Her voice is unique, unmistakable and timeless – The Los Angeles Times’ Robert Hilburn called her “arguably the most charismatic female performer in rock.” And about the Hollywood Bowl concert in 2012, The Hollywood Reporter wrote: Martha Davis, of the Motels, was still strong in voice and admirably delivered hits like “Only The Lonely” and “Suddenly Last Summer.”
For Martha Davis, the most important thing has always been the songs she writes. Martha began writing songs at the age of 15. 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, Marty Jourard,Jeff Jourard, Michael Goodroe, and Brian Glascock signed to Capitol Records in 1979.
The Motels recorded six records for Capitol. Their self titled debut was greeted with positive critical reviews in 1979 and exploded in Australia on the strength of the #2 Pop single, “Total Control” (which was later covered by Tina Turner for the We Are The World album). In 1981 their sophomore effort, “Careful,” went Top 50. Then, in 1982, the Motels released All Four One; the smash single “Only The Lonely” rocketed into the Top 10, immediately propelled the album to gold status and truly broke The Motels in the United States. The group dominated the music scene and was voted Best Performance for “Only The Lonely” at the 1982 American Music Awards.
1983’s Little Robbers album went gold on the Top 10 single “Suddenly Last Summer” and the second Top 40 hit “Remember The Nights.” In 1985, the Shock album yielded the Top 20 hit, “Shame,” and 1987 saw the release of Martha’s first solo effort, 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, to write songs for a new musical for the Civic Light Opera, and author a new musical of her own entitled Rebecca.
Capitol reissued an expanded and remastered edition of the All Four One album, which contained previously unreleased bonus tracks. In the Fall of 2000, The Motels Anthology was released, a first ever double disk of rarities, B-sides, soundtrack cuts as well as live performances. Additionally, Martha Davis had several independent publishing deals, including one with DreamWorks SKG, wrote a children’s album and a jazz album.
In 2005, Martha released a solo record, So The Story Goes. Recording and touring for that record brought on 3 of the current members of the Motels, Eric Gardner, Clint Walsh and Nicholas Johns. The band then recorded the 2008 release This, followed by another Martha solo record, Beautiful Life. More touring brought them to 2012 where original member Marty Jourard once again brought his saxophone and synth skills to the band. Also joining was bass player Brady Wills. Shows included a landmark performance at the legendary Hollywood Bowl, where she and the band shared the bill with The Go-Go’s, Psychedelic Furs and Bow Wow Wow.
2013 proved to be an exciting year for the band, with new recordings, a busy touring schedule in the US, and a return to Australia!! Martha began the year with the honor of performing at the NAMM convention in their “Living Legends” special concert series on their Main Stage with some of the most significant musicians of the 21st century backing her performance. Also a 4th of July headline show as the closing band for the final night of the San Diego/Del Mar County Fair.
The next 2 years brought more touring. 2014 -2015 the most shows since 1985 for the band. Thanks to a new booking agent (Flemming). Also in 2015 the band started working on their newest release. As well as Brady Wills getting married to his now wife Katie on Martha’s Oregon farm.
The new album is highly anticipated, and details will be announced in early 2016.