SUNSHINE JIVE is another band resurrected by an european label at the end of the nineties.
Born in Chicago, formerly known as IN THE PINK, the group recorded 2 professional pre-production demos in '89 and '91 released locally.
Judging the quality of this material the big question is: how the fr*ll they didn't get signed back in the '80s?
Luckily, all these tracks plus some never published found their way onto CD in 1998.
Self produced, with some songs engineered & mixed by Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme), this is top class stadium melodic rock / AOR with a bit of hard funk. Deep harmonies and catchy hooks, that's it.
The Journey-esque opener "Fools Parade" has a muscular driving bass line and pounding drums, while the guitars / keys are strong. Singer Tommy Dempsey (very good pipes) sounds a lot like Steve Perry.
Title track "Sunshine Jive" rocks with its melodic rock / funk mix. Here the band reminds me Dan Reed Network. Very consistent tune.
"You Got What You Wanted" is the closest track to Extreme here (probably the Nuno connection?) although this one isn't mixed by him.
Get back to the Journey style with "Lost In Love". Beautiful midtempo with huge backing vocals and Dempsey in Perry's shoes again. Love this one.
I understand why "Under Summer Skies" was a big radio hit in the Boston area back in the day. This is a wonderful late '80s AOR power ballad including all the ingredients to be a monster chart cracker. A self reflecting song with a great chorus and piano/keyboards.
Other highlights are the very catchy and (again) Journey influenced "When You Love Someone", the rockin' funkiness of "Stop This Crazy Ride", the aorish and gentle "Reason For Me" and the powerful, piano based ballad "Something More" (great one).
The asian bonus is a straight melodic rocker driven by an impressive riff and a very good solo.
"Sunshine Jive" gets you back to the golden era when the melody was the rule. What all the tracks have in common is the quality, there's a couple of fillers (or perhaps in a style that doesn't match the album), but most of the songs are great, catchy and entertaining.
This Asian press it's really hard to find.
01 - Fools Parade
02 - Sunshine Jive
03 - You Got What You Wanted
04 - Lost In Love
05 - Under Summer Skies
06 - Love Reaction
07 - Sunday Rain
08 - When You Love Someone
09 - Sha Na La La
10 - Stop This Crazy Ride
11 - Reason For Me
12 - Trapped
13 - Something More
14 - Bad Blood [bonus track]
Tommy Dempsey : Vocals
Robby Hoffman : Guitars
Eric Bosniak : Bass, backing vocals
Steve Ferlazzo : Keyboards, backing vocals
Frank Lombardi : Drums
Brian Tichy (Ace Frehley, Foreigner) : Add. Drums
Tracks 1, 4, 8 Mixed by Nuno Bettencourt
SUNSHINE JIVE Asian edition