Tuesday, September 23, 2014

PLAYLIST: Summer Took The Year Off

The last week of summer has passed us by.  Fall is here and basically it has been here since the beginning of September.  The AC was never put in the window for the first time since being out here in the boonies.  This will go down as one of the coolest summers we ever had.  One 90 degree day, some high 80s and the rest in a Seattle like pattern after the tornadoes and monsoons of the spring early summer days.  This place is going to be in a mess for the next week or so.  The waterproofing company is coming out to work on getting us a dry basement and I have a week to put things away or off the shelfs and see which ones don't get vibrated off the shelves and get donated to goodwill.  So what am I doing on the computer blogging if there's work to be done?



Over the weekend Stone City had their first arts festival Sunday and turnout was marginal.

Perhaps I take too much consideration in the ratings system that Blogspot has given us the past couple years but it looks like we're back on the ups with another boost in ratings, thanks to the Russian and Turkish counterparts out there that seem to boost the ratings quite a bit.  I still think the Xolodremont referring site is a spam site but if it generates inflated ratings just to boost the ego so be it.  I rarely get any comments anyway.  To be blogger is a labor of love.  We're not as flashy or trendy as say Rolling Stone or Pitchfork but we tend to give the unknown artists out there the spotlight over flavors of the day.  The Swinging Steaks was a successful blog, the Gene Cotton blog another story.  Only five views since I put it up on Saturday.  Guess nobody really cares about him.  Alas for me his You Got Me Runnin' has been stuck in my head as a earworm for the past eight hours.  Good song but like overplayed classic rock songs repeated over and over is annoying.



The U2 mess of last week, which Apple and said band gave them and about 500 million phone users (that's gotta be an inflated number) their new effort Songs Of Innocence pissed more people off then the ones that wanted the album.  Bono, the businessman singer calls it a victory but I call bullshit on that.  It's commendable that they would give away their new album....if anybody wanted it.   But in an era that selling 29,000 copies of an album from Robert Plant that makes number 10 on the Billboard, we can probably see Bono smirking his way to the bank.  But in this day and age, albums are not selling and once upon a time 29,000 copies of an album sold would register in the lower 90's 20 years ago.  As for the album itself, I wouldn't buy it. The last two albums were boring and despite Danger Mouse kicking them in the ass for the final sequence of songs  it shapes up to be another C plus album.  If you going to throw in a junior high lyric like Volcano/something in you wants to blow that'll bring up more graffaws and snickers rather than stirring things up.  And I think we're all sick of Bono and his ways of telling the world to contribute to charities while he's got his wallet tighter than Larry Mullen's snare drum.  And your thoughts? http://burnwoodtonite.blogspot.com/2014/09/if-its-tuesday-i-must-get-some-things.html

The old farts of rock and blues are still going strong.  Leonard Cohen turned 80 Sunday and John Mayall will be 81 in November and while Cohen's latest album is forthcoming, Mayall's A Special Life (Forty Below Records) is standard Mayall blues as we all known and loved from him through 5 and half decades of the blues and rock and roll.  Featuring a crack band with Rocky Athens (Black Oak Arkansas) playing lead guitar, Mayall leads the band through 11 blues and originals starting out with the C J Chenier accordion driven Where Did You Go Last Night.  Mayall's voice has not lost much over the years, at 80, he still sings as good as he did on Chicago Line, the 1988 Island album classic and as always, covers some of the more obscure stuff from Eddie Taylor (Big Town Playboy), Albert King (Floodin In California) and Jimmy Rogers aka James Lane (That's All Right).  But Mayall can still write them, he adds 4 of them including the title track A Special Life and he's right.  He has led a special life.



Two reissues from Jimi Hendrix make their way on CD form,  one of them for the first time ever in the states (Polydor did issue it in the 80s via Import) in Rainbow Bridge and The Cry Of Love, the final album that Hendrix was working on before he OD'ed 44 years ago.  The Hendrix Estate basically exhausting the rehashing of The First Rays Of The New Suns, finally returns The Cry Of Love back into print since Reprise had the rights to that album and it was easy to see that Hendrix was shaping up a new and exciting funkier sound with Freedom (#59 in 1971).  There had been rumors that Hendrix did want to make it a double album but after he died, Eddie Kramer and Mitch Mitchell cherry picked the better tunes and Cry Of Love to me remains the last new Hendrix album, and Rainbow Bridge would the the first of the vault clearing.  But Jimi left behind a whole wide array of songs to make a few more albums and Reprise did that, with Alan Douglas (RIP) adding overdubs and guest players on later albums.  Dolly Dagger, which struggled up to number 74 on the charts leads off Rainbow Bridge and while this may have makings of a cash grab, there's still enough fresh songs that suggest otherwise.  Earth Blues, with a catchy yeah yeah yeah from the Ghetto Fighters, the first version of Look Over Yonder, showing Hendrix's sly humor there with odd sounds and saying "that's my guitar" and some say that the version of Hear My Train A Comin' on here is his best although I tend to enjoy the version that made it on 1982 Jimi Hendrix Concerts more.  I'm sure somewhere down the line, Legacy and Jamie Hendrix will consider issuing War Babies too.  While this does suggest a cash grab, having the original album reissues is nice to have and not as time consuming as the later albums of South Saturn Delta or First New Rays Of The Rising Sun which are double albums themselves.  Of course the mastering of the album is not as compressed and as loud, more in line with the original vinyl mastering.  For an album format both albums are worth getting.

Robert Christgau returns with a new Expert Witness blog of reviews of what suits him. I may be one of the few that still care what he thinks.  https://medium.com/cuepoint/robert-christgau-expert-witness-299c3329fb6f





Reviews

Joe Bonamassa-Different Shades Of Blue (J & R Musical Adventures)

