Let’s carry on the story then. In 1983, “Walking In LA”, the final single from “Spring Session M”, was released, which reached no. 70 in America. This is another one that doesn’t seem to have a video. I don’t know how much touring they did, but they performed a rather high-profile gig at the US Festival, where they were on stage for about an hour to perform all the songs that were now rather familiar. It was a lot of fun. Thankfully the crowd at this concert clearly enjoyed them and there was a much livelier response.
In 1984, “Give” was released. This was the first single from the second album “Rhyme & Reason” which reached no. 43 in America, while “Give” reached no. 67, and this turned out to be their final hit single in America. This is one of my favourites, their sound was beginning to move away from guitars, it’s rather synthy, Terry has got hold of some of those hexagonal-shaped electronic drums that were popular at the time, and Dale looks the most Gaga-esque she ever did.
I also noticed in a lot of magazine articles around this time that Dale was often being grouped in with Terri Nunn, another extrovert female American singer who was on the up at the time, who did go on to have a chart-topping single in the UK in 1986 with “Take My Breath Away” as the frontwoman of Berlin.
In 1984, although their hits were now behind them, they were still releasing some good singles, and “Right Now” was the next one. For a group that had no Top 40 hits in America, they appeared on the early days of MTV rather frequently, and the exclusive showings of their videos were still anticipated by many viewers, even if their success was beginning to drop off a little. Dale also appeared on the Australian pop music show Countdown.
In 1984, “Surrender Your Heart” was the final single to be released from “Rhyme & Reason”. The video didn’t feature any new footage of the group, just a montage of some visually impressive for the time rainbow-coloured pictures. There was also a disc released with this title featuring four of their music videos.
Not much happened in 1985, but Missing Persons appeared on Razzmatazz again in August, although this seems to be a repeat of their 1982 appearance as part of a compilation special of American acts to have appeared on the show. Dale also featured in a TV Times article about female American pop stars, where once again she was grouped in with Terri Nunn, along with Madonna, and said “I like bizarre outfits made from plastics and materials not normally used in clothes design. My attire is not meant to be deliberately outrageous”. And also in 1985, the pop music cartoon Jem launched. Some people have speculated that Dale’s look might have inspired some of the characters. I don’t know if that’s right or not, but if it is, that’s truly outrageous!
They were back though in 1986 with their third album “Color In Your Life” which reached no. 88 in America. There had been some changes by this point however. The group had slimmed down to a quartet, Dale had got rid of the blue hair (more’s the pity), and she had become a long blonde-haired tight-trousered rock chick. And also on the production team was Chic’s Bernard Edwards.
The first single from this album was “I Can’t Think About Dancin'”. This is my favourite single of theirs, and also my favourite video, featuring the group on a scrolling stage cloned several times over. It must have taken a long time to put together, I wonder how they did it. Unfortunately some people felt that this new direction didn’t really suit them. By this point, their touring had come to an end, Dale and Terry divorced, and Missing Persons split. It’s not a coincidence that all three of those things happened at once. Terry would go on to work with various other groups, and Warren Cuccurullo joined Duran Duran. In 1987, little happened beyond a fairly ignored best-of album being released. But the story doesn’t end there…
In 1988, Dale returned with a solo project (credited simply to “Dale”), and joined Prince’s Paisley Park label in an attempt to regain some creditability and get back into favour, taking more of a dance-pop direction. Dale released the album “Riot In English”, and the single “Simon Simon”. Now I found this unintentionally amusing because it reminded me of that whole ludicrous “Simon, bid again, Simon!” trail that was briefly on Bid-Up.TV all the time. But it wasn’t a hit, honestly, don’t people know quality when they hear it.
And that’s about it really, Dale later twice remarried and had two children, a version of Missing Persons continues to this day, and there have been some more albums released, although the line-up is now very much Dale and some blokes. Life is so strange…