Raw doesn’t usually get you on the charts (or on the radio). It especially didn’t get you anywhere in glossy, airbrushed 1985 (unless you played in a serious metal band). Raw often places you in the critically positive/commercially negative box, a box from which Dramarama could never quite (escape).
Dramarama formed in New Jersey in the early 80s, rockin’ their way through the gritty bar and club scene. After scraping together a few bucks, they self-released an EP which somehow became popular in France — popular enough, in fact, that when they couldn’t find a record deal in the US, they signed with a label in Paris and released their debut album in Europe.
Luckily for them, the album — titled Cinema Verite — and in particular a song called “Anything, Anything (I’ll Give You),” became a favorite of LA disc jockey and tastemaker Rodney Bingenheimer. He played the song steadily on his radio show, and it gained enough attention that Dramarama was able to get a deal with a US label and move out to California. And though it wasn’t a nationwide hit, “Anything, Anything (I’ll Give You)” remains the band’s best-known song, in part due to its appearance in A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, and partly because of a popular cover by the band Buckcherry. (And also because it’s totally rad.)
Despite upping the production values on their subsequent (and excellent) releases, Dramarama never quite captured the public imagination, but remained popular with the college rock scene. They’re still doing their thing today. Here’s where their thing started.