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Saigon Kick

Tue
04
Sep

Rock Candy Records Latest - SAIGON KICK, PETER CETERA, HOTEL

Artist: 
Categories: 
6 new titles - all available now from www.rockcandyrecords.com
 
SAIGON KICK 'S/T' CANDY372
 
THERE’S NO GETTING away from it, during the early 90s there were an enormous amount of hard rock bands that, although extremely talented, failed to connect with an audience. This was primarily due to the shifting sands of time and taste, with the media almost exclusively focussed on the sounds of Seattle, and, in particular, the emerging grunge movement. It was this obsession with a new trend that resulted in a number of perfectly serviceable groups being consciously sidelined. Saigon Kick was one such example.
Formed in Florida during the late 80s, this storming four man unit, led by vocalist Matt Kramer and guitarist Jason Bieler, crafted a particularly potent brand of hard rock that relied as much on power pop as it did on heavy riffs. It was an interesting twist on traditional rock and much edgier, leading to valid comparisons with other similar groups such as Love/Hate, the Wildhearts, Redd Kross, Cheap Trick and Kings X. There was also a perceptible psychedelic tinge to the arrangements helping the band to rise above the standard competition by a considerable margin.
Produced by Michael Wagener (Skid Row, Extreme, Ozzy Osbourne), and released on Atlantic records (via Michael Douglas’s Third Stone imprint), the record had been taped at a frantic pace in Los Angeles. Released in 1991 it sold well and quickly established the band as exciting contenders. The album contains a number of instantly catchy tracks, including ‘What You Say’, ‘Down By The Ocean’, ‘Love Of God’ and ‘Coming Home’. It was an impressive enough debut to warrant Atlantic records making a commitment to album number two.
 
Special Deluxe Collector’s Edition, Fully Remastered Audio, two bonus tracks, one of the best early 90s hard rock albums, 12 page full colour booklet – 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork with unpublished photos and new interview
 
TRACK LISTING: 1. NEW WORLD 2. WHAT YOU SAY 3. WHAT DO YOU DO 4. SUZY 5. COLORS 6. COMING HOME 7. LOVE OF GOD 8. DOWN BY THE OCEAN 9. ACID RAIN 10. MY LIFE 11. MONTH OF SUNDAYS 12. UGLY 13. COME TAKE ME NOW 14. I.C.U. BONUS TRACKS: 15. HEY HEY HEY 16. COLOURS (Accoustic)
 
SAIGON KICK 'THE LIZARD' CANDY373
 
IN THE NOT too distant past, record companies would signs artists and let them develop over a period of time. A good case in point was the development of Saigon Kick. Their debut album was greeted with positive reviews and sold a healthy amount of copies, giving Atlantic records the confidence to push ahead and sanction a well-supported sophomore album, happy in the knowledge that the band was on an upwards trajectory.
With this kind of support, the band relished the opportunity to craft another record, an album that would show a refinement of their sound and style. This time around the emphasis was on finely honed songs, with far more mature arrangements, and memorable hooks. The band was perceived as operating in the melodic rock zone, which was quickly becoming obsolete in the face of the developing grunge revolution. But, like such fellow comrades as Love/Hate, Skid Row and Extreme, they managed to inject a degree of excitement into their music that actually gave them an edge over the fading late-eighties hard rock scene.
Originally issued in 1992, produced by band leader Jason Bieler, and recorded in Sweden, the contents easily eclipsed the quality of their debut album, showcasing a band with a much broader palate, focussing on sharp riffs and melodic hooks. This approach was emphasised by the surprise hit single ‘Love Is On The Way’, a track that not only upped the band’s profile but also helped the album achieve gold status.
 
Special Deluxe Collector’s Edition, Fully Remastered Audio, bonus track, Highly Regarded 2nd album featuring the hit single ‘Love Is On The Way’, 12 page full colour booklet – 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork with unpublished photos and new interview
 
TRACK LISTING: 1. CRUELTY 2. HOSTILE YOUTH 3. FEEL THE SAME WAY 4. FREEDOM 5. GOD OF 42ND STREET 6. MY DOG 7. PEPPERMINT TRIBE 8. LOVE IS ON THE WAY 9. THE LIZARD 10. ALL ALRIGHT 11. SLEEP 12. ALL I WANT 13. BODY BAGS 14. MISS JONES 15. WORLD GOES AROUND 16. CHANEL BONUS TRACK: DEAR PRUDENCE
 
SAIGON KICK 'WATER' CANDY374
 
SAIGON KICK’S FORTUNES were radically reshaped with the release of their second album, ‘The Lizard’ and it contained the hit single ‘Love Is On The Way’. It was a track that made them MTV stars, helping to achieve a gold album. This was a major coup for this much-loved Florida four piece that had been signed to Atlantic Records via the imprint Third Stone, a company owned by Hollywood A-Lister Michael Douglas.
However, despite these achievements, all was not well within the band’s ranks. Bassist Tom DeFile and vocalist Matt Kramer had left the band. Kramer had clashed with main songwriter Jason Bieler and it was mutually agreed that the only way to solve the problem was for Matt to depart. Not surprisingly this move left the label somewhat confused as the project was set to move to another level of success. As with the previous record, it was agreed that Bieler could not only self-produce and record mainly in Sweden, but also take on the role as lead vocalist. It was a brave move and not one without reservations from various interested parties.
Issued in 1993, ‘Water’ was actually another comprehensive statement of intent. It signalled a move towards experimentation but the original framework was still intact. Hard riffing but melodic tracks, such as ‘One Step Closer’ and ‘Torture’ nestled comfortably with such wide screen pop psych fare as ‘Sgt. Steve’, ‘Close To You’ and ‘Fields Of Rape’. Oh, and look out for a superb version of Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’.
 
