The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Archive for the ‘Durocs’ Category

Reviews: Three From Real Gone – Mick Fleetwood’s Zoo, Jerry Reed and Durocs

with 2 comments

Real Gone Music has become known for its wide-ranging and eclectic releases, and today we’re looking at three of the most recent, from the countrypolitan stylings of Jerry Reed to the rock animals of Mick Fleetwood’s Zoo and the pure pop of The Dūrocs!

Dūrocs, Dūrocs (Real Gone Music RGM-0058, 2012)

Are you ready to hear one of the best albums you’ve never heard?  Then head straight to the pig pen for the first-ever CD release of Dūrocs.  Primarily written and produced by the team of Ron Nagle and Scott Mathews, fun is the order of the day on this 1979 pure pop gem.  Co-produced by Neil Young associate Elliot Mazer, Dūrocs blends tongue-in-cheek humor with a flair for melodic pop songcraft that will appeal to any fan of The Beach Boys, The Beatles or Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound.  The album could come with a warning: These songs will get stuck in your head!

Ron Nagle and Scott Mathews found gainful employment as songwriters in the 1970, successfully placing songs with artists ranging from The Tubes to Barbra Streisand.  When the duo set their sights on recording as a band, it was so named for “a breed of pig known for its intelligence and large testicles.”  (Seriously.)  Nagle calls his take on the Philles sound his “Wall of Mud,” and it’s in evidence on the album’s blast of an opener, the tongue-in-cheek “Hog Wild.” But there’s nothing sludgy on this goofily charming rock anthem: “We got the Dūroc stance/But we don’t stand a chance if we do it only half-hearted…hog wild!”)  An authentic Wrecking Crew legend, Steve Douglas, adds his trademark honking saxophone alongside, um, squealing backing vocals!

Douglas’ saxophone adorned many Beach Boys songs, so why not the very Beach Boys-influenced “We Go Good Together,” then?  The catchy, humorous list song with a tropical vibe has a lyric so eccentric that even Brian Wilson would likely have approved: ““We’re just like ham and cheese/Birds and trees/Shoes and socks…”   There’s even a New Wave sheen to “True Love,” which also recalls the best of Todd Rundgren.

The surprisingly earnest ballad “Don’t Let the Dream Die” features yearning Beatle-esque songcraft with ringing guitars and pedal steel played by Mathews (“We’ll never have to worry anymore/Goin’ round in circles/Chasing rainbows ‘til I think I’m gonna drop/Then a little voice inside me says that/Good things never come from giving up”), and “One Day at a Time” is another look at the softer side of Nagle and Mathews’ ouevre.  The raucous, scathing “Seeker (You Be Sucker)” is at the opposite end of the spectrum, turning its lyrical ire towards quasi-spiritual truth-seekers.  It, too, is tempered by a Douglas sax solo!  “Saving It All Up for Larry” is similarly dark; Gene Sculatti’s liner notes reveal that the song “evolved from a true story involving a reluctant miss, her absentee boyfriend and a zealous, deliciously overconfident stalker.”  The lone cover is a choice one: the irresistible “It Hurts to Be in Love,” a hit for Gene Pitney penned by Howard Greenfield and Helen Miller.

The length of the album has been almost doubled, with eight bonus tracks added to the original ten.  The otherwise-copious notes by Gene Sculatti don’t go into much detail about the origin of these tracks, but they’re copyrighted with a 1985 date, and that date sounds about right.  These “bone-us tracks” demonstrate the same melodic facility and fun sensibility as the original album, with a bit more of a “big ‘80s” sound. Highlights include the wryly-titled “Pete Has Got the Power” and the honky-tonk country homage “Drinkin’ One Day at a Time,” with a suitably exaggerated, pathos-filled lyric.  In a rather unexpected cameo, you’ll hear Ernie K-Doe (“Mother-in-Law”) on the most peculiar “Nawgahide.”  As a whole, they’re not as strong a set of songs as the original album, but they round out one of the most purely enjoyable reissues to have emerged of late.  If you prefer your pop with a sixties sensibility and a seventies/power-pop sound, you won’t want to miss Dūrocs.

We check out Jerry Reed and Mick Fleetwood’s Zoo after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

June 8, 2012 at 11:39

Release Round-Up: Week of May 22

leave a comment »

Chubby Checker, It’s Pony Time/Let’s Twist Again/Durocs, Durocs/Terry Knight and the Pack, Terry Knight and the Pack/Reflections/The Orlons, The Wah Watusi/South Street/Various Artists, Remember Me Baby: Cameo Parkway Vocal Groups Vol. 1 (Real Gone Music)

The latest group from Real Gone Music includes classics from the vaults of Philadelphia’s Cameo-Parkway label plus power-pop from San Francisco’s Durocs!

