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Favourite "undiscovered" albums


marvin

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WARNING: THIS IS A VERY LONG POST!

I know that each of you have albums that you consider your hidden gems: albums that never received a lot of fanfare, but nevertheless deserved a better fate. Ok this post might be overly long, but I wanted to hear what others felt. Here are my favourite 'undiscovered' albums - with reviews:

1. "Fresh" - the Raspberries

2. "Side 3" - the Raspberries

3. "Starting Over" - the Raspberries

In my opinion, probably the most under-appreciated band of the 1970ís. It was fairly obvious from the ìLocomotionî copy drum intro in ìI Wanna Be with Youî that Carmen had found in niche in the music of the 1960's. The next single, the Beach Boys influenced ìLetís Pretendî made it even clearer. ìSide 3î is a great collection of Who / Small Faces styled rockers such as ìTonightî and ìEcstasyî, with the country-rock of ìShould I Waitî a nice departure from the regular fare. ìOvernight Sensationî, the lead single from ìStarting Overî, remains a sonic marvel.

4. "The Neighbourhood" - Los Lobos

5. "How Will the Wolf Survive?" - Los Lobos

The band is probably best known for "La Bamba", but they have released some incredible music in their time. Los Lobos were a criticís dream come true when they released ìHow Will the Wolf Survive" in the mid 1980ís. Close to 20 years later, it remains on many play lists. The band is as tight-knit an outfit as you will find anywhere, easily mixing Blues, Rock, Country, Mexican ballads and Soul without missing a beat. "The Neighborhood" showcased their abilities to an even greater degree, and the song material moved toward the serious and spiritual. Leader David Hidalgo remains one of popular music's true talents and visionaries.

6. "Sincerely" - the Dwight Twilley Band

7. "Twilley Don't Mind" - the Dwight Twilley Band

Oklahomaís gift to the Power Pop category. Twilley and band mate Phil Seymour entered the scene with the ultra-perfect single ìIím On Fire.î A stronger initial offering youíd be hard-pressed to find. The first album did not stop there. From the airy ìSincerelyî to the UK homage ìEnglandî, to ìTVî, an Elvis sound-a-like if ever there was, Twilley and his fellow Oklahomans served a tasty Pop platter. The follow-up ìTwilley Donít Mindî was every bit as good.

8. "What's Wrong With this Picture?" - Andrew Gold

For many years Gold had been Linda Ronstadtís guitarist and musical arranger. It wasnít until this his second solo release, and itís powerful single ìLonely Boyî, that Gold was out of the background and into the limelight. Granted not many know of this album, but that does not take away from the fact that Gold sings, plays and writes with the best of them. Great cover art and after all these years, still the wittiest liner notes Iíve ever read.

9. "Stand Back" - April Wine

What would this list be without some Canadian content? From beginning to end, a pretty consistent album with some big hits in Canada: ìOowataniteî, ìI Wouldnít Want To Lose Your Loveî and ìTonite Is A Wonderful Time.î The band is now a shadow of what they used to be when lead singer Myles Goodwyn was writing some of the prettiest ballads and catchiest uptempo songs around.

10. "Back to the Egg" - Paul McCartney & Wings

I love this album because of the diverse styles of music. Featuring great rockers like ìGetting Closerî and ìSpin It Outî, to ballads like ìWinter Roseî which was totally un-McCartney like, and the Denny Laine contribution ìAgain and Again.î Also, guitarist Laurence Juber and drummer Steve Holley were the perfect compliment to McCartney and Laine.

11. "Russian Roulette" - the Hollies

This album should have done for the Hollies what ìMain Courseî did for the Bee Gees - i.e. resurrected their career. Unfortunately other than some minor success in the UK, ìRussian...î went largely ignored in North America. Too bad because the band was at a creative peak, mixing ballads (ìBe With Youî) with rockers (ì48 Hour Paroleî) and R&B (ìWiggle That Wotsitî) as they tried to sound relevant. The core of the band, Allan Clarke, Terry Sylvester and Tony Hicks, had their harmonies as tight as ever and the band was clicking as well as they had ever done. A hit single wouldíve taken the band and the album over the top.

