All posts tagged: Boston

Jimi Jamison

The Popdose Interview: Jimi Jamison of Survivor

In more than four decades in the music business, Jimi Jamison has worn quite a few different hats. While perhaps best known for his work with Chicago-based AOR rockers Survivor, his trademark vocals also helped to power albums by ZZ Top (take a fresh listen to “Gimme All Your Lovin’,” for example), George Thorogood and Joe Walsh, among others. When he stepped into the lead vocalist slot for Survivor in the mid-’80s, following the departure of original vocalist Dave Bickler, it was an important addition that would bring the band a second lease on life and add an extra five Top 20 hits (four of them went Top 10) to their resume. The road-worn huskiness of Jamison’s vocals helped make him one of the most distinctive vocalists of the decade, instantly identifiable on a crowded radio dial, where sounding different was the key, especially considering the hefty amount of competition that he was up against. Never Too Late, the new solo album from Jamison, plays out like a lost chapter from the Survivor discography and …

Bottom Feeders: The Rock End of the ’80s, Part 6

It’s another week for the letter B as we take a look at songs that hit the Billboard Rock charts but failed to cross over into the Hot 100 in the 1980s. Rock ‘n’ roll! Blue Murder “Jelly Roll” 1989, #15 (download) Last week we ended with the band Vinny Appice was in. This week we start with the band big brother Carmine Appice was a member of. Blue Murder also featured former Tygers of Pan Tang, Thin Lizzy and Whitesnake guitarist John Sykes on guitar and vocals. They put out just two studio albums and a live record in the short time they were a band, but their self-titled debut in ’89 is a damn fine slab of bluesy hard rock. Blue Oyster Cult “Joan Crawford” 1981, #49 (download) “Roadhouse Blues [Live]” 1982, #24 (download) “Take Me Away” 1983, #11 (download) “Dancin’ in the Ruins” 1986, #9 (download) “Astronomy” 1988, #12 (download) For a guy who loves his rock ‘n’ roll like I do, I’m painfully devoid of much knowledge of Blue Oyster Cult material …

Death by Power Ballad: Boston, “Hollyann”

Sixties nostalgia is a curious thing—make-a one man weep, make another man sing. Tom Scholz—the guitarist/mastermind/evil genius behind Seventies arena rock behemoth Boston—is one of those people for whom the Sixties never quite ended. I mean, yeah, he can see all of us with our turbo rocket backpacks and Martian girlfriends and such, and recognize it’s not 1967, but in his mind, it’s the Summer of Love, year-round, every year. Eight years elapsed between Boston’s second and third albums—a longer period of time than the span between Please Please Me and Let It Be—and fans of Scholz and company were left to wonder what Tommy and his band of merry New Englanders were up to. Rumor had it that Scholz had joined a hippie commune and had spent the fortune he’d earned from music trying to discover the best way to rotate marijuana and rutabaga crops in upstate Massachusetts. In reality, though, he had spent the time in various other, non-hippie-related pursuits, namely a) litigation with his record company, b) developing a way to cram …

Teddy, and Larry, and Me

Ever since Senator Edward Kennedy died on Tuesday, there’s been a movie playing over and over in my head. I come from the Sixties. I believe that the day John Kennedy was murdered was the day that this country began a long slide down a slippery slope that continues to this day. I believe that by the grace of God we were giving one more chance to right our course in the person of Bobby Kennedy. When he was murdered on that June night in 1968, our fate was sealed. My best friend growing up was Larry. We met in seventh grade, and became friends immediately. We both played guitar. We loved the same bands, and were in bands together. He was a fanatic Kinks fan. I wasn’t quite as avid, but a fan nonetheless. We were together constantly. Larry had been born with an aneurysm in the base of his brain, but that wasn’t known at the time. In fact, doctors operated on his heart when he was four years old because they thought …

Pop Goes the World: Tribe, “Abort”

I’ve written literally hundreds of pieces for various web sites and newspapers, but nothing I have ever written has produced as much reader feedback as the piece I did in late 2005 about a Boston quintet whose fan base didn’t stretch much further than Providence. During their late ’80s/early ’90s heyday, Tribe were arguably as big as the Pixies with the hometown crowd. They frequently sold out shows at the legendary club Avalon (recently converted into a House of Blues, ugh), and would outrank some of the biggest bands in the world in the year-end polls conducted by local modern rock station WFNX. When Tribe scored a record deal with Warner Bros. imprint Slash and convinced noted producer Gil Norton to shepherd their first album Abort (I always wondered if the Pixies had a hand in that), the general consensus was that the band, armed with killer lead single “Joyride (I Saw the Film),” was about to jump to the next level. It never happened. And I’m still not sure why. Actually, I know exactly …

CHART ATTACK!: 11/1/86

Howdy, everybody!  Happy Halloween!  Between Tina Turner’s hair and Eddie Money’s face, it’s quite a scary week here at CHART ATTACK!  Take a look back at what singles were topping the Billboard Hot 100 on November 1, 1986! 10.  All Cried Out — Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam with Full Force Amazon iTunes 9.  Take Me Home Tonight — Eddie Money Amazon iTunes 8.  Sweet Love — Anita Baker Amazon iTunes 7.  When I Think of You — Janet Jackson Amazon iTunes 6.  True Blue — Madonna Amazon iTunes 5.  Human — Human League Amazon iTunes 4.  Amanda — Boston Amazon iTunes 3.  I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On — Robert Palmer Amazon iTunes 2.  Typical Male — Tina Turner Amazon iTunes 1.  True Colors — Cyndi Lauper Amazon iTunes 10. All Cried Out — Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam with Full Force I have the weirdest memory of this song. I remember watching America’s Funniest Home Videos very early on in its run (I was 12, okay?), and they had a video of …

Live Music: Lindsey Buckingham in Boston, 10/17/08; Matthew Ryan in Asbury Park, 10/15/08

The career of a music writer certainly does have its perks. While it very often lacks in financial reward, it occasionally compensates with rewards of a more soul-satisfying sort. Last week was a perfectly good example. Over the course of three nights, I was able to see two of America’s most outstanding and individualistic musicians, in settings as disparate as a small rock n’ roll bar in Asbury Park, and a prestigious concert hall in Boston. It began on Wednesday night when I took the familiar ride to Asbury Park to see singer/songwriter, and occasional Popdose contributor Matthew Ryan for the first time. If you think that Matt is just a guy who occasionally contributes to our esteemed journal, think again. He is one of the most respected songwriters in America, and each or his ten or so albums has been highly acclaimed. If you would like to familiarize yourself with his music, please check out the Popdose Guide to Matthew Ryan. The Saint is the kind of bar that is vanishing all too quickly …

The Year in Rock: 1978

Although released in late 1977, the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack would be impossible to ignore for much of 1978, with the Bee Gees’ “Night Fever” and “Stayin’ Alive,” as well as Yvonne Elliman’s “If I Can’t Have You,” all reaching #1. At several points during the first half of ’78, the soundtrack album was selling over 1 million units a week. Bee Gees – Stayin’ Alive Bee Gees – Night Fever (w/ More Than a Woman)