He tells you that this is his return to the blues and most of it is, but it's his most blues sounding since leaving Black Country  Communion and kicking Glenn Hughes to the curb.  It's still a rocking album since Kevin Shirley has been producer of choice and have been the perfect foil for Joe B. Grabbing Reese Wynans on keyboards is always a plus, Reese was once part of Stevie Ray Vaughn's band.  Anton Fig plays drums as well so we can say for the blues it's Reese's B 3, for rock it's Anton's drumming.  What makes this album worthwhile is that Joe got lyrical help from the likes of James House, Jerry Flowers, Gary Nicholson and Jeffery Steele, most of time it's House that writes the majority of songs.  Oh Beautiful is more rock in context since it borrows the stop start beat of Led Zeppelin's Black Dog but has a more jammy part of song that Joe can dazzle you with his guitar playing.  And did he bring the guitars on this album, no fewer than 19 as he happily writes in his notes.  And uses 13 amps as well.  Which makes him a showoff right?  His singing is more James Dewar of Robin Trower fame plus Paul Rodgers.  And he can play a mean lead guitar although sometimes the theatrics get the best of him.  Although he's been very busy with side projects with another screamer Beth Hart, the now done BCC and Glenn Hughes and live albums, this is his first solo album since Driving Toward The Daylight  2 years ago.  Like the name says it's more blues based than DTTD but I don't believe it's any different than say what Pat Travers or what Elvin Bishop does. But I think overall DSOB is a better album than what either one has done this year.   My version has three bonus tracks that clocks the album over 65 minutes (which would bore Bob Lefsetz BTW) and they vary, from the overlong Scarlet Town, to a more Fab Bird rocking Better The Devil You Know and those with the original album misses out on my favorite number Black Irish Eyes, which sounds like Thin Lizzy.  Not exactly the blues, but I like it fine myself.
Grade B+

Leonard Cohen-Popular Problems (Columbia/Old Ideas LLC)

In later years, Leonard continues to surprise and amaze us with his albums. The exception was the creepy Dear Heather.  Like John Mayall, after turning 80 he puts out a new album of slow tempo like songs that Cohen tends to favor, but he has such a sly and dry sense of humor it may go over your head as you try to decipher that monotone croak as vocals.  He still works in a LP way, 9 songs that clock in at 36 minutes. But he catches your attention right off the bat with Slow (you want to get there soon/I want to get there last) a song you can either take it as being on a road with a fast driver or being with a  pushy lover.  Plenty of more sly humor is throughout the album but I think there's a share of wisdom that do come from life itself and that might stemmed from Leonard's time at the monastery to which at one we actually had him living within the neighborhood (the Melrose Abby between Dubuque and Cascade off 151).  There's also the trademark love gone wrong songs (Did I Ever Love You, Samson In New Orleans) and a throwaway blues done slow (My Oh My). But for a long gone wrong song, Cohen also gives us A Street, which after encountering perhaps love gone wrong, she may be longing for a return of what used to be but he says he's now landed on his feet.  Patrick Leonard returns to help produce and play keyboards and like the previous album Old Ideas makes Popular Problems a decent followup.  And while you're reading the liner notes and lyrics you can see Leonard's new hobby, shining his shoes.
Grade A- 

Playlist:

Us  Michael Been-On The Edge Of A Nervous Breakthrough
Kansas City-Wilbert Harrison (The Fire And Fury Records Story)
It's My Time-George Hamilton IV (The Gentle Country Sound Of George Hamilton IV)
Sexo y dinero-Gloria Trevi (Como Nace El Universo)
This Is The Place-Raindogs (Lost Souls)
Lizard King-17 Candle (Californ IA)
This Is All-Jason Sinay Band (S/T)
Soul Singing-The Black Crowes (Lions)
Just A Memory-John Mayall (A Special Life)
Planet Caravan-Black Sabbath (Paranoid)



Saturday, September 20, 2014

Forgotten Musicians Of The 70's-Gene Cotton

Radio doesn't want you to remember every singer songwriter out there, just the ones they tend to overplay.  This artist is not one of them.

Gene Cotton started out as a gospel artist, the early stuff for Impact is really Gospel praise music, although I'm sure it's not bad, it grates on the nerves  for the ones not into gospel. Cotton then moved over to Myrrh, actually having a number 79 single hit with Sunshine Roses.  Moving away from gospel country rock, he signed with ABC Records and had a 73 chart showing of Damn It All, taken From All The Young Writers which I never heard. 

My first encounter with Gene Cotton was his 1977 single of You Got Me Runnin' which was penned by Parker McGee who wrote hits for other folk, Dan Seals and John Ford Coley.  Before that he was a folk gospel singer that recorded for Myrrh.  Sunshine Roses  (# 70 1974) shows a Don McLean influence with a oddball chorus something like American Pie including a Ethan Allen reference) A 1975 single Damn It All popped up to 73 on the charts.  His sound echoes   Lobo.  ABC Records picked up his contract from Myrrh and his first album was For All The Young Writers.  While Damn It All did okay, the followup single Let Your Love Flow flopped (uncharted), The Bellamy Brothers would cover it the next year for a number 1 hit and a start to their career.  Comparing the songs, The Bellamy's version is much better, the Cotton number lacking a distinct hook.

His second album Rain On which has You Got Me Runnin' is a product of the soft rock times, rarely rocking out, more or less content with MOR, nothing else on the album grabs you like the hit single and the title track was ignored as a single.  Me And The Elephant would have been the better followup but ABC Records issued it as an import.

Moving over to Ariola America Cotton released what is considered his best album Save The Dancer, and album that I got on cassette in 1978 but in an era of disco and rock my classmates were favoring, they didn't think much of hearing this in the car.  His highest charting single Before My Heart Finds Out (#23) continues the soft rock sound that got him airplay and Ariola followed it up with a duet when a then unknown Kim Carnes with You're A Part Of Me (#36).  The best song Like A Sunday In Salem (#40) showed that Cotton could rock out.  And I suspect that he liked it so much he put it on the 1979 album of No Strings Attached an album that his backing band was American Ace.  For the first time, Cotton decided to go with more uptempo rocking numbers and a lot of songs were catchy.  Anytime Down might have worked as a single, but then at that time Ariola America was going under and the record never took off.  Another missed single Make Time For Love, was later covered by Prog rockers Trillion, which also didn't chart.

His last album of that time Eclipse Of The Blue Moon returned him back into soft pop once again and despite being on a independent label Knoll with little promotion clout he did squeak out another minor hit with If I Could Get You Back Into My Life (#76).  In the 1990s, Cotton issued 2 albums and a best of for People Song which all are out of print.

Still, Like A Sunday In Salem (The Amos And Andy Show) to me remains his signature song and perhaps to him to, since he ran for congress in the early 2000s and lost.  Since then, he's kept a low profile on the music scene and at age 70 semi retired.  The only CD reissue that has come out was Save The Dancer (Renaissance 2008) but you can find some Cotton LPs on MP3, the most interesting is the Edgehill File (People Song 1983) a collection of songs he says that the labels wouldn't let him record, which shows more or a darker and humorous side of him that was rarely shown on the albums.  A shame that the majors wouldn't record him in this way.


