Saturday, 3 November 2007

Somehow I Knew...

Oh the rapture!

I first discovered the audio delight that is Gloria Balsam's Fluffy almost 25 years ago, courtesy of Rhino Record's 1983 release The World's Worst Records. See the theme here? This album and 1985's Volume Two were mostly made up of novelty and comedy tacks from Rhino's own releases, but just occasionally they threw up a real pip.

Such as this. A gem from 1979, with Gloria ably assisted by backing from a band called the Psychotic Pineapple, the B-side is a rather odd new wave version of the Frank Sinatra standard High Hopes. Fluffy tells the story of a poor, abandoned dog who Gloria befriends. Sung in wonderfully off-key tones, you have to wonder if this was a serious recording or was indeed supposed to be a joke. It's hard to be certain, but who cares? It's awesome!

Born Cynthia Frantz in Philadelphia, Gloria gravitated towards San Francisco, becoming friends with many members of the local new wave scene, supporting acts such as the Dead Kennedys and Devo and doing the occasional cabaret spot before cutting this, her only single, for Richmond Records. Initially only 1,000 copies of Fluffy were pressed but, thanks to that Rhino compilation, it lives on.

You can learn more about Gloria Balsam here:


  1. Oh the agony and the ecstasy

  2. beautiful, beautiful. one of the finest records. gloria was such a talented singer...

  3. Thanks for the download! I don't know where my copy of the single went, but I was involved in the production of this record! Those were fun times ...

  4. It would appear that Miss Balsam is present on Facebook. That voice is awesome. Fluffy could hardly fail to hear her calling...

    Mark L

  5. I knew the song from earlier times, but WFMU was playing this on the car radio as I drove over to claim my nother's body on the morning she died. I had to pull over - I was laughing and crying hysterically at the same time. It was absolutely cathartic.

  6. Youtube link to a 1984 live performance!


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