Friday, May 14, 2010

STEVE GRIMM BAND - History Of A Bad Boy (2009)

STEVE GRIMM BAND - History Of A Bad Boy
Requested in "Request & Fill Corner" section...

Steve Grimm used to be leader of the classic Milwaukee based hard rock band BAD BOY, who did five good albums from the late 1970s through to the mid 1980s.
Found this excellent article written by Paul Chesworth that perfectly describes this compilation:

" For all of my years of loving rock music, particularly being fond of, melodic, FM Radio US Friendly, AOR etc, I realise now that even after 30 years of enjoying this stuff, I’ve only ever really scratched the surface.
It was my complete surprise to get a cd from The Steve Grimm Band, ‘History of a Bad Boy’ which is a 21 track anthology featuring songs recorded by the SGB between 1989 and 1995.
He only just makes it as an 80s artist with the first seven tracks coming from his ‘Prisoner of Passion’ vinyl EP released in 1989.
Also included are four tracks from ‘Turn The Key’ (1992) on cassette (yes remember those!), and the remainder of the anthology is from 1995’s ‘Heaven’s In Your Heart’.
The first two mentioned are available on CD for this very first time.

Steve attended the renowned Berkley College of Music in Boston in the 70’s and found success with his first band Bad Boy.
For the best part of a decade Bad Boy was one of the most successful live acts of the American Midwest. It is probably one of the most difficult places to get music heard by the record companies A&R men, conveniently situated on either side of the US coast.
The band toured with many a US legend, REO Speedwagon, STYX , Journey, Fleetwood Mac, AC/DC, Ted Nugent and Alice Cooper to name but a few.
With the SGB, what you get is US radio AOR meets Midwest and US Heartland Rock, where comparisons to Franke and The Knockouts, Shooting Star, Cheap Trick, early Night Ranger and Survivor can be easily made.

The anthology is chock full of catchy hook lines and fine musicianship and has turned out to be a welcome addition to my melodic rock CD collection.
The cuts taken from the debut EP "Prisoner Of Passion" remind me of Airrace and the Keith Murrell era of Mama’s Boys.
Standouts from this EP are the excellent ‘She’s Ready’, a polished affair with likeness to all those 80’s bands I love – Icon, Only Child, Joshua etc, only for some reason without any of the commercial success these bands had.
Other highlights are ‘Hurt So Much’, ‘Ready To Rock’ and the title track.

By 1992, little has really changed in his style, which would have been career threatening what with Grunge being firmly established.
Knowing the US as it is, my guess is that certain parts of the US still struggle to move on since the ‘Classic Rock’ days of the 70’s, never mind the Grunge movement.
In saying that, the 4 tracks from "Turn The Key" are still pretty good, particularly the catchy title track.
Some of the music is a little clichéd, but let’s face it, whose music wasn’t in the AOR sector?
‘Heaven’s In Your Heart’ (recorded in different sessions, '94-'95) , is even wimpier, but still worthy of this genre with ‘Be Somebody’ being a particularly good example.

All in all it’s a pretty good collection of songs from a band keen to stick to what they know best, even though the tide had changed against them.
For those willing to give it a chance and forget all that has since happened, put on your layered wig, bleached jeans, denim jacket and enjoy this good example of Midwest AOR. "

The best songs in my opinion are from the first EP "Prisoner Of Passion".
'Too Cool' and 'Wounded Heart' sounds like an early Aldo Nova tracks.
'She’s Ready' has fantastic hooklines and a catchy chorus, it sounds like Airrace and alikes.
'Teaser' is simple and direct, like a late '80s Santers tune.

The songs from "Turn The Key '92" are in the vein of Shooting Star and early Night Ranger.
"Heaven's In Your Heart", - the 10 track album recorded at different sessions between 94/95 - has mixed styles, being the Survivor-ish 'Change of Heart' the best.
'Flames' sounds a lot like Bad Boy, and 'You Can Believe' is a beautiful guitar driven power ballad, another good one.

All songs has been digitally remastered and the sound quality is pretty good.
Most of these tunes wouldn’t have looked out of place on any self-respecting FM radio playlist 25 years ago.

from EP Prisoner Of Passion '89:
01 - Too Cool
02 - She's Ready
03 - Wounded Heart
04 - Hurt So Much
05 - Teaser
06 - Ready To Rock
07 - Prisoner Of Passion
from EP Turn The Key '92:
08 - Turn The Key
09 - Look Of Temptation
10 - New Kinda Woman
11 - Vacant Eyes
from CD Heaven's In Your Heart '94-'95:
12 - Be Somebody
13 - Running Out Of Tomorrows
14 - How Many Times
15 - Change Of Heart
16 - Heaven's In Your Heart
17 - She Said Goodbye
18 - Take Me
19 - Flames
20 - Edge Of The Night
21 - You Can Believe

STEVE GRIMM: Lead Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
and many more....



Peter said...

thanks camelblue, been lookin' for this .

kopernikus said...

le echaremos una oreja, que no fallas con lo que recomiendas

Raudmees said...

Talking 'bout Bad Boy - difinitely looking for their albums, love Xeno vocals on early Cheap Trick stuff...

Unknown said...

Great review. Steve Grimm still is the leader of Bad Boy. They are still playing. In fact they are opening for the Scorpions this year at Summerfest(2010:)

Camelblue said...

@ Sharon:
Thnanks for the info, didn't know that.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Huge Bad Boy fan and collector. Glad someone is touting some of Steve Grimm's music. -jrsfarm-

Camelblue said...

@ jrsfarm :
Yeah, cool stuff and criminally unknown.