12. "Rock and Roll Love Letter" - the Bay City Rollers

Ok maybe later releases (i.e. ìElevatorî) were more interesting and serious, but as far as catchy Pop music goes, ìRíníR Love Letter.î does the job for me. With this release the band was relying more on their own writing capabilities than looking outside. Still considered bubblegum music by the masses even though tunes such as ìI Only Want To Dance..î, ìLa Belle Jeanneî, ìShanghaiíd In Loveî and the title tune have hooks that grab on to you so tightly, you canít let go.

13. "Hearts Of Stone" - Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes

The best album Bruce Springsteen never made. In Southside Johnny Lyon, Springsteen and Miami Steve Van Zandt found the perfect vehicle for their R&B influenced songs. This is the one album that all Springsteen / Van Zandt fans should own. It is also a must for any fans of Rock / R&B. With the wonderful Miami Horns in tow, and backing provided by members of the E Street Band, Southside is in excellent vocal form. The title song is possibly Springsteen's penultimate love song.

14. "You're Only Lonely" - JD Souther

Souther is better known for the hits that he has co-written (ìNew Kid in Townî, ìThe Heart Of the Matterî and ìHeartache Tonightî among many others) than for his own material. As a solo artist he is very underrated and ìYouíre Only Lonelyî, his second solo album is as good as anything that he as written for other artists. The title song with its Roy Orbisoníish feel was a big hit. Years ago Don Henley said that Souther was the best singer-songwriter to come out of Texas since Buddy Holly.

15. "Tonite You're Mine" - Eric Carmen

In my opinion, it wasnít until this his fourth solo release that Carmen put all the pieces together and released material that was close to his work with the Raspberries. Not quite as Pop as his first solo release, nor as introspective as his second, ìBoats Against the Currentî, but all in all his best ëRockí release and his most successful mixture of the ballad (e.g: ìAll For Loveî and the up-tempo (e.g.: ìInside Storyî). The single ìIt Hurts Too Muchî should have been a hit.

16. "Seconds Of Pleasure" - Rockpile

The UK version of the Traveling Wilburys 10 years prior to the Wilburys, featuring some prominent members of other bands. The heart of the band was Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds however much can be said about the contributions of guitarist / singer Billy Bremner and drummer Terry Williams (Dire Straits). The music is all original and straight ahead Rock / Rockabilly. An added bonus was the inclusion of a 45rpm with Lowe/Edmunds covering some Everly Brothers songs.

17. "Phil Seymour" - Phil Seymour

Seymour was the former singer/songwriter/drummer in the Dwight Twilley Band. No doubt playing in that Power-Pop outfit prepared him well for his first solo outing. As far as melodic pop music goes, it does not get much better than Side 1 of this album. From the super-catchy lead-off single, ìPrecious to Meî, to other gems such as ìLet Her Danceî and ìI Found A Loveî, Seymour delivers the goods.

18. "Marshall Crenshaw" - Marshall Crenshaw

Crenshaw had been hanging around the music scene in NYC for a number of years prior to releasing his first solo album. Previously he was best known for playing John Lennon in the production of ìBeatlemania.î This release is finely crafted Pop music, for the most part played only by a trio (guitar, bass and drums). Crenshaw has continued to forge a reputation as a true Pop music artist, never wavering from his original belief that the melody is the most important part of the song. He has also continued to act, most recently playing Buddy Holly in the movie ìLa Bamba.î

19. Very Greasy - David Lindley & El-Rayo X

Multi-instrumentalist Lindleyís third solo album. Lindley is probably best known for his session work and for being a member of Jackson Browneís band. He has the knack for taking a familiar tune and turning it into something completely different and all his own. Check out his version of ìPapa Was A Rolling Stone.î Other highlights include ìI Just Canít Wait No Longerî and ìGimme daí ting.î Kudos to band mate bassist/vocalist Jorge Calderon for exceptional playing and singing.

20. That Thing You Do - Various Artists Soundtrack

All original music that does an incredible job of capturing the feel of good-time Pop music from the 1960ís. The movie was based on a fictitious band but the music was true to the spirit of the sound. The title song itself may have been written with another decade in mind, but it sounds fresh in its own retro sort of way. The same can be said for the entire album.