Albums of note: (incomplete)

For All The Young Writers (ABC 1975) B
Rain On (ABC 1976) B
Save The Dancer (Ariola 1978) B
No Strings Attached (Ariola 1979) B+
The Eclipse Of The Blue Moon (Knoll 1981) B-
The Best Of Gene Cotton (People Song 1995) B
The Edgehill File (People Song 2008) B+

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Singles Going Steady 19-Destroyed Records (revised)

Broken records, cracked records, records that have seen better days, records that were used for frisbees, records that got cola spilled on them and got stuck to the grooves.  These records were part of my growing up years and I'm surprised my dad still had them in his collection.  I may have just put them there for  I had no use for them anymore.  Now I have retrieved some of them to compile the best of the lot.  The best records that I should have taken better care of.  I'll probably never find better copies but who knows, maybe I might.   I have found some of these songs via You Tube.  The rest, I just need a better condition of record.




1.  Paint It Black-The Jalopy Five  (Hit Records-No. 258) 1966  Last month I posted a blog about the Hit Records, which did cover versions of certain singles and at times they could their own against the original copy.  This is not one of them although the garage punk nature of this song pales next to the Stones.  But it's really not that bad either.  Bobby Russell sings lead on this song, or so says the rumor. There are collectors out there that do collect things from the Hit Record Label and somebody was nice enough to include this via You Tube.  And if you take a look at EBAY at some of the outrageous prices they want for some of the Jalopy Five stuff (90 dollars for a scratched up copy of Yummy Yummy Yummy?!) you'd be shaking your head too.  Most of the time the Jalopy Five would cover The Rolling Stones or The Beatles.  B Side is The Harris Brothers (whoever they are) covering The Walker Brothers' Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore, written by the late Bob Crewe with Bob Gaudio (Four Seasons) .Give them credit, the arrangements are very close to the originals.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJeQoP9RTm0

2.  Don't Hold Back-Spyder Turner (MGM K13692)  1967  Northern soul obscurity although this is the best of four different versions on You Tube. Recorded in Detroit with some of the Motown  Funk Brothers although not credited on the 45 but one of the arrangers is one Dennis Coffey  who would have instrumental hits in the early 70s.  I think I got this record in the 10 cent bins at an old Marion drug store, which later became a pinball place where all the undesirables hung out.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeRYg4HDUgg





3.  Just A Little Bit-Roy Head (Scepter  SCE 12116) 1965 The white James Brown?  This reached number 39 on the Billboard charts in October of 1965.  Roy is better known for Treat Her Right which prompted Scepter to issue this and an album too.  I remember seeing the album over at the Salvation Army in Marion years ago and never picked it up although I did later when I was in Ann Arbor. The 45 was in a box of 10 records they sold over at K Mart.  You remember those box of records?  They would stick a couple of top ten hits by established artists and then sandwich the hits with a lot of unknown and uncharted stuff.  Which some of them were actually better than the original singles that I wanted.  Over the years, the forty five has a nasty crack that makes it impossible to play.  Varese Vintage has put out a very good overview of Roy Head's biggest hits, called.....Treat Her Right.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7cOggFF7sE



4.  Heartbreak Hotel-Frijid Pink (Parrot PRT 352)  1970  Last Singles Going Steady the Pink made the list on their debut single which flopped.  They return with a boogie fueled piano boogie with a guitar riff that's from Mississippi Queen. I remember the Peoria station played this when I spent the summer at Grandma Ambrose's trailer and The Lincoln record store had a used copy of this although I'm guessing the reason why they took it back in was a groove wide scratch which would skip on the player.  The song got reissued as a bonus track on the import Frijid Pink S/T album.  This You Tube video you can watch the record spin around.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlRKImbQFoA

5.  Let It Go, Let It Flow-Dave Mason (Columbia 3-10662)  1977  In my road trips to Arizona I have been come home with assorted singles over the years but as you know it gets so hot down there that some of them don't make it out in one piece.  This one got left out in the sun too long and got warped.  It made 45 on the charts in 1978 and was the third single off Let It Flow, an album that bored the hell out of me outside of this song and We Just Disagree, (the first single So High tripped out at number 89).  I have no idea what happened to the album.

6.  Ball Of Fire-Tommy James & The Shondells (Roulette R 7060) 1969  Growing up, I was a huge Tommy James fan and anything that I could find on 45, I usually bought, or showing it to Ma and say I WANT I WANT I WANT and whatever the brat wanted, the brat usually got.  There were some exceptions, she told me to put The Beatles Lady Madonna picture sleeve 45 back one day.  Why I remember these useless trivia is beyond me since I can't recall what I did five minutes ago.  A number 19 showing although Oldies radio never plays this.  But they will of Crimson And Clover or Mony Mony.

7.  On Broadway-King Curtis (Atco 45-6406)  1966  A 9 cent record that Ben Franklin store had up in Waterloo and I guess I bought this on word association. Basically the same arrangement as The Drifters, but done with a excellent sax solo from the King. The guitar player sure sounds like Duane Eddy.  But if this came from Muscle Shoals as rumored than perhaps it's Joe South doing the guitar.  Mere speculation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJ6Xmv2yHjI



8.  Tears And Kisses-Frankie Randall (RCA 47-8434)  1965?  The other side is Bewitched and Randall is basically a pop singer.  Steve Lawrence also covered Bewitched but that's not the intent here.  I played the other side a lot more often and sorry to say my copy gave up the ghost years ago and nobody on You Tube has posted the song.  So it remains a ghost shall we say.  But it is interesting to note that the arranger of Tears And Kisses was David A Gates, who at around the mid 60s was producing the initial recordings of one Captain Beefheart.  And Gates provides more of a Phil Spector type of production. But you would know him better as the main singer and songwriter of Bread.  I would love to find a replacement copy of this song.

9.  Shake It Up-The Cars (Elektra  E-47250) 1981  Actually this record plays all right, when I moved away from home, I just stuck it in my dad's 45 collection and left it at that but then I reclaimed it the other day.  For hoarding reasons I guess, although next time I do a 45 dump when I at the St Vincent De Paul in Madison I might donate it there.  Classic rock plays it all the time.  One of the few records that remained in its sleeve all these years and scratched up to holy heaven like the majority of Dad's 45s.  He could never take care of any of them it seems.

10.  The Family Of Man-Three Dog Night (Dunhill D-4306)  1972  Like Tommy James, it was a big event when a new Three Dog Night single would come out and the early 70s were their peak.  By this single, a number 12 showing, the band was starting to choose more MOR and a less interesting pop sound.  Harmony was their last good album and the B side, Going In Circles was the start of things to come.  And not in a good way.  When our fifth grade teacher invited us to bring music to listen to, she was kind enough for me to be the DJ.  Her musical tastes were like The Carpenters so after she played that, I played Three Dog Night.  I'm sure the rest of the classmates brought some things to listen to, my grade school crush brought Donny Osmond though.  Somehow I managed to talk her into getting the next Three Dog Night album, which was 7 Separate Fools.  Our love was doomed to fail soon after that.





