Archive for 90000005-04:00 12

Boys Town Gang/Cruisin’ The Streets

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 90000005-04:00 12 by marky7235

Cruisin' the StreetsThe Boys Town Gang were a San Francisco based disco and hi-NRG band. Their popularity peaked in the 1980s, when the group reached number 5 on Billboard‘s Hot Dance Club Play chart with the singleCruisin’ the Streets“, and number 4 in the UK Singles chart[1] and number 1 in the Netherlands with their cover version of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.

In 1980 DJ Bill Motley saw an opportunity to form a group that catered to San Francisco’s large gay clientele. In his search to form a group he auditioned hundreds of vocalists, both male and female. Local cabaret singer Cynthia Manley captured the lead spot.

The idea was originally for one 12″ single with two tracks of high energy music. Motley, a Diana Ross fan, picked two Ashford & Simpson songs to form a medley for the A-side. For the B-side he wrote a disco drama in four acts. A record label was founded to release the two songs.

When “Remember Me” / “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” was released the song took off, with Manley’s vocals propelling the song into the top of the club charts. The four-act explicit “Cruisin’ The Streets” was a snapshot of Castro and Market Streets at sundown.[3]

Manley departed after the release of these two records and Jackson Moore took over lead vocal responsibilities in 1981. [Wikipedia]

Remember Me/Ain’t No Mountain High Enough [Remix]—-At an astounding 13 minutes long, this was the type of manufactured disco that drove the most successful Gay clubs in the Castro area for years. With huge horns, monstrous keyboards and a chorus of voices, the energy and the fun never left this track. With vocals that would rival Diana herself, this hi-NRG remix is so full of whoop ass dance beats that it still manages to drive my heart rhythm into a frenzy. This is dirty, sleazy fun disco that eclipsed the whole epidemic before anyone knew of the slaughter that would come to our friends shortly after this release. This is hedonistic, fun and a free for all that still plays well today…a piece of musical history and a Gay landmark recording.

Crusin’ The Streets—-Clocking in at an impressive 13+ minutes, this is a mini-lesson into the dark underbelly of the Gay scene in the late 70’s and early 80’s when every night out was a sexual free for all. this is pumped up with incredible energy and sexually charged synth lines that just beg for extended plays from san francisco to the darkest, most private place in Iowa…and so it was played…over and over in quiet, dark hedonistic clubs all over the world and a nation of millions lost themselves in the stomping bass and swirling foggy synth. This plays like a mini-movie placed on vinyl…the moods come and go…but the fun never leaves the song. This is wilder than anything the mainstream could endure…and so we get a true piece of Gay History magically transposed to CD…sounding cleaner and more crisp than ever. The unofficial entry needed in the Book Of Crusin’… fun is this song!!!

Dance Trance [Megamix]—-With a very gay flourish of piano, the bass enters the song with a loopy disco synth line that was designed to make people on the dance floor literally insane. There are horns, swirling black lite synths and a bevy of female vocals that beg for poppers and inappropriate dancing. this is naked, hedonistic, sweaty dancing music. It makes me yearn for the ‘old’ days even as I sit here writing. This is almost like a huge conglomerate of entwined sounds…you catch pieces of every song on this release included all in one song and the result is nothing less than MARVELOUS!!! This will not disappoint on any level…if you are feeling really bad…put this on, you cannot help but at least smile and at most it is a 15 minute break from 2010. Fantastic…..well done!!!!

Yester-Me, Yester-You—-With a nice loopy sexy synth and some subtle horns, this is a nice track that moves the sound of the group a little more into the new decade…this is full of that late 70’s, early 80’s Dance vibe that was slower and more seductive. The vocal is masterful….the lyrics are crystal clear and this cover version would rival the original. Sometimes, in the grand scheme of things, these producer designed studio bands really pulled off a good one…this is one of those instances. This EP is really a moment of time caught on a 50 minute onslaught of synths and vibes that makes you remember, wish you were there, or wish you could remember being there. A fantastic vibe!!!

When Will I See You Again—-Boystown Gang takes this classic song…adds about an extra 80 BPMS to the sound, raises the bass about 12 notches and adds enough synths to mimic as orchestra….and you have…in my opinion the best song on this release. This is rich. textured and full of spot on perfect harmonies that  makes sweat break out on your forehead. This is never old, never dated or less than anything but Magnificent. When the extra underlying bass line kicks in n the chorus and you are jubulant…this makes you feel warm and fuzzy…yay Disco!!!!

Remember Me/Ain’t No Mountain High Enough—-Interesting enough, this ‘original’ version is almost 2 minutes longer than the remixed version! is even better than the real thing…Really, this differs little from the previous version…the horns are joyful, the synths are huge…the chorus of voices allows you to just lose yourself in the fun and relaxed delivery of the song…this remains….INCREDIBLE!!! The Diana impression is magnificent.

Crusin’ The Streets [Instrumental]—-Much more piano based than the original at the onset, this is obviously meant to be a nice mixing option for Studio 54 DJ’s looking to draw out the already epic sleaze in the streets. Meant for my own heart…wonderful.