21. Wow & Flutter - Kyle Vincent

Vincent makes his admiration for Barry Manilow and Eric Carmen obvious in his writing and singing style. With this his third solo release, Vincent delivers marvels such as ìSheís Top 40î and ìJennifer.î Blessed with a knack for constructing catchy melodies and the ability to deliver them with one of the sweetest voices in music.

22. Welcome to the Rest of Your Life - Venice

The best vocal group that Iíve heard in years. The members have sung on many artistís albums and are justly respected for their vocal abilities. This release was their first for a major label and it contains some incredible singing and playing as well as some truly beautiful melodies. For whatever reason, the band is huge in the Netherlands, and are better known there than they are in the U.S. Time for the rest of the world to catch on.

If you made it through this entire post, thanks for reading.

MARVIN

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Whas Not Was- Born to laugh at tornados 1983

Pandoras Box- Original sin 1989

Gemini- Geminism (Great songs by Benny Andersson and Bj–rn)1987

Glenn Hughes- From Now on 1994

Julian Lennon- Photograph Smile 1998

David Coverdale- Into The Light 2000

Todd Rundgren- Hermit of the mink hollow 1978

Bad English- Backlash 1991

Stanley Clarke- Children of Forever 1972

Walter Murphy- Phantom of the opera 1978

Eric Carmen- Boats against the Current 1977

And any record by a swedish artist named bj–rn skifs..who had a number one hit in u.s.a called "Hooked On A Feeling" in 1973 as "Blueswede"

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Thanks for bringing up this subject! Two artists immediately popped into my head that I hadn't thought about in a very long time. Mind you, I know nothing of production or any of that technical stuff--I just know what sounds great to my own ears. One is a group called "Stonebolt" and I believe it's a self-titled album. Purchased this album totally by mistake in 1979 or '80-ish. Heard a song on the radio, loved it and then went to the record store to buy it. There was a song by the same name on this album, so I bought it. I wasn't disappointed for long though as it quickly became one of my very favorites. (Liked it better than Eric until I heard the full body of his music--kind of embarrassing now.) Of course, I haven't heard this album in more than a decade, so maybe I wouldn't even like it now spin ! Can't for the life of me even think what the song was. I do think it got some radio play though. I'll have to do a Google search unless Matt is reading and can help me out!

The other artist is Jimmy Harnen. Man, I really, really love this guys stuff! I only have the one album--"Can't Fight the Midnight" with his band, Synch. The song off of the album that climbed up the charts (I think it may have got to #10) was "Where Are You Now". Still hear it on the radio once in awhile. Haven't heard the whole album in a long time, but do believe I bought 2 albums and 2 cassettes (I used to do that if it was something I really loved!) What I remember most about the album, was that it was totally different from the "Where Are You Now" song. I think that was the only ballad on the whole thing. The rest was all pop/rock--very enjoyable--if you're a Richard Marx fan, you'd like it. Will have to scour the internet and see what ever became of Jimmy.

--Julie

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Just did a quick "Google" on Stonebolt. I see they're Canadian. Also, the song was "I Will Still Love You". (The song I originally confused it with was, "I Will Be In Love With You" by Livingston Taylor. I eventually found that one and I remember now listening to it on a road trip with my best friend and trying to learn all the words-LOL!)--Julie

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Spirit-12 Dreams of Dr.Sardonicus

Great album not a pop hit album but 70's hippie album rock.

Mick Ronson -Play Dont worry To me this album is as good as anything Bowie ever did.

Edgar Winter -Shock Treatment is full of great melodic songs.I love this album and was really surprised how it tanked.Not a bad song on the album.

Mountain - Nantucket Sleighride

Fleetwood Mac - Mystery To Me in my opinion this is there best album.Pre lindsey and stevie.Bob welch on guitar If I recall.

Triumvirat- Dont know if this is how they spelled it but while in boarding school one of the guys had this album and it was quite good.

Aorta- I remember this album from when I was around 10 years old.More hippie music from the 60's.

4 out of 5 Doctors - a local group from Va. who got a contract in the 80's for 2 records on C.B.S. I think.very unique songwriting especially the first album.

