, is a passable singer — makes music based on her experiences, real or imagined, in the Max’s Kansas City glam-rock jetset.

Bad Girl is a bit blunt of lyric — “I Know How to Hook” and “Foxy Bitch” are unfortunately typical — but the follow-up, Venus d’Vinyl, takes a subtler approach and neatly balances cleverly arranged, varied music with sensitive, believable lyrics. While Vanilla isn’t breaking down any musical barriers, her two albums — which, years later, were reissued on a single American CD — prove her talent as a writer and performer.

[Ira Robbins]