Special Deluxe Collector’s Edition, Fully Remastered Audio, bonus track, Third and final album from this brilliant Florida based band, 12 page full colour booklet – 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork with unpublished photos and new interview
 
TRACK LISTING: 1. ONE STEP CLOSER 2. SPACE ODDITY 3. WATER 4. TORTURE 5. FIELDS OF RAPE 6. I LOVE YOU 7. SGT. STEVE 8. MY HEART 9. ON AND ON 10. THE WAY 11. SENTIMENTAL GIRL 12. CLOSE TO YOU 13. WHEN YOU WERE MINE 14. REPRISE BONUS TRACK: 15. NOT ENOUGH
 
  
 
HOTEL 'S/T' CANDY302
 
WE OFTEN RECEIVE requests for obscure and now hard to find releases, but the amount of demand for the Hotel albums has been decidedly overwhelming, surprising when considering that the act barely made a blip on the radar back in the early 1980s when they were first issued. It appears that there is something of an insatiable appetite for music from that era, especially by melodic rock acts such as this, with a penchant for melody and strong hooks.
Originating from Birmingham, Alabama, Hotel evolved through a number of line-ups, based around the central duo of Marc Phillips and Tommy Carlton. They were originally signed to the Mercury label in 1977 but, after releasing one solitary single, found themselves cast adrift. In a fortuitous meeting on a plane journey, the head of the Scotti Brothers records was handed a tape which led to a new record deal. Recorded in Nashville and produced by their mentor Dain Eric, this album was issued in 1981, but despite good intentions failed to gain traction with the paying public at the time.
The album itself is a measured example of carefully crafted AOR, drinking from the same goblet as Player, Air Supply, Le Roux and the Little River Band. The musicianship is first class in all respects, with careful attention paid to arrangements and execution. From the harder rock of ‘City Lights’ and ‘Not Wise To Say’ to the beautifully crafted ‘Right On Time’ and ‘You’ve Got Another Thing Coming’, the material is a fine example of the era’s signature slick sound.
 
Special Deluxe Collector’s Edition, Fully Remastered Audio, an obscure AOR classic, 12 page full colour booklet – 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork with unpublished photos and new interview
 
TRACK LISTING: 1. YOU’VE GOT ANOTHER THING COMING 2. YOU’LL LOVE AGAIN 3. RIGHT ON TIME 4. ONE TIME TOO MANY 5. OLD SILVER 6. NOT WISE TO SAY 7. LOSING MY MIND 8. CITY LIGHTS 9. HOLD ON TO THE NIGHT 10. YOUR GREEN EYES
 
HOTEL 'HALF MOON SILVER' CANDY303
 
IT’S ALWAYS VERY uplifting when a band originally tipped for better things actually fulfils their inherent musical potential. In the case of Hotel, a little known outfit from Birmingham Alabama, their self-titled debut album hinted at a somewhat suppressed melodic AOR talent that was itching to fully blossom. Fortunately that embryonic promise was perfectly realised with this, their second album, a record that has almost become a touchstone for fans of the AOR obscure.
‘Half Moon Silver’ is quite rightly regarded as a minor classic amongst AOR aficionados. Issued in 1980 and produced, once again, by their mentor Dain Eric, the album lunges purposely towards a harder rock edge. The vibe is very much one of waking up the neighbours, but not in a chest thumping sense, more in a measured and intense way. The guitars are far more prominent and the rhythm section is out to impress, but they leave room for vocalist Marc Phillips to inject passion and excitement into songs that have been meticulously constructed.
There’s plenty to highlight, but it’s the double whammy of ‘A Place In Time (Refugee)’ and ‘Now That She Loves You’ that really sets the pace. Elsewhere, there are some particularly delightful ballads, including ‘Talk To Me’ and the sublime title track. Once again, their label failed to maximise the potential of the record and, despite the band touring with Hall & Oates, the record sadly fell through the gaps, leaving them deserted in a world that, sadly, failed to recognise a seriously talented outfit.
 
