We all have songs and albums that we listened to many years ago which still pop up in our minds after all these years. For me, when I began to reflect back to the music of 1983, there was one such band that immediately came to mind. I remember DNA getting plenty of air play in the spring of said year although it was only when I refamiliarised myself with them that I remembered the song in question was “Doctors of the Universe.” Now, this could have qualified them as one hit wonders but I did hear the album “Party Tested” once upon a time and remember liking it. Why I never bought it is something I can not understand. Besides any album made by guitar great Rick Derringer and drumming ace Carmine Appice has to be worth, not only a listen but a post on its own.
Let me tell you that listening to “Doctors of the Universe” after more than thirty years did get me in a party mood. I forgot just how catchy that song was then and now. It starts with a hard guitar riff then comes the hook of the keyboards. They sound clean without going totally synth pop, which was the bucking trend at the time. Then there’s the chorus which you want to sing again and again.
“We are the doctors of the universe, we twist your DNA we like our work”
Needless to say, the guitar solo by Rick, while not a belter, is sufficient for this song.
Listening to the rest of “Party Tested” is like seeing an old friend whom you haven’t seen in years. The old familiarites come back instantly. Most of the songs gave me the distinct impression of “Oh yeah, I remember this one.” That is especially the case of the following track, “Intellectual Freedom for the Masses.” But even more so with track three, “Rock and Roll, Part 2.” I definitely heard that one before and fairly recently. It took me a few minutes of laying nude in the grass in deep contemplation, okay maybe not the nudity in the grass, too cold for that but I do remember where I heard it. It was from an episode of South Park where the new kid brings dance to the school. However, he would rather play basketball but his father makes him dance and bitch slaps anyone who opposes him. They play “Rock and Roll Part 2” at the basketball game at the end to which the father gets up and gets into the song. Of course, that song could have that effect on people.
Track four, “The Song That Wrote Itself” is the first noticeable one where Rick Derringer shows why he should be counted among the guitar greats. He really jams out here and while his guitar presence isn’t as in your face as the mentioned song, it is enough to hook you. The title track is definitely one for that and I have to say that “What About?” is a better than decent closer. One thing I must point out is that if you’re expecting major drum solos from Carmine, there are none to be had on “Party Tested.” He doesn’t need to as his drumming is as good as ever on the album. In fact, I will venture forth the opinion that he and bassist Jimmy Johnson make a damn fine rhythm section.
- Doctors of the Universe
- Intellectual Freedom for the Masses
- Rock And Roll Part 2
- The Song That Wrote Itself
- Party Tested
- The Recipe For Life
- What About?
Carmine Appice- drums, vocals
Rick Derringer- guitar, vocals
Jimmy Johnson- bass
Duane Hitchings- keyboards
I am hoping that when people read about this album, they respond with, “Oh yes, I remember them, that song/album” but I fear that it might draw a blank. Therefore, your assignment should be to have a listen to “Party Tested.” It will get you in the party mood and what a better way to do that in the run up to the holiday season.
Next post: Christmas
To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html
Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London