Perhaps in another edition of fun with scratchy records I'll throw up a copy of I Just Don't Know If I Can by Lesley Gore (Mercury 72553) but this version from 45 cat is no where near as nice as mine.  Mine looks like it's been dragged down a highway.  Actually this is my copy.  Look ma, no grooves left!


If you like this then check out this site: http://wopbopaloobopalopbamboom.blogspot.com/

No records here were harmed or destroyed in the making of this blog. All but Heartbreak Hotel are from my personal collection.  Originally Roy Head and Lesley Gore's were from 45 Cat but since they kept disappearing from this blog, I decided the hell with it, and scanned off my chewed up copies of the songs.  They still make good reference copies although playing them would need a needle replacement on the player.


Monday, September 15, 2014

PLAYLIST: Big In Russia

If the ratings are as true as they suggest to be, Record World has been a hit in Russia for the past two months, thanks to a search engine that continues to amazes as frustrates me. But if Russians actually do read this, then Howdy from the US.




Football weekend and Iowa State once again reclaims the Cy Hawk Trophy and takes it back to Ames with a 20-17 victory over Iowa in a game that might just prove that Iowa is in rebuilding mode.  With the best linebackers from last year graduated and moved on, the defense is as shaky as ever as Iowa State, a team that has packed it in the second half last two games but this time woke up to rip to shreds an Iowa defense for a 92 yard drive and go ahead TD.  Iowa Tied it on a shaky FG from Marshall Koehn.  Iowa played not to lose, and it came back to cost them the game.  Never mind the fact that the Iowa State kicker missed the FG with 4 seconds left but our fearless head coach called a time out before the miss.  With a second chance you can guess what happened next.  Way things are going this year, don't be surprised to see the Iowa Trophy case get more and more bare as the weeks go on.  I don't forsee them beating Nebraska, Wisconsin will keep the Heartland one up in Madison and even Floyd Of Rosedale might be packing his bags up to the icebox they call Minnesota.

 

Last year I got to see Quad Cities win the Midwest League title and 16 of the players moved over to Lancaster in advanced A ball and they rocked Visalia 10-2 to win that title. On the homefront Kane Country, the Cubs A team swept Lake County. A record year, Kane County won 98 games including sweeping the opposing team in the three finals.  Unlike the parent team the Chicago Cubs who continue to trip on every twig and pebble and make watching games painful to watch and have lived in the cellar for the last four years. But if the future is in the minors, the hope is that the future Kane County Cougars will be future Cubs and hopefully can win the world series before we all die. Wouldn't that be something.



Later in October Shout Factory is reissuing WKRP In Cincinnati with most of the original music that was used for that series, but it does have a few omissions namely from the usual suspects (The Eagles, Pink Floyd). It's a real thorny issue that even back then using an Eagles track would raise the ire of the band or their lawyers.  It's makes more money for them just to reissue their albums over and over again. To which if you known when to program your CD or MP3 to the Johnny Fever segment with Dogs used as the main music track, you're be better in the long run (no pun intended Don Henley) rather than go wine about it in the Shout Factory comment section. http://ultimateclassicrock.com/wkrp-in-cincinnati-complete-series/

Johnny Fever segment via You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1enfo8zn3_g

Everybody seems to be jumping on the alternative format.  KRNA has done it now KDKB in Phoenix is doing this. I'm thinking they're be a bit more alt rock than the crap KRNA has forced upon us and called it alternative, hometown heroes Jimmy Eat World and The Maine will make Phoenix/Mesa a bit more tolerable to listen to but I think it's all bullshit anyway.  Alternative the way I remembered it was Luna, Lush, The Dylans, The Charlatans UK and Stone Roses.  KDKB also promises to play more Bad Religion and Decedents as well.  I'll believe when I hear it.  http://kdkb.com/ 

Up yours and your Spotify Bob Lefsetz, Love Japan: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/17/business/media/cd-loving-japan-resists-move-to-digital-music-.html?_r=0

Another passing to tell you about: Joe Sample, long time piano player for the Jazz Crusaders (later The Crusaders) passed away at age 75, details unknown but he's had a history of heart problems.  A jazz band that recorded for Pacific Jazz, they later added more R and B and funk elements into their music and signed up with Blue Thumb for the top ten hit (here) Put It Where You Want It.  Their best album was 1975's Southern Comfort.  http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-deaths/article/Pianist-Joe-Sample-also-a-prolific-composer-5753844.php

John Gustafson, who played in Ian Gillan's band for a time but also was the uncredited bass player on Roxy Music albums in the 70s died Sunday at age 72.  Other projects included the all star Jerry Lee Lewis 1973 album The Session and reformed The Pirates with Mick Green in the 1990s.

Robert Young, long time member of Primal Scream passed away over the weekend.  He was 49.

Chris Duarte, who recorded a few albums for Silvertone back in the 1990s played in a free show at Parlor City Sunday Night and for Blues Rock Duarte has been one of the better guitar players out there. I managed to catch a few songs while walking past and I sat outside while trying to combat the smokers and Parlor City was filled up quite well as Duarte and company tore it up.  Across the street was some young dude banging on a guitar and singing songs at the top of his lungs on the New Bo Amphitheater Stage.  I give him credit for trying, but couldn't help but noticed the strange looks on peoples faces as they walk past wondering what drugs he was on.   I thought about doing that myself, play on the open stage in a crowd about ten and see if anybody cares.  But I would make sure nobody was playing at Parlor City if I ever did.