Special Deluxe Collector’s Edition, Fully Remastered Audio, one of the best obscure AOR classics, 12 page full colour booklet – 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork with unpublished photos and new interview
 
TRACK LISTING: 1. A PLACE IN TIME (REFUGEE) 2. COLD BLOODED RED HOT LOVE 3. NOW THAT SHE LOVES YOU 4. NED & MARY 5. HALF MOON SILVER 6. BLIND SIDE OF LOVE 7. I CAN’T BELIEVE 8. WANTING YOU TOO MY LOVE 9. HOW IT FEELS 10. TALK TO ME
 
  
 
PETER CETERA 'S/T' CANDY375
 
FOR MOST FANS of strident and forceful AOR Peter Cetera would not, under normal circumstances, be their first port of call. Having been a founder member and lead vocalist with horn rock band Chicago, his background was firmly in another musical world but this, his debut solo album, showcased a desire to break free of those chains and strike out in a new direction, a solo career that turned heads and eventually led to his departure from the mother ship.
Times had been disappointing for Chicago, their fourteen album run at Columbia records was abruptly terminated in 1981 when they were perceived as being irrelevant to the current market. Cetera himself had actually begun to record a solo album and was half way through the project when news came of not only Chicago’s ill fortune, but also of the cancellation of his own project. Fortuitously Chicago were picked up by the Warner Brother’s label who also exercised the option on his solo album, which was completed and released by their Full Moon subsidiary.
Issued in 1981 and produced by himself and Jim Boyer (Billy Joel, Steve Winwood) the album was quite a revelation to those who expected to hear a mellow example of his work with Chicago. The record, instead, was a punchy example of contemporary AOR, fuelled by crunchy guitar (featuring Steve Lukather and Chris Pinnick) and designed to fit in seamlessly with the work of say, Journey and Toto. Tracks such as ‘I Can Feel It’ and ‘Livin’ In The Limelight’ are classics of the genre.
 
Special Deluxe Collector’s Edition, Fully Remastered Audio, incredible AOR solo album from Chicago’s lead singer and front man, 12 page full colour booklet – 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork with new photos.
 
TRACK LISTING: 1. LIVIN’ IN THE LIMELIGHT 2. I CAN FEEL IT 3. HOW MANY TIMES 4. HOLY MOLY 5. MONA MONA 6. ON THE LINE 7. NOT AFRAID TO CRY 8. EVIL EYE 9. PRACTICAL MAN 10. IVY COVERED WALLS
 
 
Wed
21
Oct

Double Stop Podcast - PHIL VERONE (Saigon Kick)

Artist: 
Release Year: 
2015
Categories: 

This week on the Double Stop Podcast is Phil Varone from Saigon Kick.
 
Phil Varone discusses his life and career, from his early days and the history or Saigon Kick, the side effects of their hit “Love Is On The Way”, his issues with Saigon Kick’s management, and their breakup. Plus he discusses his 90’s band with Rachel Bolan, Prunella Scales, and his time in Skid Row. We also cover his other endeavors such as stand-up comedy, writing and the adult film business (and why he left). He talks about his regrets over the documentary “Wake Up Dead”, the new book he’s writing on an undisclosed comedian, and his newly announced return to music.
 
 
On his Saigon Kick manager 29:00 “If I ever get a terminal illness and I know I'm dying, I'm gonna go kill the manager. He deserves to die. That's how much of a piece of shit he is. Outside of being a crook and a skumbag, he's just a piece of garbage.”
 
On the documentary "Wake Up Dead". 36:30 “It's something I regret doing. For me, it was done to hastily. I think I was in a mindset that was very much dark, and not anything that should have been shot”
 
For more on Phil Varone: http://www.philvarone.com
 
Mon
24
Aug

The Double Stop Podcast - CHRIS McLERNON (Saigon Kick, Cold Sweat)

Release Year: 
2015
Categories: 
 
In episode 72 of The Double Stop, Brian is joined by Bassist Chris McLernon (Saigon Kick, Cold Sweat, Cold Gin). This is part 1 of a two part episode.

Chris McLernon (Saigon Kick, Cold Sweat, Cold Gin) discusses his life and career. From his early days/bands to the formation of Cold Sweat (originally called Ferrari) with Marc Ferrari and Oni Logan - and having Oni leave the band to join Lynch Mob, finding a replacement singer in Roy Cathey, the unexpected success of his KISS tribute band Cold Gin (with future Kiss guitarist Tommy Thayer), and how he got the gig in Saigon Kick following the recording of The Lizard.

https://soundcloud.com/thedoublestop/ep-72-chris-mclernon-saigon-kick-cold-sweat-cold-gin

http://thedoublestop.com/ep-72-chris-mclernon-cold-sweat-cold-gin-saigon-kick/

On Lynch's pitch to Oni Logan to join Lynch Mob (21:54) "At this point we're called Ferrari. He's standing there and he says 'Hey Oni! How'd you like to drive a Ferrari instead of just being one?' And I'm like - OK, that's pretty clever. Way to go"

On Oni quitting Cold Sweat on the day they were to sign a record deal (24:00) "Everything I had worked for was on a stack of paper, right in front of me with a pen. And I'm just thinking to myself, you're kidding me."

On Cold Sweat getting dropped after their first album (with new singer Roy Cathey) "Wendy (Dio - Manager) calls us up one day and says I've got good news and bad news. The good news is MTV added the video to heavy rotation today. The band news is MCA has dropped the band."

 
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