Archive for May 9, 2021

Great Rock Albums of 1987: The Jitters

Posted in Uncategorized on May 9, 2021 by 80smetalman

Technically, I didn’t discover Canadian band, The Jitters, until March of 1988 and that was only by accident. One evening in said month and year, I went to see Heart at Wembley Arena. According to my ticket, the support act was supposed to be The Hooters but when the support act hit the stage, it was immediately clear it wasn’t them. The band onstage instantly clarified this fact and introduced themselves as The Jitters from Toronto, Canada. Obviously, I was a little disappointed that I wasn’t going to see The Hooters, but by the end of their forty-five minute set, The Jitters had won me over and proved to be a very good consolation prize.

Even though, they made a lasting impression on me, finding their debut album proved to be an impossible task. No record store I went to had it and more than one sales assistant looked at me as if I had three heads. Therefore, I had to rely on thirty-three years of memory until I very recently, found their self-titled debut album on Spotify. It only took one listen, although I have listened to it several times now, for me to remember why I liked this band so much.

If I could guess which of the ten tracks on the album would be single-worthy, I would have to guess, the opener, “Closer Every Day.” The song starts off with a drum beat, followed quickly by the bass and then a melodic keyboard accompaniment. It all gels well together to make a good song which should have been on the radio. Maybe it was in Canada but definitely not in the UK. Then again, most, if not all of the tracks could have been released as singles because they do fit nicely into the genre of pop/rock. The a cappella harmonizing at the beginning of “Last of the Red Hot Fools” is done really well as is the lyrics about a disgruntled lover who let his heart rule is head. Then there is the ballad “Mad About You,” which reminds me a little of Huey Lewis and the News, so that could have made a good single.

Since the album was pretty much unknown, all of the songs could be classified as hidden gems but the one that gets the vote from me is “Justanotherfineexample.” This song is more rock than pop with a more harder guitar driven edge. Plus, the politically driven lyrics also combine to take it to the top spot in my estimation. The track “Hard as Nails” is no less hard rock and has a horn accompaniment that works very well within the song. Furthermore, it also contains the coolest guitar solo.

The second half of the album is definitely harder than the first. Even the more pop leaning “That’s When I Need You” has some impressive power chords in the background. There is some intricate guitar work going on behind the scenes as well. The lyrics are definitely a love song but who cares, the song rocks! It sounds slightly like 38 Special. On the other hand, the intro on “What About Me” sounds almost Bruce Springsteen like but the song moves away from there as it progresses and it does have good harmonizing in the backing vocals. “There Goes Love” is another ballad with some great harmonizing and great keyboard and guitar work. The closer is what a good closer should be. It has a catchy melody which you want to bob your head along to singing the chorus. It’s a great way to end the album.

Track Listing:

1. Closer Every Day

2. Last of the Red Hot Fools

3. Go Ahead ‘N’ Love Me

4. Mad About You

5. Justanotherfineexample

6. Hard as Nails

7. That’s When I Need You

8. What About Me

9. There Goes Love

10. Almost Convinced

Blair Packham- vocals, guitar

Danny Levy- guitar, backing vocals

Vic D’Arsie- keyboards

Matthew Greenberg- bass, backing vocals

Randy Cooke- drums

I am sending out a request to my Canadian readers or anyone else who might remember The Jitters. Any further information on them would be greatly appreciated as the internet is not forthcoming. After all, they did have a fine debut album in 1987 and they made a considerable impression on me when I saw them live.

Next post: Heart- Bad Animals

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