Playlist This Week:

Walk On The Wild Side-Joseph Arthur (Lou)
Getting Kinda Cocky-Black Oak Arkansas (Raunch N Roll Live)
Little Maggie-Robert Plant (lullaby AND THE CEASELESS ROAR)
Rock And Roll Queen-Mott The Hoople (S/T)
The Loner-Brand New Sin (Recipe For Disaster)
Political World-Bob Dylan (Oh Mercy)
Walk Out Of My Mind-Waylon Jennings (Love Of The Common People)
You Baby- P F Sloan (Child Of Our Times)
Radical Radio-The Dead 60s (S/T)
Raeline-The Brains (S/T)


Reviews:

Joseph Arthur-Lou (Vanguard)

Something that I came across in the dollar bin was this recent release and tribute to Lou Reed by J. Arthur and there's a sheer beauty among the acoustic guitars and pianos. By starting the album out with a reworking of Walk On The Wild Side which really does Lou proud, Arthur's subdued vocals and guitar makes this a must hear.  Even taking on Heroin as well, the song that is, that the first four songs are worth the price that I paid for this album.  For me, some problems exist,  Dirty Blvd, would have been better had somebody tried out the coda part that Dion made that song a classic back in 89 and Pale Blue Eyes tends to actually drag but just a bit.  But for a final tribute to the now departed Reed, Arthur's Lou works most of the time, all the way to end closer Coney Island Baby, a song that I can identify with, even my days as a youth and hoping to play football for a coach, only to quit when I couldn't make the practice squad. Arthur on the other hand with this effort at least makes the second squad, if not the first.
Grade B plus

Train-Bulletproof Picasso (Columbia)

Let's face the facts; the band second career began with the odious Hey Soul Sister, one of the most despised and biggest hits of 2010.  And since finding that formula, Pat Monahan and company continued to study top forty (and most notably Country since most of these songs would not sound out of place on a FGL album) and make music tailored made for top forty record.  The band that gave us the debut of 1998 doesn't exist anymore, they're clones of Maroon 5 and just fine if you like Maroon 5 but at least Train spares us with the hip hop that Maroon 5 tends to favor more often then not.  Bulletproof Picasso continues Train's fluff pop autotuned hi jinx with top forty radio ready songs (Wonder What You're Doing For The Rest Of Your Life) with even an eye toward country (Bulletproof Picasso, I Will Remember).  And, as always fluff ballads (Don't Grow Up So Fast) for your honey to get misty eyed over.  Butch Walker, pop wonderkind  and who has continued to find employment after the demise of The Marvelous 3 works well as producer for this band. While there's nothing on this new album that has that annoying but everlasting effect on Corporate radio like Hey Soul Sister, it's their best since For Me It's You. but that's not saying a whole heck of a lot.  Save Me San Francisco was total junk and California 37 was an improvement but still not enough for me to recommend that.  Bulletproof Picasso, the album itself shows a lot of a work in duplicating the styles of music today from Katy Perry to the stop and start of Fun and even Munford and Sons all the way down to the AH ROOO OOOO backing vocals.  But it's hardly original.  Which seems to suit Train just fine.

Grade C+

Paul Anka-Jubilation  (Buddah) 1973

Guilty pleasure single of that year came from the former teen idol now a Vegas headliner but you could say this was his lost wilderness period to which he recorded a couple albums which Arista after acquiring that label put them out on a best of that wasn't his best.  The goofy organ cover shot which he doesn't break a sweat plus no song titles anywhere made this a 1.99 special in no time.  My mom was a big Anka fan, buying selected ABC Paramount singles and the remakes of them The Great 21 to which an unheard of 21 songs making it into a album that barely made it past 40 minutes.  Very Ramones like shall we say but Anka was a pop star more than rock.  However the title track remains a fun listen, somewhere along the lines of I Got The Music In Me but with a gospel feel.  In some ways Jubliation is Anka's hardest rocking song in his career and maybe he wasn't trying to be.  Adding a metallic fuzz guitar to sound like the devil might have worked back in 1973 but nowadays it's sounds more like a failed gimmick.  And the drummer whoever he was must have loved the china cymbal since he kept crashing it like a Keith Moon.  For the first four minutes or as they say Part 1 of the single, it does make you want to believe Jesus will win, hell freezes, and the devil is displeased, until you get to the overblown Johnny Harris arrangements and you get the feeling that perhaps you are in hell with the overblown horns and strings going at it for the last two minutes of this 7 minute workout.  And then after that, outside of a cover of John Prine's Pretty Good, the rest is forgettable. Vegas pop and droll and I couldn't even make it through the second side of the glop that Anka is famous for.  And would later gave the world one of the worst all time crappy songs ever with You're Having My Baby.  But thank Jesus that you didn't have to hear it on this record.

Grade C-

Forgotten song of the past: The Ballad Of Ira Hayes by Bob Adams (Country & Western Hits 277)

This song originally written by Peter LaBarge and covered by many, most notably Johnny Cash, I was more familiar with this version on a budget label done by the unknown Bob Adams, who made a habit of covering country songs of the past via The Hit Record Label.  My dad has had a copy of this well worn record. Even in the era of the internet, and while there have been websites that actually celebrate the K Tel label of the 60s, the majority of recording artists who were on Hit/Country And Western Hits were either minor league recording stars or just plain unknowns.  The eerie introduction spooked me when I was 3 or so, but it was one of the earliest songs that I ever heard.  The female backing vocals could either be The Anita Kerr Singers or The Nashville Edition, I'm guessing the former. This version seems to come from a near mint copy and it's kinda nice to hear it without the hideous scratches and abuse of my dad's recording.  And who is this Bob Adams?   We don't know and the link to the song has disappeared. Therefore, Johnny Cash's version, which Adams did a nice similar job is included instead. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WN2Yddj1ko

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Crabb Bits: The Kinks, Bob Crewe, Robert Plant, Cosimo Matassa

Oh where to begin.

Bob Crewe passed away. Started out a songwriter writing Daddy Cool and Silhouettes for The Rays and produced The Four Seasons, Mitch Ryder and gave us Music To Watch Girls By.  RIP http://www.bobcrewe.com/ 

Cosimo Matassa is a name you may have never of, but if you have heard Little Richard, Professor Longhair, Fats Domino and others, you would have heard him recording them.  Cosimo who passed away Wed at 88 from stroke complications was instrumental in developing the legendary New Orleans Sound of the early 50s and 60s.  Without him music would sound a wee bit different.

Legacy Recordings will be reissuing 16 albums from The Kinks beginning with Muswell Hillbillies onward.  Legacy acquired the North American rights to the RCA and Arista albums. October 14th Legacy will also put out the two cd overview Essential Kinks to which I'm guessing will focus on those years.  Sanctuary PYE in the UK have been putting out two cd sets of certain albums up to Lola And The Moneygoround.  Since I already have the CDs that were issued I don't see a need to upgrade.  Reissues tend to blog down the original intention of the album and while the first two Kinks RCA albums were classic and very good, the concept albums that followed were not.  And while Sleepwalker was the first back to basics rock album they did, it was too spotty and too erratic for me to give up my vinyl copy.  Word Of Mouth, the 1984 Arista finale was my favorite of that era.  Think Visual and UK Jive, their MCA records (no word if they're part of the Legacy deal) is Rock professionalism at work, most critics have slagged them off, I find some pleasure in Visual and UK Jive.  Their first and only album for Columbia Phobia sucked and To The Bone I never heard. For the RCA and Arista albums, this will be their third reissue (BMG passed but Rhino issued the first, then Velvel/Koch later via Konk).  And re re issues tend to come with a shrug of the shoulders rather than waiting on baited breath. And 2 CD sets of classic albums are a luxury, if you have them in original form, you really don't need them.  Unless you're a CD hoarder.

