Archive for MSB

Great Rock Albums of 1983: Michael Stanley Band- You Can’t Fight Fashion

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, television, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2016 by 80smetalman

220px-YouCan'tFightFashion

1983 saw another album from possibly the best band that nobody’s ever heard of. Hopefully, this might jog a few memories. Back in the year, on several occasions, I saw the video for the Michael Stanley Band’s only top 40 hit, “My Town.” This song was a very good rock anthem and while I don’t lament its lack of chart success because that was the direction music was heading then, I did think that more rockers and metalheads would have been singing along to its very cool chorus, especially with the way this song rocks!

“Oh, and this town
Is my town, alright?
Love or hate it, it don’t matter
‘Cause I’m gonna stand and fight
This town, is my town
She’s got her ups and downs
But love or hate it, it don’t matter
‘Cause this is my town”

Does anybody remember now?

“You Can’t Fight Fashion” has been considered the Michael Stanley Band’s best album and I won’t argue the fact. The album starts out more progressive with the first three songs. When I listened to it the other night, I just wanted to sit back and soak those songs in. None of those songs are ballads but they aren’t very hard rockers but all done very well. What stands out in those tracks and even more in the fourth track, “Highlife” is the superb sax playing by Rick Bell. Put it this way, after hearing his sax rip on those tracks, I will never question the idea of horns in rock ever again, provided those horns are played well to complement the song.

The other thing that “Highlife” does for the album is provide a brilliant point for the change of tempo in the album. Things start to rock with said song and then with the “My Town” coming right on the heels of “Highlife,” things get interesting indeed. Even though the next track, “The Damage is Done” is a ballad, it is a very good power ballad with just the right combination of piano and guitar power chords. Then, “Fire in the Hole” is just as powerful rocker as “My Town” and I think it would sound rather good metalized. It also sets the pace for the album to go out on a real rocking feel, a duty which the closing song, “Just How Good (A Bad Woman Feels) preforms outstandingly.

Track Listing:

  1. Hard Times
  2. Just Give Me Tonight
  3. Someone Like You
  4. Highlife
  5. My Town
  6. The Damage is Done
  7. Fire in the Hole
  8. How Can You Call This Love
  9. Just How Good (A Bad Woman Feels)
Michael Stanley Band

Michael Stanley Band

Michael Stanley- guitar, vocals

Tommy Dobeck- drums

Bob Pelander- keyboards

Greg Markasky- lead guitar

Kevin Raleigh- keyboards, vocals

Michael Gismondi- bass

Rick Bell- saxophone

If you didn’t do my homework assignment when I posted about the 1982 “MSB” album, you should definitely do it now and listen to “You Can’t Fight Fashion.” I’m sure at least one person will remember hearing “My Town” and then you can listen to the rest of this fine album.

Next post: Men At Work- Cargo

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

 

 

Great Rock Albums of 1982: Michael Stanley Band- MSB

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 12, 2015 by 80smetalman

220px-This_is_the_cover_of_the_album_MSB_by_the_Michael_Stanley_Band

Here’s yet another band brought to my attention during my time in the marines. Even though the Michael Stanley band had been going since the early 1970s, they had never come to my attention. It’s probably the combination of not gaining attention in the Northeast USA and the fact they didn’t have any songs played on AM radio being the reason why. Thankfully, one of my marine buddies was into them and being 1982, it was the album “MSB” I got to hear first from them.

My first reaction upon hearing this album was to say it was straight ahead rock and roll but that would be so unfair to it. Besides, I don’t want to brandish that label around too much because there are bands out there where the label fits. Instead, “MSB” is a widely versatile album yet at the same time, the Michael Stanley Band remain true to their rock roots. Take for instance the very first song, “In Between the Lines.” The sax in the song in the song provides a jazz element sort of like the old 1979 hit “Cool Change” by the Little River Band but only much rockier. The very next track, “If You Love Me,” has a definite gospel- soul feel to it but at the same time highlights the skilled musicianship behind this band. Then come some straight forward rockers, most notably the song, “When I’m Holding You Tight,” which gets my vote for best guitar solo on the album. Things slow down a bit with the next two tracks but “Spanish Nights” is a superb ballad. The album goes back to and goes out on some very good rock tunes, most notably “Love Hurts” and “Hang Tough.” In the end, I find myself being eternally grateful that I got to hear this album then and appreciate it even more when I listen to it now.

Track Listing:

1. In Between the Lines

2. If You Love Me

3. Night by Night

4. When I Hold You Tight

5. Spanish Nights

6. One of Those Dreams

7. Love Hurts

8. Hang Tough

9. Just a Little Bit Longer

10. Take This Time

Michael Stanley Band

Michael Stanley Band

Michael Stanley- guitar, vocals

Tommy Dobeck- drums

Bob Pelander- keyboards

Greg Markasky- lead guitar

Kevin Raleigh- keyboards, vocals

Michael Gismondi- bass

Rick Bell- saxophone

I am expecting some responses along the lines of “I’ve never heard of these guys” or no response at all due to the fact of not ever having heard of them. So, the teacher in me is going to set you a little homework. The “MSB” album is easily available on Youtube. Have a listen to this album and you will see what you have been missing all of these years.

Next post: The Clash- Combat Rock

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