Missing Persons

Mental Hopscotch

Song Review by

Missing Persons' first single, 1982's "Mental Hopscotch" is an intriguing, forward-looking blend of new wave pop and old-school FM rock. (This befits the band's prior history, particularly drummer Terry Bozzio and guitarist Warren Cuccurullo's stints with Frank Zappa.) For all the flashy synth fills, the musical focus is strictly on Cuccurullo's heavy guitar riffs and Bozzio's hyperactive drumming, while singer Dale Bozzio introduces all of the quirky vocal tics (octave-jumping hiccups, deliberately childish sing-song chanting, sex-kitten purrs) that would hold her in good stead for the rest of her career. "Mental Hopscotch" isn't one of Missing Persons' best singles ? it wasn't even included on their full-length debut album, Spring Session M, until the expanded CD reissue came out ? but it does point the way towards their later, bigger hits. The song's lengthy instrumental introduction quickly became a favorite of program directors for sports-talk radio stations and local televised high school football highlights across the country, appearing as a music bed for commercial bumpers nearly as often as the Electric Light Orchestra's "Fire On High" and Animotion's "Obsession."

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Spring Session M 1982 One Way Records 3:14
Color in Your Life 1986 One Way Records 3:04
The Best of Missing Persons [1987] 1987 Capitol/EMI Records / Capitol 3:16
Sedated in the Eighties, Vol. 3 1995
Various Artists
The Right Stuff / Capitol 3:16
Rock She Said: Guitars & Attitudes 1998
Various Artists
Hip-O 3:17
Late Nights Early Days 1998 Sumthing Distribution 3:06
Remixed Hits 1999 Cleopatra 3:23
Darkest Millennium 2000
Various Artists
Cleopatra 4:58
Lost Tracks 2002 One Way Records 6:25
Best of Missing Persons [2003] 2003 EMI-Capitol Special Markets / Collectables 3:17
Oldies But Goodies: 80's Rock, Vol. 1 2003
Various Artists
Original Sound Entertainment 3:14
Electro Wave 2004
Various Artists
Cleopatra 3:17
Walking in L.A.: The Dance Mixes 2006 Hypnotic 5:01
blue highlight denotes editor's pick