Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Gary "US" Bonds - On The Line (1982)


Released June 1982

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. Hold On (To What You Got)

2. Out Of Work
3. Club Soul City
4. Soul Deep
5. Love's On The Line
6. Turn The Music Down
7. Rendezvous
8. Angelyne
9. All I Need
10. Bring Her Back
11. Last Time

To be honest, despite the seven Springsteen compositions and one Steve Van Zandt track, this is a bit of a patchy, underwhelming album. The previous one is the better one. The standout tracks are “Out Of Work”, the soulful “Club Soul City”, the uplifting, muscular soul of “Soul Deep” and the fairground rock of  “Angelyne”. Springsteen's "Rendezvous" is competent enough, but was done better by him, performed live on his "Tracks" box set. 

The opener, "Hold On (To What You Got)" is ok, as is Van Zandt's heartbreaker, "Last Time". However, "Bring Her Back", "All I Need" and "Love's On The Line" are certainly nothing special. "Turn The Music Down" is a bit of an embarrassment, it has to be said. 

One can't help but feel, however, that these are a bunch of Springsteen rejected songs. There were to be no more albums, either, so the venture had run its course.


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