Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Gary "US" Bonds

A couple of Bruce Springsteen=produced albums here....

Dedication (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. 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 HomeDylan's From A Buick 6 is muscular and impressive, while The BeatlesIt's Only Love is given a convincing soul makeover. 
The title track, Dedication, 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.

On The Line (1982)

To be honest, despite the presence of 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 The Box TopsSoul 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 BackAll 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.

Read the reviews of Gary US Bonds' "boss" here. Click on the image :-

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