Sue Saad and the Next was an American New Wave band from Los Angeles, California. Its self-titled first and only album reached No. 131 in the US Billboard 200 in 1980. Although sometimes characterized as one hit wonders, the band achieved a cult followingfollowing their breakup in 1986. Sue Saad and the Next also provided part of the soundtracks for several films during the 1980s such asRoadie (1980), Looker (1981) and Radioactive Dreams (1985). Saad performed in Radioactive Dreams and voiced the main theme forLooker.
Sue Marie Saad, James Lance and Anthony "Tony" Lloyd Riparetti met in junior high school while growing up in Santa Barbara, California. Given their mutual interest in music, they began collaborating and eventually formed Calliope. They achieved some success and released several singles. One of these, "We've Made It", dealt with the generation gap and so angered a local disc jockey that he destroyed the record while still on air and voiced a tirade against the band.
The three formed a new band around 1978, Sue Saad and the Next, whereupon they moved to San Francisco and then Los Angeleshoping to find work as sidemen. It was during this time that they began writing songs and recording them on their Rodney Sound four-track tape recorder. They were later joined by guitarist Billy Anstatt and bass player Bobby Manzer, studio musicians who had played together in the rock musical Zen Boogie, wanting to perform in a regular band. The band played in clubs and similar venues throughout Los Angeles and were eventually signed by Warner Bros. Records to develop as writers. Then-chairman Ed Silvers brought the band to record producer Richard Perry who immediately signed them to a contract with his company Planet Records in late-1979. They, along with Marc Safan and the Cretones, were the first New Wave groups signed to the label.
The band's debut album was co-produced by James Lance and Richard Perry, the first time Perry had ever shared a production credit, with all the songs being written by Lance, Riparetti and Saad. The album, self-titled Sue Saad and the Next, took less than twenty days to finish at a cost of $50,000. This was well below the industry standard, generally between $125,000-$150,000 financing, and at least 3 to 6 months production time. It was released in 1980 and reached No. 131 on the US Billboard 200. Perry later said the album's songs "evoke[d] youthful passion seasoned with wry adult knowledge, as well as a toughminded picture of daily American life and the ways it can be lit up by moments of rock and roll celebration." It was the fourth album to come out from Richard Perry's label and received some positive reviews, earning comparisons to Pat Benatar and Blondie, and made its way overseas months later.
Although the band did not put out a second album, it continued performing throughout the United States and toured Europe with UFO and the Boomtown Rats. They also appeared in concerts run by Texas promoter Jack Orbin in late-1981. During the next few years, Sue Saad and the Next performed the main themes for the science fiction filmsLooker (1981) and Radioactive Dreams (1985). "Radioactive Dreams" and three other songs, "Guilty Pleasure", "She's A Fire" and "When Lightning Strikes", were among those released on the official Radioactive Dreams soundtrack. It was also in Radioactive Dreams that Sue Saad had a small role as a punk rocker who performed a musical number, "Guilty Pleasure", and is regarded by many fans of the film as one of its most memorable moments.