Bob Lefsetz bitching about U2 and the new album and how they tacked it on Itunes and the new Apple phone. And blah blah blah. Fuck off anyway Lefsetz, nobody said you had to listen to it, just stick with your bro country crap.  No country for bitchy failed A and R men.    Nobody has time to listen to music, everybody is on their Smart phone looking for the next big thing.  Screw the record and CD buyers.  His latest blog might be the biggest double standard bunch of BS that I have read yet this year.  And that's saying something.  http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/index.php/archives/2014/09/10/u2-blew/

Jason Isbell had the best line:  U2 phones it in.  Bwahahahahahaha!



I didn't know this existed:  The original Days Of The New got back together to do some reunion shows and they turned out to be turds of a different dog.  Basically a one hit wonder band, they had one hit that I can never remember but still gets played on real rock stations (snicker).  A missed date in Columbia, DOTN limped into St Louis where Travis Meeks, either high on something he shouldn't have taken or being indifferent fucked around for six  songs till the bass player had enough and said this band is over and left the stage followed by the guitarist and drummer.  In music history Days Of The New made an album of like minded Alice In Chains but with a more acoustic bent and Meeks fired the band and soldered on with a revolving door of replacements while the rest of the band formed Tantric and continued to make like minded AIC music for Maverick and various labels.  The original band reformed this summer but they were so under the radar by this time nobody gave them much thought till this Spinal Tapish moment that ended things once and for all.  http://blogs.riverfronttimes.com/rftmusic/2014/09/days_of_the_new_breaks_up_on_st_louis_stage_a_cold_uncaring_world_shrugs.php

There are a select few that still care about music even though they're becoming few and far between but I still see them trying to find something at the local Best Buy or Half Priced Bookstore.  We're not extinct but we are  an endangered species.  I had a choice of reviewing either the new Ryan Adams or Robert Plant.  Guess which one I ended up getting.  lullaby....AND THE CEASELESS ROAR (Nonesuch/WB) is Plant's latest and I can see why he said no Jimmy and the boys and went on finding his own niche.  Actually if you really think about it, the album continues in the same wavelength that began with Raising Sand, the surprise comeback album with Alison Kruass.  Trance meets Zeppelin says Plant and he's right.  The herky jerky African rhythms repeated over and over.  Revising Little Maggie at the end as a African chant .  And there's still a bit of Zeppelin like riffs on Turn It Up.  Plant's band on this album might be the most varied band he's ever put together as well.  Sometimes a song can be trancelike in it's state like A Stolen Kiss, first listens sounds like it's dragging but repeated listens reveal a more atmospheric sound.  I still have reservations about Rainbow, didn't care for it much when Plant released it as a single and it works better in a album format after Little Maggie (are you reading this Bob Lefsetz?  Course not, you don't listen to albums after 1969 anyway).  Nowadays, Robert seems to be better suited singing in a lower voice rather than the banshee years of Zeppelin, age simply will not let him do that anymore.  He did adopt to that on the Led Zep farewell Celebration Day and it worked.  In today's most over the hill bands would have died to get back together for one more cash grab record and tour and Led Zep would have ranked in the dollars.  But hooray for Robert to follow his heart and go where the music and beats were playing.  And sorry to say that Jimmy would have been in the way.  In the trilogy of albums he's done beginning with Raising Sand and continuing with Band Of Joy.  lullaby....AND THE CEASELESS ROAR is a music journey worth seeking out and if you followed that far from the last two albums, this one will satisfy just as well too.

Monday, I went and got the car's oil changed and tires rotated at the car dealership in Maquoketa.  And since it's was an hour and half to do other things, I went uptown to see what the Goodwill had to offer and outside of a Walter Egan Not Shy LP, the store had nothing to offer on CD either.  Unless you like country.  Maquoketa also has one of the best Mexican food places in La Casa DE Pancho.  They had a pretty good lunch special going on and for 5.95 you can't beat it.  The waiter was kinda stuffy but as long as they come by to offer a refill on drinks, that always generates a tip back.  Recommended.  (The website has been taken down, perhaps a chance of ownership?  I won't know till I go get the car's oil changed next time I'm in town) 

The Antique Mall on the edge of town was going out of business so I thought I stopped in and see what they had.  Once upon a time Banowetz Antique Mall was the pride of Maquoketa and a place to go.  But in April they decided they were closing their doors and five months later they still had a decent selection of old furniture and antiques. And a collection of old Edison cylinder records and old 78s.  But I guess I missed the boat on 45s although they have a few, most of them were by Patti Page or Bobby Vinton or Lawrence Welk or The Lennon Sisters.  They had about 10 Connie Francis 45 to choose from.  But I chose none of them.

Since I've been to Davenport the previous couple ventures out on highway 61, I decided to head to Dubuque to see what I could find.  Whereas the MacQ Goodwill had nothing, the Dubuque store had plenty of things to take home. A couple of Randy Van Warmer CDs, The Raiders' Collage album and the Fleetwood Mac with bonus cuts were picked up.  Back in July, I took up about 50 cds that fell into the water in the basement on the June tornado event but they were all gone the next time I stopped back.  I wasn't too happy about the scratched up CD I got from CD's 4 Change so I passed on this them and stopped at Moondog Music and found Jay Ferguson's Real Life Ain't This Way and a PF Sloan Best of.  Moondog's 45 selection is basically new stuff but they did have some Bobby Goldsboro Epic singles that I admired and put them back in their place.

Later on, I did the river walk and stopped at the casino to gamble away 6 dollars playing penny slots.  I didn't get much payoff action and that was over and done after a half hour of that and choking on cigarette smoke from others losing their fortune.  For a brief moment the clouds whisked away and got to see the last of the Supermoon rising above and shining on the Mississippi River.  But I called it an evening only to get home and seeing an uncoming lightning and thunderstorm, to which once I got home, the fucking storm would last six hours, and three inches of rain that got water in the basement bathroom and the garage but the bedroom remained dry for a change.  That was a minor blessing.