**** out of 5


Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers/Echo

Posted in CD of the day, music, random, reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on 90000005-04:00 12 by marky7235

EchoEcho is the tenth studio album by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. First released in April 1999, the album reached #10 on the Billboard 200 aided by the singles “Free Girl Now”, “Swingin'” and “Room At The Top” which hit #5, #17 and #19 respectively on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks in 1999. The album was the band’s last collaboration with producer Rick Rubin, and was also the last to feature contributions from long time bassist/vocalist Howie Epstein, who died of a heroin overdose in 2003. Echo was certified Gold (500,000 copies sold) by the R.I.A.A. in July of 1999, only three months after it was released. Echo is the only Heartbreakers’ album to contain a lead vocal from another member of the band. Mike Campbell takes his first lead vocal on “I Don’t Wanna Fight”. [Wikipedia]

Room At The Top—-Entering your speakers with a folky, almost acoustic sound, Petty….for me has never sounded better. The remarkable ability Tom has of expressing feelings with a certain tone always congeals with the lyrics masterfully. This first song let me know that this was going to be a favorite Petty record for me and it has not failed me yet. When the song does open with that trademark Campbell sound, it seems all is right with the world.

Counting On You—-With a much more familiar guitar sound from the onset, Petty delivers his trademark drawl and puts a smile on my face that will stay there all day. The guitar riff is classic Campbell and the entire feel of the song reeks of Americana at its finest. This is exquisite…everything i expect from this band and more….even after all of these years.

Free Girl Now—-Featuring a vintage Campbell riff and the type of energy that Petty had on his first few releases, this has a nice Southern Rock quality that resonates in your brain long after you switch songs and/or CD’s. Petty delivers a vocal that is full of energy and a slight bit of anger that helps to propel the song just as much as the guitar/drum combo. This is fantastic!!

Lonesome Sundown—-Piano based with a nice Country twang to it, Petty delivers a vocal that could rival any popular Country singer on the scene today. This slide guitar delivery is brilliant…matching that slow drawn out vocal of Tom’s. This is a piece of magic that still manages to give me goosebumps…the pain in the vocal just seems so real to me. Great!!!

Swingin’—-With a nice Electric feel to it, this song in yet another of my favorites from this release. the harmonica is brilliant and adds to the slow Southern feel of the song. Petty has a nice overlayed vocal that plays magnificently. this is a fun song all they way around and just shows the wide breadth of the band….magnificent!!!

Accused Of Love—-From the very first rhythmic guitar sounds, this song is a masterpiece all the way around. The chorus is a huge blended vocal of harmonies with a nice Country twinge that sucks you right in. this is no nice and smooth you have to ask yourself why this outfit has not made a proper Country CD….this could be done with ease. The vocal is so typical and predictable, yet somehow sounds fresh and alive. This is freakin’ amazing.

Echo—-Again, this song literally bleeds the Nashville sound intermixed with a marvellous Dylan impersonation. the chorus is a nice blend of Country and Alternative Americana sounds that just makes you feel sunny and oblivious to that that is going on around you. This is brilliant….I love when Petty really digs into his musical roots and delivers a CD so strong on this type of content. Still a favorite.

Won’t Last Long—-Returning to a nice mix of Alt-Country Rock n’ Roll, Petty delivers a vocal that is much more roof raising than most of the material on this CD. The vocal harmonies with Campbell provides the key ingredient that is necessary to make this a true Heartbreaker’s song. This is a marvellous blend of musical styles rolled magnificently into a huge song.

Billy The Kid—-This is very reminiscent of the Southern Accents CD…full of that marvellous Country feel…the chorus opens up the song with a powerful guitar riff that makes the song a Heartbreaker’s track…the organ sounds give the entire thing a nice twist. This is almost perfect…I could only dream of something larger…not possible.

I Don’t Wanna Fight—-Featuring vocals from longtime Guitarist Mike Campbell, this track differs little from any thing else the band has ever done…Campbell sounds remarkably like Petty….just showing you why these two guys have made a career together. This is raucous, fun and noisy…a clkassic stomper…a return to old-fashioned Blues influenced Rock n’ Roll.

This One’s For Me—-With a remarkably contagious rhythmic guitar sound, this song although not meant to be lite hearted comes across as rather fun. The smooth and unremarkable instrumentation makes the song a lot of fun to listen to. This is great….I love this band!!!

No More—-From the onset. the moody and deeper sound of the song sets the tone well before the vocal even has a chance to enter the fray. When Petty does appear, the vocal is much lighter and even more Dylan-esque than ever. This is a remarkable journey through the land of Alt-Country, Americana and good old-fashioned retro Rock.

About To Give Out—-Returning to all around loud and stadium ready Guitar based Rock, Petty still sounds like a Country vocalist stuck in a Rock n’ Roll body…but it is that mix that makes this band huge and so successful…the cross-over appeal is remarkable and this song has a bit for everybody…this is fun Harley riding, beer drink in’ shit kicker music…superb!!!

Rhino Skin—-A bit more on the atmospheric side, the intro to the song is heavy on build up and the track takes a while to get going. Making me think that this must be about the record industry and the way it can roll over you, Petty is magnificent with his lyrics and imagery. This is a bit downbeat, but marvelous none the less.

One More Day, One More Night—-Ending this release with a typical serene and serious affair, Petty sounds strained and pained as he delivers a story of hurt and confusion. this is remarkable…Petty has that wonderful drawl that just makes me feel warm all over…the end result is fantastic.

***** out of 5 [!]