Isaac Hayes and Dionne Warwick, A Man and A Woman/Cissy Houston, Presenting Cissy Houston (Expanded Edition)/Dee Dee Warwick, Foolish Fool (Expanded Edition) (SoulMusic Records)

Dionne Warwick and Isaac Hayes’ long-unavailable 1977 live concert LP makes its CD debut alongside two other titles from members of the Warwick family: Dionne’s aunt Cissy Houston’s 1970 solo collection Presenting Cissy Houston, and sister Dee Dee’s 1969 Mercury LP Foolish Fool!  Watch for reviews later this week!

The Knack, Havin’ a Rave-Up!  Live in Los Angeles, 1978 (Zen/Omnivore)

The New Wave quartet is at its most powerful on this live album drawn from pre-fame performances on the Sunset Strip!  Joe’s review is at the link above!

Dean Martin, The Dean Martin Variety Show Uncut (Time Life)

Time Life releases the first-ever DVD set of complete and uncut episodes of The Dean Martin Show!  Dino’s guests include Cyd Charisse, Joey Heatherton, Barbara McNair, Zero Mostel, Leslie Uggams, Abbe Lane, Buck Owens and The Lettermen!

Paul and Linda McCartney, Ram (Hear Music)

It’s finally here!  Paul and Linda McCartney’s 1971 album has been remastered and reissued in a variety of formats with loads of bonus content!  Our review arrives tomorrow!

Neil Sedaka, The Tra-La Days Are Over/Overnight Success (BGO)

Neil Sedaka’s 1973 and 1975 albums are paired by BGO.  The combined collection features guest stars Elton John and 10cc, and includes such favorites as “Love Will Keep Us Together,” “The Hungry Years” and “Breaking Up is Hard to Do.”

Three Degrees, Standing Up for Love (Funky Town Grooves)

Funky Town Grooves reissues and expands The Three Degrees’ post-Philadelphia International album recorded in 1977 for CBS/Epic!

Various Artists, The Philadelphia International 40th Box Set (Harmless/Demon)

The long-delayed 10-CD box set celebrating Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff’s Philadelphia International label finally arrives in the U.K. courtesy Harmless Records!

Dead and (Real) Gone: Grateful Dead, Mick Fleetwood’s Zoo, Durocs, Germs and More Coming In May

with 3 comments

It’s time to book passage on the Real Gone train for next month’s trip from Philadelphia to San Francisco, as the enterprising label has announced its latest, wide-ranging group of titles all slated for late May release.  Returning to print are live shows from The Grateful Dead as well as a number of albums from the Cameo Parkway library, while rare LPs from The Germs, The Durocs, Jerry Reed and Mick Fleetwood all get the deluxe treatment for the first time.

Three titles are making their CD debuts from the Real Goners.  San Francisco’s Mystery Trend (its name taken from a misheard Bob Dylan lyric) included among its members one Ron Nagle, who in 1970 recorded cult classic Bad Rice with producer and frequent Phil Spector associate Jack Nitzsche.  Elsewhere in the City by the Bay, Scott Mathews was making a name for himself, joining Elvin Bishop at the Fillmore and forming Ice with future Journey frontman Steve Perry.  In 1979, Mathews and Nagle teamed as the Durocs (apparently named after a breed of hog known for being great producers with oversized ears and genitalia, according to the press release!) for a self-titled album also supervised by Nitzsche.  For the first time, the fierce power pop of Durocs arrives on CD, and with eight unreleased bonus tracks!  In addition to the CD, Real Gone will issue this lost classic on pink vinyl as a 500-unit limited edition with its original sequence and packaging replicated.  Gene Sculatti annotates the new CD.

It was also in 1979 that Joan Jett produced the only album for The Germs.  Often cited as one of the very first hardcore punk albums, (GI) was such a powerful debut that one LA Weekly critic opined, “This album leaves exit wounds!”  Produced by Joan Jett, The Germs’ (GI) features Darby Crash (lead vocals), Pat Smear (guitars/backing vocals), Lorna Doom (bass/backing vocals) and Don Bolles (drums/backing vocals).  Originally issued on Slash Records, the album has been out-of-print on CD for years and returns in a four-panel wallet featuring the original album graphics (including lyrics) with additional photos by Jenny Lens and new liner notes by Richie Unterberger drawing on an interview with Don Bolles.  Real Gone Trivia Time No. 1: Mark Lindsay of Paul Revere and the Raiders (previously anthologized by Real Gone) was originally sought to produce, but Slash couldn’t afford his asking price, hence the band enlisting their friend Joan Jett.  No. 2: Shortly after recording (GI), The Germs recorded six songs for the soundtrack to the Al Pacino film Cruising.  The producer of those recordings was none other than…Jack Nitzsche!

Hit the jump to head to Nashville, Philadelphia and back to San Francisco! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

April 17, 2012 at 09:28