Review:
Jack Clement-For One And For All (IRS)

Jack was one of a kind.  Hell of a songwriter and hell of a producer as well.  Him working and breaking Charley Pride alone gets him into the Country Music Hall Of Fame.  And just about everybody in country music in the 60s or 70s sang a Clement written song.  But for Jack himself For One And For All is only his third proper album and this was recorded and finished just before he died last August from liver cancer.  An all star effort, and even having the legendary Duane Eddy playing his trademark twang on Jesus Don't Give Up On Me, which would have served a heartstopping ending to this album although The Air Conditioning Song leaves things a bit more upbeat giving the circumstances.  The talents of Vince Gill, Marty Stuart, Rodney Crowell and Emmy Lou Harris, country stars of the past are paired with stars of today Dierks Bentley and The Secret Sisters on backing vocals.  And of course John Henry (T Bone) Burnett is co producer of this effort and it has the T Bone sound, you'll know it when you hear the O Brother soundtrack or the Secret Sisters two albums.  I'm certainly glad that Jack picked his finest songs for this fitting finale, including Miller's Cave and The Spell Of The Freight Train, one of the finest songs that Charley Pride ever recorded (it was the B side to Does My Ring Hurt Your Finger).  Interesting note:  six songs off this album Pride recorded himself and some where hits (I Know One, Just Between You And Me, Let The Chips Fall). It would have been nice to see Pride come out and sing on this album.   Even in ill health, Clement's voice (similar to Burl Ives when Burl was doing country) reveals  age and experience in these songs.  Even on Jesus Don't Give Up On Me, it does sound like Clement knowing his time wasn't long.  But all is forgiven, and I'm sure he's up in the great beyond writing and paling around with Hank Snow, Waylon or Johnny Cash.  It won't get airplay on bro country radio, it's too country and no bros allowed in this party.  But those who did showed up, did have a good time.

Grade B+

The Raiders: Indian Reservation/Collage (Raven)

I love Paul Revere And The Raiders and yes they should be in the rock hall of fame but admit this, when Mark Lindsay took over production from Terry Melcher he became the de factor leader in the studio while Paul Revere was the leader when they played live and the Lindsay production era has been very problematic.  Even on their best album Alias Pink Puzz, Lindsay had way too much bubblegum in him to establish The Raiders as a rock band.  While there's sentimental love for Phil Volk, Fang and Mark Smith, Freddy Weller, Keith Allison and Joe Cornejo Jr were more professional sounding.  Raven Records odd choice of putting out Indian Reservation before Collage makes this an uneven affair right off the bat.  But first let's talk about Collage, one of the albums that Rolling Stone said was their best album overall (bullshit).  Maybe in 1969 it might have been but 45 years later, it shows the weakness of having Mark Lindsay produce and write everything.  I never liked Just Seventeen, it's even more creepy nowadays and the dated horn charts don't help either nor the dated fuzz guitar.  Best song was written by Weller, We All Gotta Get Together which could have ended the album on a positive note, but Lindsay had to add two minutes of somebody yacking and a muzak version.  Also, Tighter and Gone Moving On, were better in their original state on Revolution, which to me was their finest studio album.  Highlights include Save The Country and Interlude (To Be Forgotten), but the low points are Dr. Fine and Sorceress With The Blue Eyes to which Mark screams over The Raiders trying to be hard rock.  It didn't work then, it surely doesn't work now.

Indian Reservation, the single turned out to be The Raiders' biggest single ever, a reworking of Don Fardon's version (he was once in The Sorrows), while Don's version was the better, The Raiders had better marketing.  The album itself, reveals more of what Mark Lindsay was doing as a solo artist and it shows.  Mark Smith, the original drummer does come back to play on this album, but he's working with a pop band rather than a rock band.   The Raiders could have taken a page out of the 3 dog night book and cover other singer songwriter's songs,  The Shape Of Things To Come is not bad till Lindsay fucks around with a middle eight that damn near derails the song and Prince Of Peace (written by Leon Russell) is fairly good.  The problem once again is Lindsay's production and arrangements.  Heaven Help Us All will not make you forget Stevie Wonder's version but the key song is a cover of The Easybeats Come In You'll Get Phenomena. While The Easybeats version builds up to a shouting crescendo, Lindsay plays it way too safe. Birds Of A Feather was a nice followup single, but it seems like Smith wanted to up the tempo and ended up throwing drum rolls on the chorus probably just to keep awake.  Album closer The Turkey pretty much is one.   Raven Throws in two songs from the crappy Country Wine album (the best ones, Raven also has that album out called Country Wine Plus, which features forgotten singles as well.  I remember side 1 of Country Wine was good to great but side 2 may have been the worst side of songs The Raiders ever did and I don't recommend that album).

While I don't agree that Collage is the missing classic album that Paul Revere And The Raiders ever did, I will say it's interesting in it's failed way to be a missing classic album.  It should be heard once and then donated to Goodwill, unless you're trying to complete your Paul Revere collection.  Perhaps Lindsay did try to stay up to date and create a rock masterpiece.  Lindsay would have done better having a different producer to get the band going although Gary Usher would have been a better choice.  It also didn't helped that the recording engineer would later be the go to guy for Shawn Cassidy's early albums.  Indian Reservation is The Raiders as pop professionals that reached the top of the charts with a polished hit single that still gets played on oldies radio.  Sad for them, the bottom would fall out big time and in five years they'd be dropped from Columbia.  You get the hear the unraveling for yourself on this set.

Grade C+    

John Lennon-ICON
Ringo Starr-ICON

Universal's attempt to cash in on the overplayed hits from the former Beatles and both are about as pointless as they come.  The ICON series are more in line with the 10 Best Series that EMI used to put out, budget priced CDs with the major hits and a few odds and ends but in Ringo's case a pointless live version of Yellow Submarine.  There are much better comps out there (Lennon's Legend, Ringo's Photograph) or even the long deleted Shaved Fish and Blast From Your Past are better alternatives to this cash grab, unless you do run into this for five dollars.  But remember you also have to eat and pay bills too. Choose wisely.

Grade for both albums: C

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Playlist: New Format Same Old Songs

It used to mean that September would be the months of hot new releases, back when record stores sold new releases and not Best Buy cherry picking the oblivious.  Nowadays it means squat to the average consumer trying to read texts and catching up things on the smart phone.  But to the handful that enjoy new releases on Tuesday we get the new Robert Plant and Ryan Adams efforts in to listen to once and file away.  Paul Collins from the Beat has a new album out on Alive but I don't expect Best Buy to have that one.  Nor the new Pere Ubu.  Reissues are a mess, the best one would be Rhino's new The Very Best Of The Specials but Universal's repackaged 20th Century Masters now known as ICON will regurgitate out The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Josh Turner, Tesla and even John Lennon and Ringo Starr's hits.  Which dilutes the greatest hits format down to cesspool levels.  The major labels can't break new acts so they have to puke up the same ole same old. 

