Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Gary "US" Bonds - Dedication (1981)


Released April 1981

Late fifties/early sixties rock 'n' roller Gary "US" Bonds found his career being given an unlikely boost, twenty years later, by admirer Bruce Springsteen, who oversaw the release of two albums in the early eighties, full of Springsteen songs and members of the E. St Band on instrumental duties. Both albums have a lively, Asbury Park feel to them. Lots of saxophone, piano, fairground organ and pounding drums, then.


1. Jole Blon

2. This Little Girl
3. Your Love
4. Dedication
5. Daddy's Come Home
6. It's Only Love
7. The Pretender
8. Way Back When
9. From A Buick 6
10. Just Like A Child

“Dedication” is marginally the better of the two albums. 

Highlights on the album are Springsteen duetting with Bonds on the catchy, fairground-ish “Jole Blon”, the equally singalong “This Little Girl”, the soul of  “Your Love” and an absolutely stonking cover of Jackson Browne’s classic “The Pretender”. This is by far the best cut on the album, for me. 

Also covered is Steve Van Zandt’s big production tear-jerker, “Daddy’s Come Home”. Dylan's "From A Buick 6" is muscular and impressive, while The Beatles' "It's Only Love" is given a convincing soul makeover. The title track is a bit of a goofy rock 'n' roll throwaway, while neither the fifties-esque "Way Back When" or the plaintive "Just Like A Child" pull up any trees. Overall, though, it is an enjoyable enough listen every now and again, and a nostalgic one for me. 


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