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RICHARD MAZDA and THE COSMETICS BIOGRAPHY

Richard Mazda is primarily known as IRS's mid 80s "inhouse producer." But Mazda was also a recording artist/performer in his own right with a couple items released on IRS...

Mazda's first ventures into recorded music were with his band The Tours. The Tours never really had much chart success, but their two single releases in 1979 were trendsetters of the mod-revival that followed in the early 80s. Those two singles are in fact highly sought after collectibles amongst the modern day "modster" crowd, fetching sizable earnings on eBay and other used music markets.

In 1981 Richard formed his next band Cosmetics who had a minor club hit with "Calligraphy" and "The Crack." They were also among the first bands to raise consciousness of South Africa's apartheid with their tune "Johannesburg." Cosmetics consisted of Richard Mazda, Pat Davey, Ebo Ross, and Steve Laurie. Laurie was "on loan" from Tom Robinson's band "Sector 27" for whom Cosmetics were opening on tour at that time.

Shortly after the US release of the "Calligraphy/Crack EP" Miles Copeland made Richard Mazda an offer to be a producer. The highly entertaining full story can be read on Richard's website. He made a name for himself producing records for Wall Of Voodoo, The Fleshtones, and Suburban Lawns. This in turn led to production work beyond the realm of IRS, for bands like The Fall and The Birthday Party.

in 1983 Richard Mazda produced his most personal project, his IRS album HANDS OF FATE. This solo LP comprised many of his Cosmetics tunes as well as new material. Though sales were lacklustre, he continued his duties as IRS's "inhouse" producer for several more years. He was also among several IRSers to host The Cutting Edge, IRS's Sunday night MTV staple. (Others included Squeeze's Jools Holland and Fleshtones' Peter Zaremba, who held the stint for the longest time of any).

Richard Mazda, musician turned 
thespian, today
Richard Mazda musician, turned producer, turned thespian, today...

By 1986 Mazda's reign as IRS's "inhouse producer" was coming to a close, almost in sync with the transition of IRS from A&M to MCA. Richard began producing for more acts beyond the realm of IRS, but the magic of being a "producer" was wearing thin. While on the set of the Michael Radford film B Monkey, Richard was bitten by the "acting bug." He soon enrolled in a number of acting schools and workshops. In a short time he found himself on stage and in front of cameras.

Richard has primarily found work in character roles. Given his unique looks he does not expect lead roles -- in fact, on his page at UK Screen he even says, "I am an experienced performer and actor who doesn't expect to play romantic leads or estate agents -- Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia and I'll do the voiceover." His sizable resume includes roles on stage in Dark of The Moon, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, and Silas Marner among others. Aside from a number of TV Commercials, his film and TV roles have included parts in some of the top movies of the last few years: the historical Quills, Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow, the James Bond film The World Is Not Enough and Award-winners Shakespeare in Love and Saving Private Ryan. He'll next be seen as a wizard in the second Harry Potter installment: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone scheduled for release in 2002.

Be sure to visit Richard's site and sign the guest book at www.richardmazda.com. Or use the handy link or banner add below...


RICHARD MAZDA and THE COSMETICS I.R.S. DISCOGRAPHY

This discography will cover only RICHARD MAZDA's and THE COSMETICS' recordings for I.R.S. Records. Recordings for other labels, other recordings, solo recordings and guest appearances, may be mentioned in the biography or discography, but details can be found by visiting some of the cool links for RICHARD MAZDA and THE COSMETICS, below...

Albums & EPs

The Crack EP CoverTHE CRACK EP
IRS SP70406 (Released 23 July 1982)

Vinyl Only


Produced by Richard Mazda
Engineered by Jess Sutcliffe
Sleeve Design & Art Richard Mazda
Typography Steve Laurie



Musicians:
Richard Mazda Vocals
Pat Davey Guitar
Steve Laurie Drums
Ebo Ross Keyboards
S Furter Bass

Additional Musicians:
Marsha Hunt Additional Vocals
Louis Rivera Additional Percussion

Track Listing:

  1. The Crack (Mazda) 5:55
  2. Calligraphy (Mazda) 4:37
  3. The Crack (Edit) (Mazda) 4:12

REVIEW COMING SOON!


Hands Of Fate Cover HANDS OF FATE
IRS SP70034 (Released 24 January 1984)

Vinyl and Cassette.

Produced & Arranged by Richard Mazda
Engineered by Andy Waterman, Avi Kipper, Robert Battaglia, Dave Lichtenstein, Paul Moutenot, Jess SUtcliffe and Peter Williams
Recorded at: Ritesonian & HIt City West (Los Angeles), Skyline (New York), Gooseberry's & Studio 80 (London)
Mixed by Richard Mazda and Avi Kipper at Hit City West
Assistant Engineer Susan Whipple
Photos by Ed Colver
Designs by Richard Mazda
Artwork & Layout by Carl Grasso
Special Thanks to Benjamin Wright, Jason Bell and Jay Boberg
Thanks to John Guarnieri and all the Cosmetics 80-83
-Dedicated to Jeanette Rivera-

Musicians:
Richard Mazda vocals, keyboards, guitars, programming, tapes (+bass on cut 7)
Peter Doyle trumpets
Boris Williams drums
Bill Pittman bass & backing vocals
Louis Rivera congas & latin percussion
Yolanda Goodwin backing Vocals

Additional Musicians:
Marsha Hunt, The Fleshtones, Rene and Europa, Wendy Wild, Jason Bell, Greg Young, Wayne Baker, Joe Nanini, Marc Moreland, Steve Laurie, Mark Wilkinson, David Rogers and Ebo

Track Listing:

  1. Eyes On Fire (Mazda) 4:20
  2. Hands Of Fate (Mazda) 3:44
  3. Book Of Rules (Mazda) 3:45
  4. Johannesburg (Heron) 4:05
  5. Let's Think (Mazda) 5:04
  6. Last Week, This Week (Mazda) 4:04
  7. Snakebites (Mazda) 3:43
  8. The Crack For '84 (Mazda) 3:40

REVIEW COMING SOON!



Singles

Mazda Promo 12-inch 70972 "Johannesburg" & "Eyes On Fire"/"Book Of Rules"
IRS 70972 (Released 1983)


Produced by Richard Mazda







Musicians:
Richard Mazda vocals, keyboards, guitars, programming, tapes
Peter Doyle trumpets
Boris Williams drums
Bill Pittman bass & backing vocals
Louis Rivera congas & latin percussion
Yolanda Goodwin backing Vocals



Compilations & Soundtracks

HEARING AIDS (IRS Promotional cassette, No #): The Cosmetics appears on side 2 performing "Johannesburg"
KROQ PRESENTS THE NORMAL NOISE OF IRS (IRS #?) includes "Eyes On Fire"
IRS GREATEST HIPS VOLUME 4 (IRS 13096): The Cosmetics appear on cut 6 performing "The Crack"


RICHARD MAZDA and THE COSMETICS LINKS AND OTHER COOL STUFF

For an individual who made such a significant impact on the world of New Wave and Punk music, there's surprisingly little on the World Wide Web, but we managed to find some wonderful sites that mention Richard. The bulk of these links are also accessible through Richard's own website (which has plenty of links planted throughout this page):

banner link to Mazda's site



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This Page Last Updated 16 September 2004

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