Donnie Iris and the Cruisers, The High and the Mighty: This was their third album and not as commercially successful as the first two… but I don’t really care about statistics or numbers or charts. I’m here for the music and the music only. If it speaks to me then I’m hooked! And boy did this album speak to me. Only eight songs here but right from the opening track, “Tough World” to the last (and one of my favorites) “You’re Gonna Miss Me,” Donnie’s classic vocal style and lyrics soars through each and every track. The backing harmonies are really nice and truly have inspired me over the years. “This Time It Must Be Love” and “Love Is Magic” still resonates deep within my heart and soul. Awesome album from an awesome band! Long live King Cool.
Queen, News of the World: C’mon…”Spread Your Wings”, “Sheer Heart Attack“, “Get Down, Make Love“! If these songs don’t move you then you’re “All Dead All Dead”! I always loved the musical diversity of Queen and the talented songwriting from all the members. Multi-tracked harmonies and guitar orchestration at their finest. Love it and can’t live without it!
The Cars (debut album): If I could be the keyboard player in any band ever formed it would be Greg Hawkes of the Cars. Those ever-so-memorable keyboard melodies are truly the glue that holds a Cars song together. Greg really pushed the limits of sequencing and technology helping to forge the sound of the 1980s. His Prophet 5 gave the Cars their signature sound. All nine songs on this album are new wave classics and I love them all. Benjamin Orr’s vocals are so great and I always considered him the lead vocalist in the band. My musical direction at times is definitely “Cars” oriented. On BGO’s second album due out later this year, listeners will get a dose of Cars style rhythm guitars to savor on in a few songs. “You’re All I’ve Got Tonight” into “Bye, Bye Love” are my two favorites.
Wings,Wings at the Speed of Sound: “Silly Love Songs”, my absolute favorite Wings song of all time! “Let em’ In” and all the rest are McCartney at his best “in my mind” in those great musical days of the mid ’70s. I am so privileged to have been exposed to these songs when I was younger. They really helped form my musical direction and my love of pop music. Former Wings trumpet and flugelhorn player (1975-1980) Steve Howard, joined me recently in the studio and recorded his trumpet on the upcoming Bubble Gum Orchestra song titled “Blowin’ Away.” Even for me, it’s somewhat difficult to find the words to describe the “magical” music aura present in Blue Violin Studios during those precious few hours that never forgettable afternoon. It was hard while recording not to let my mind wonder back to a distant place in time and to know that Steve had recorded “Silly Love Songs”, “Let em’ In” and “Coming Up” with Paul McCartney in Abbey Road Studios back in the day using the same horn he was playing on my song. Steve’s trumpet playing was nothing less than spectacular and I am honored to have been part of that memorable moment. Wings at the Speed of Sound has really touched my heart and my personal musical vision.
Bubble Gum Orchestra’s debut album, Out Of This World was written and recorded out of my love of music and also my very obvious personal connection to ELO’s Out Of The Blue, nothing more, nothing less. It’s not a tribute or a cover album, but a whole new original recording in the style of ELO; just the style. These were my true intentions when I composed this album. BGO was born solely out of my love of semi-orchestrated pop-rock in which I grew up loving and not my intent to recreate ELO songs. If any first time listeners are expecting this to just be a different version of ELO, they will be disappointed. Only Mr. Lynne can deliver a true ELO album. BGO’s album artwork pays homage in the most sincerest form to the band Boston and of course, ELO, my two favorite bands in the world. Until the stratospheres reunite us again, thank you for listening and Enjoy the Ride!
Night In Shangri-La – Bubble Gum Orchestra
The Bubble Gum Orchestra site can be found by clicking here.
You can find the CD Out Of This World at CD Baby.