Face Dancer -first album rocked had a hit with Red Shoes rest of album is great classic rock.Band was from Baltimore and played locally around D.C alot.

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I do have the Stonebolt album which went to # 210 for one week on the Billboard Bubbling Under The Top 200 Album Charts on August 12, 1978. Another Stonebolt album that I DO NOT have called "New Set Of Changes" went to # 206 for one week (Bubbling Under) back on January 17, 1981. The group did not hit the Top 200 Album Charts in the U.S.. The station CFCO in Chatham, Ontario (AM 630), (FM 92.9) also plays the song "I Will Still Love You". The song went to # 29 (Billboard Hot 100) & # 20 (AC Charts) back in September of 1978. The group had one more song called "Love Struck" which went to # 70 (Billboard Hot 100) back in February of 1979. I also have Barry Scott Presents The Lost 45's Of The 70's & 80's, Volume 2 which has the song "I Will Still Love You". I also have "Regeneration: The Best Of Stonebolt" which was released back in 1999 which is only available in Canada only. It contains a new remake version of "I Will Still Love You" as well as a new remake of "Was It You". The website is: http://members.home.net/stonebolt & www.stoneboltband.com for more information. Matt

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I also have Jimmy Harnen "Can't Fight The Midnight" on CD. The song "Where Are You Now?" (W/Synch) went to # 77 on Columbia back on April of 1986, then reissued back on February 25, 1989 & went to # 10 (1 week) back on June 10, 1989 & # 3 (AC Charts) on WTG Records. That was their only charted single. The CD "Can't Fight The Midnight" did not chart. Matt

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Another artist I forgot to mention is singer David Lasley. Back in 1982, he had a minor Top 40 hit called "If I Had My Wish Tonight" on EMI America peaking at # 36 (3 weeks in the Top 40) on the Billboard Charts. David was a one hit wonder. David was born in a small village in Branch, Michigan (which is part of African-American) but grew up in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. His album "Missin' Twenty Grand" (which I DO NOT have) had rock critic Dave Marsh gave **** 4 stars out of ***** 5 stars. Dave said: Lasley made his reputation as a background singer for James Taylor, but his real metier is blue-eyed soul. Motor City falsetto variant. This album of primarily self-written material is remarkable not only for the purity of Lasley's voice, however, but for the passion of his concerns, the matter-of-factness with which he deals with his gay lifestyle and the aggressive statements it makes about sexual, racial and other political matters. The song "On Third Street" is as good a confessional song as Joni Mitchell's ever written, and "Treat Willie Good" and "Roommate" are trenchant, funny statements of sexual dilemmas. Beautiful music in the best sense. smile End of quote. happy Matt

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here's My list:

Blue Rodeo : Casino

Shaw,Blades Tommy Shaw Jack Blades): Hallucination

Elevator: Bay City Rollers

Rabbitt: Greatest Hits

Elliott Smith : XO

Del Amitri: Change Everything

Strawbs: Hero and Heroine

Strawbs&Sandy Denny: Who knows Where The time Goes

Harmonium: Harmonium

David Cassidy: Dreams Are nothing More Than Wishes

Bahoo smilie

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Hey MCC, I chose DC's CD BECAUSE it is "Undiscovered"

It has a completely different feel than the other PF or DC records. It has a strong Gospel feel and is bluesy as well. What is intersting also is that DC's voice is recorded a la early Elvis...his voice is really close to the mic and you can hear how good of a voice he has...

Other musicians, if I remember correctly,include: Michael MacDonald, Mike Botts Larry Carlton, Larry Knetchel, Ronnie Tutt, Michael Omartian, Bruce Johnson, Jim Keltner, Jim Gordon, Jim Horn, Dean Parks etc...

Bahoo smile

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I do have David Cassidy's "Dreams Are Nuthin' More Than Wishes" which I bought at a used record store in Flint, MI. The CD "Rock Me Baby" has now been reissued last May on Arista/BMG Heritage & that is one of my favorites (Warm My Soul, Some Kind Of A Summer) than the other stuff. I used to hear the Ampex 8-Track tape of "Rock Me Baby" when it sounded like a fart coming from the machine. smilie By the way, the Partridge Family's final album "Bulletin Board" did not chart at all on the Billboard Charts. Matt

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  • 6 months later...

