tisdag 2 augusti 2011

City Boy - S/T (Deras 1:a Album US 1976)

220:- (24-Bit Limited Remaster Edition. Limiterad utgåva.)

Let's talk about one of the unsung heroes of the '70s, a little band called City Boy. If you thought that Barclay James Harvest had a hard time finding an audience for their music, then hold on to your hats as I do the seven album retrospective of the band that definitely had everything in their repertoire to make them attractive to a wider audience and how their big break just never came. Still, isn't that one time opportunity the reason why so many young people are so attracted to the music business?

The self-titled debut from the sextet was where the band began their exploration of their sound and so the final product can both be considered good and bad. It's definitely a great introduction for any newcomer to City Boy since we get to hear so many sides of the band's repertoire. Unfortunately this is exactly the reason why the album just never managed to strike a definite cord with me. There are just too many different types of songs here that don't make the overall experience a consistent one.

The album is often referred to as one of the band's definite progressive rock moment with Sunset Boulevard and the 9 minute 5000 Years / Don't Know Can't Tell taking the young band's ambitions to the extreme. Personally I never considered this album to be more than a light Art Rock affair, hailed by the great versatility in style and quality between the compositions. The follow-up release Dinner At The Ritz was where City Boy actually tried out their progressive chops to a much greater effect, making that album somewhat of a conceptual piece as well.

If you're new to City Boy then this is definitely the album you should start with since it offers you the best retrospective of the band's sound and some great songwriting to go along with it. The band had a few better albums later on in their career but those releases usually concentrate on a certain aspect of the band's overall sound, showing us exactly why City Boy was such a great album-oriented band. Still, you haven't actually heard City Boy until you've heard this record!

Formed by Max Thomas in 1974. A Birmingham (UK) based folk turned "artrock" band in the vein of 10 CC and CHARLIE. Put out a rather poppy single "Hap-ki-do" in 1976, followed by their first album: "City Boy" 1976. Some might dismis them as pure pop, but they have much more to them than that. There are plenty of stuff for both proggers and rockers to sink their teeth into, both musically and lyricwise. CITY BOY managed to pull it off in many a music style and that with elegance, brilliance & sheer enthuiasm. Six albums later it all ended with the seventh and final (their most ordinaire album).

Guitarist Mike Slamer went on to play with Steve Walsh (KANSAS) on 2 albums under the name of: Streets. As far as i know, his latest endeavours was with hardpop/rock outfit: STEELHOUSE LANE. Friends of art rock/pomp rock band like: 10 CC / CHARLIE / PRISM... should have a ball with CITY BOY.

01. (Moonlight) Shake My Head And Leave (4:25)
02. Deadly Delicious (4:37)
03. Surgery Hours (Doctor Doctor) (3:01)
04. Sunset Boulevard (6:14)
05. Oddball Dance (5:01)
06. 5000 Years / Don't Know Can't Tell (8:38)
07. The Hap-Ki-Do Kid (3:10)
08. The Greatest Story Ever Told (4:46)
09. Haymaking Time (5:30)