You can say the same thing for Corporate radio and THE FOX which continues to torture people with the same 200 Cumulus approved songs day after day after day.  The classic rock format needs to be retired.  It's funny how back thirty years ago we worried about ever hearing the rock classics, till Lee Abrams took the consulting business too far and the most requested songs of the past are now the most overplayed. Why even have Back In Black or The Wall anymore when THE FOX shoves Another Brick In The Wall down our ears and throat or Foreigner's crappy Cold As Ice.  T.N.T. couldn't get any airplay when it came out in 1976, now it's heard twice a day.  Radio hasn't had much variety since Newt Gingrich rewrote the 1996 Telecom Act and gave Clear Channel and Cumulus the status to buy up as many radio stations so they can take over world domination by playing the same 200 songs years later.  Radio used to break new acts, now they will not play the regional artist or the regional hits.  Thanks to satellites, you can now get piped in syndication from Nikki Sixx, who talks about a different version of Led Zeppelin's Black Dog and then the local yahoos plays Sweet Home Alabama instead.  A lotta people complain about Muzak stations but at least the songs vary more often then three times of Dream On every night.

Which leaves us to Gene Simmons ruffling feathers again about the death of rock and roll.  Rock isn't dead. Radio isn't playing them.  They're too busy rehashing a playlist that hasn't changed since Kurt Cobain offed himself.  The major labels, all three of them are not interested in breaking new acts.  After all if you get on a major label if your first record bombs you don't get a second chance.  In this world Journey and REO Speedwagon today would have been long gone.  After all it took Journey about four albums to break, and REO about 7.    KISS today would have been one and done.  Thank your lucky stars you were on Casablanca Geno.

The big story was Dan at work bitching about KRNA changing their format over from "real" rock over to Alternative. Which means nada to me since I don't do radio only at gunpoint when I'm stuck down in Packaging Hell land and Dan's got THE FOX cranked up to 11.  What it means that KRNA is more likely to play Sixteen Stone from Bush or Candlebox more often than Guns And Roses or Back In Black or (F me running) The Wall.  If you can get through the malware and the tons of commercials spots on their website you can check out KRNA's playlist and judge for yourself but their idea of alternative and mine  are two different worlds. http://krna.com/

In the real world this week.  Phoenix woke up to 2 inches of rain and plenty of flooding all over the place Monday Morning making most of the interstate and US 60 concrete rivers from Hurricane Norbert, and parts of the California desert got plenty of the 'liquid gold' thus prompting plenty of YAYs and bring it on from folks who either live in upper apartments or places that don't get flooded, the ones that you wish would get stalled out on the Black Canyon Freeway Temporary lake and rivers and float on.  So far we have managed to stay dry from the spring floods which still has left this place in disarray and waiting for the waterproofers to come this way to fix our water in the basement issues which has been a sorry ass way of life since being here.  Problem remains the media likes to sensationalize things by say HEAVY RAIN everytime we get a forecast of rain. Of FLOODING MAY HAPPEN.  Which did happen Monday night.  A stray storm that stayed for six hours and dumped four inches of rain which once again flooded the basement.

Gerard Wilson, one of the best jazz arrangers ever passed away Tuesday at age 96, still working 75 years into the music business.  Worked with Ray Charles, Redd Foxx, Bobby Darin.  One of my favorite albums from him was Brass Bag which I had on import years ago and then lost it somewhere.  Never to get it back.

Forgotten Singles Of The Past:




Need Your Love- Hawks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcQc-ZyCRCs
In a perfect world, every band would have their songs to be heard on classic rock radio and not just the overplayed crap we used to love growing up. Marginally tolerated songs like You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet or Dream On are now poison ivy to the ears and a change to another corporate owned station doesn't help. Even more so if the other Corporate owned station is playing the same song. But in 1980s, there was still hope for the up and coming band to get their music heard via the majors. One such band was Hawks, a band that came from the state of Iowa.  They caught the attention of CBS Columbia and signed up with a contract and they made two pretty good power pop albums with a sound like Cheap Trick, only a bit tougher and rocking sound but lacking a Robin Zander type that would stand out.  Their first album was produced with Tom Werman veteran producer who had worked with Cheap Trick and a few others (Gary Myrick, Mother's Finest, Ted Nugent).  Like many bands signed at that time and working on a cheap, Columbia couldn't figure out how to break the band and when the S/T album came out in 1981 it was under the New Artist/Nice Price line of 5.98 albums.  A blown chance was when CBS picked Right Away as lead off single, which to me was the weakest song and not the one best characteristic of the band's strengths. In fact Right Away has more in common with Air Supply than Cheap Trick.  Somehow, despite minimal airplay it did reach to number 63 in March of 1981.  The B side was much much better and could have been a top thirty hit. Somewhat of a new wave Cars combined with a Blue Oyster Cult guitar riffs with a dreamy chorus vocal, this lead off side 2 of the LP.  Some album rock stations did play this.  The second and final single taken off the first album was It's All Right It's Ok b/w Spend This Evening  (Columbia 11-02086) didn't chart and it's too bad.  Next to Need Your Love it was the second best song off that album and that song managed to be the only thing that The Hawks would be on CD till Not Lame issued a aborted third album and demos from the first album which were more rougher sounding.  

Hawks would make a second album, the humorous titled 30 Seconds Over Otho which they managed to get Clarence Clemons to play saxophone on the failed single If We Just Stick Together b/w Black And White (Col 18-02955). The best track Tonight You Are Mine should have been a single. While on a third album Columbia dumped them and after renaming themselves Junior Wild they recorded a few demos and one of them Runaway Girl was part of a four song EP with the winner getting a contract with EMI America.  Sad to say they lost out to some Micky inspired New Wave woman's song All His Friends Are Spies.  With that, the band broke up. But made it to the Iowa Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2007.  Kirk Kaufman and Dave Hearn continues to play together from time to time. https://www.iowarocknroll.com/inductees/174/the-hawks



Playlist:

Get Your Hands Off My Woman  Ben Folds and The Darkness
The Railroad-Grand Funk Railroad (We're An American Band)
Need Your Love-Hawks (S/T)
Glory-Television (Adventure)
She's A Fool-Lesley Gore (Best Of Lesley Gore)
Squealer-AC/DC (Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap)
Shakedown Cruise-Jay Ferguson (Real Life Ain't This Way)
Interlude (To Be Forgotten)-The Raiders (Collage)
World Turning-Fleetwood Mac (S/T)
She's So Fine-The Kitchen Cinq (Decca 32374)