The all-time greatest undiscovered album (especially for Raspberries/Eric Carmen fans) would have to be Van Duren's "Are You Serious" which was released in late 1977 on Big Sound records. It is finally available on CD as is his once unreleased 2nd LP, "Idiot Optimism" which at times sounds like lost Eric Carmen and Todd Rundgren treasures (i.e. "Bear With Me All The Way," "The Love That I Love").

other choices:

Pagliaro- Pagliaro (big in Canada, but virtually unknown in US)

Johan- Pergola

This Perfect Day- C 60

Even Johansen- Even Johansen

Tin Tin- Astral Taxi

Kevin Tihista- Don't Breathe A Word

Jon Brion- Meaningless

Rialto- Rialto

Nick Heyward- Tangled

Duffy- I Love My Friends

Nilsson- Pandemonium Shadowshow

New Musik- Sanctuary

Howie Beck

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Some I have that I really thought deserved a lot more credit than they ever got was "Fusion" by Hello People , their "White Winged Dove" was brilliant (but so were others of theirs) and "Poe Through The Glass Prism" by Glass Prism

I still have both lp's and listen to them from time to time, I just don't tire of them. The Hello People one was the first jazz music to really catch my attention as a teenager, and the Glass Prism made it easy for me to learn and remember the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Because of them, to this day some people are awed by my recollection of Poe's works I have "memorized". I saw Glass Prism several times in person, they were really cool happy

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Excellent reading!

1) "Elevator" - Rollers (previously known as The Bay City Rollers 1979 - Power Pop

Elevator was the first album with new lead singer Duncan Faure. This is a pure power pop record. Awesome vocal dn musical arrangements, crunch guitars and spectacular drumming. Release in 1979, the record was a flop. BCR had passed their prime and unfortunately arrived too late with this record. AExtremely hard to find on CD.

2)"Hero and Heroine" - The Strawbs 1974 - Progressive

Lead by poet-guitarist Dave Cousins, The Strawbs were a folk/bluegrass band from London. They mutated into a progresive rock band. The poor man's Genesis. Celtic and Medieval touches make this band very unique. The Strawbs had involvement from many talentsed British people including Rick Wakeman, Tony Visconti, Blue Weaver, Sandy Denny and Roger Glover.

3) "Five Days in May" - Blue Rodeo 1993 - Country Rock

Canadian band that has never made the big time, they prefer playing small venues. BR has loads of hits in Canada, but have failed to pierce other markets. "FDIM" is a masterpiece of beatiful melodies and vocals.

4) "Hallucination" - Shaw, Blades 1995 - Pop-rock

Tommy shaw and Jack Blades get together to create a great little record that will keep you foot tapping and make you want to learn guitar.

5) "Twisted" - Del Amitri 1995 - Pop Rock with country twinge

This record rocks big time. Unique sound, awesome guitars playing and clever lyricist. Contains some of the best singles that could have been. Dels "Roll to Me" was their hit from this record. Definitely one of the best singles ever made.

6) "Stand Back" - April Wine See Marvin's review below:

What would this list be without some Canadian content? From beginning to end, a pretty consistent album with some big hits in Canada: ìOowataniteî, ìI Wouldnít Want To Lose Your Loveî and ìTonite Is A Wonderful Time.î The band is now a shadow of what they used to be when lead singer Myles Goodwyn was writing some of the prettiest ballads and catchiest uptempo songs around

7) "Start the Car" Jude Cole 1992 - RPop Rock with country twinge

Jude Cole created an amazing rock record. Great from start to finish. Sass Jordan, Tommy Shaw join in on a couple of tunes.

8)"Sunflower" Beach Boys 1970 - Vocal Rock

Everybody should have this CD in their collection. Album shows off all members' talent. Carl, Bruce, Brian , Dennis, Mike and Alan ALL get in on the action. It's what the Beachboys as a BAND could do, despite all the problems thay had.

that's it for now..

Bahoo

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