Ultra Violet

Band members                              Related acts

- Ultra Violet (aka Isabelle Collin Dufresne) -- vocals


  supporting musicians:

- John Blaton -- keyboards, cello

- Jeffrey Cheen -- percussion

- Chocolate -- drums

- Gary Coleman -- percussion

- Tommy Cosgrove -- guitar

- Greg Douglas -- guitar

- Cornell Dupree -- guitar

- Kevin Elliman -- drums

- Wilton Felder -- bass

- Johnny Garcia -- rhythm guitar

- Bruce Gary -- drums

- Clark Garman -- lead guitar

- Jim Gaylon -- sax

- Ed Green -- drums

- Clydie King -- backing vocals

- Mark Klingman -- keyboards, synthesizers

- Larry Knight -- bass

- Shirlee Matthews -- backing vocals

- Marty McCall -- backing vocals

- Dean Parks -- guitar

- Mark Rosengarden -- drums

- Todd Rundgren -- guitar

- Joe Sample -- keyboards

- Ralph Schuckett - keyboards

- Pete Sears -- bass, keyboards

- John Siegler -- bass

- Bill Ucker -- rhythm guitar




- none known





Genre: pop

Rating: 2 stars **

Title:  Ultra Violet

Company: Capitol

Catalog: ST-11224

Country/State: La Tronche, Isere, France

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD

Price: SOLD $100.00


Finding this one at a yard sale a couple of years ago I remember thinking "Hum, one of Andy Warhol's circle of misfits and best known for her work as a artist  ...  not a promising basis for a musical career.  On the other hand this is probably about as outsider as you can possibly get !"


You can easily find a number of on-line Ultra Violet (aka Isabelle Collin Dufresne) biographies, so I won't spend much effort trying to recreate one here.  She was born into a religious French family and apparently was quite a hellion, supposedly managing to get herself exorcised (not too many Catholics manage that feat).  In the early 1950s she moved to New York City where she met painter Salvador Dali, quickly becoming one of his 'students'.  By the early 1960s she'd begun to gain some recognition for her experimental/progressive works.  In 1963 she met Warhol and became one of the first members of his Factory 'collective'.  Sporting purple hair she adopted the Ultra Violet' stage name and starred in a number of Warhol's earliest films, including 1965's Warhol-directed "The Life of Juanita Castro' and 1967's "I, a Man".   As the 1960s progressed Warhol's interest turned to other people and by the mid-1970s her attentions had moved on to other areas.


Pulling a page out of Nico's career handbook in 1973 she released an LP.  God only knows what convinced Capitol executives to finance the record, but they somehow decided it would be a good business move. So what can I tell you about the  cleverly-titled "Ultra Violet"?  Recorded at Todd Rundgren's Secret Sounds Studio, the ten songs found Ultra Violet working with an impressive cast of friends and sessions players, including Rundgren, Wilton Felder, Joe Sample, and Pete Sears.  Like Nico, Ultra Violet wasn't the most compelling singer you've ever heard, though her French accent was certainly preferable to Nico's Germanic death prattle.  Not that Ultra Violet was any great shakes.  Concepts like pitch and singing in tune were apparently a foreign concept to her and even support from a trio of backup singers (Clyde King, Shirlee Matthews, and Marty McCall) couldn't save about a third of the songs.  If you're really brave and don't have cats or young children check out 'Shanghai Bill') ...  Imagine your old high school French teacher singing in class and you'd have a pretty good idea of what she sounded like.  Most of the material featured updates of chestnuts like '42nd Street' (with what came off as a discofied arrangement), 'As Time Goes By' and 'La Vie En Rose' (admittedly she sounded more comfortable singing in French).  Those tracks certainly weren't going to be everyone's cup of tea.   Elsewhere 'Cool Mac Daddy' and 'A Clown and a Stranger' pushed her in an unexpected punk/rock direction with surprisingly impressive results.  The performances were weird, but in a good way ...  As for the three side two Ultra Violet originals  ...  well 'How Do You Do' was painful, the harpsichord propelled 'Love Flame' was painful (especially when she reached for those higher notes), and 'Loving' was scary.  Yeah, one of those mid-1970s time capsule items - and for some reason surprisingly difficult to locate.  (Wow, judging by the album cover she could have given Gene Simmons a run in the long tongue department ...)


Capitol even tapped the LP for a single, though it may have only been released in promo format:




- 1974's 'Shanghai Bill' (stereo) b/w 'Shanghai Bill' (mono) (Capitol catalog number P 3743)


"Ultra Violet" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) 42nd Street   (Harry Warren - Al Dubin) - 2:26

2.) As Time Goes By   (Herman Hupfield) - 2:54

3.) Cool Mac Daddy   (Johnny Garcia) - 2:48

4.) Shanghai Bill   (Harry Warren - Al Dubin) - 4:06

5.) A Clown and a Stranger   (Mark Klingman) - 3:35


(side 2)
1.) How Do You Do   (Ultra Violet - Richard Currier) - 2:57

2.) L'Homme Que J'aime (The Man I Love)   (George Gershwin - J. Gershwin) - 3:14

3.) La Vie En Rose   (Louiguy - Edith Piaf) - 3:00

4.) Love Flame   (Ultra Violet - Richard Currier) - 3:22

5.) Loving  (Ultra Violet - Richard Currier) - 6:04


In 1988 she published the autobiographical Famous For 15 Minutes: My Years with Andy Warhol).  


 ISBN :0-595-33358-3


By the 1990s she'd published a couple of art manifestos ("L'Ultratique" and "Celebration of Light"), splitting her time between New York and France (she has an art studio in Nice).  Though there's no mention of her album, she also has a small, but entertaining website at: