Now Playing: Perry Leopold
Topic: New review
One of the more expensive tax-scammers gets a real review, replacing the brief entry in the AA 2nd Ed.
SPANKY LEE & JOHNNY LEE ( )
Spanky & Johnny c1977 (Tiger Lily)
There really are a lot of very good albums on Tiger Lily, but listening to something like this makes me wonder how collectors would have responded to it if it had been the major label release the band probably intended. (A good example is Michaelo/Michael O’Gara, or the Steve Drake albums, where collectors ignored the cheap and easy-to-find major label copies of the very same music.) This is an odd and highly professional mix of soft rock and funky rock, with jazz flute (occasionally echoplexed) on some songs. There were some mainstream bands that sounded like this in the mid-'70s, and I can think of one collectable that resembles it at least a little bit (the album by Hollins & Starr), but this is still pretty distinctive. So, maybe collectors would have picked up on it even if it wasn’t on a collectable label. “Superstar” and “Winter’s Mourning,” in particular, have a cool dreamy soft-rock vibe that is in the same realm as some 70s psych bands, and there’s a pretty stunning little bass break in “Morning Song.” Two songs rock reasonably hard. There’s also some nice understated synth work in a few places. Overall, this is a strong album for sure, if you can swing with the cheesy bits. Lyrics range from the ethereal to the horny to one Christian song. I think they were just a step away from going disco, but I don’t mean that in a bad way. I don’t believe this is the same Spanky Lee who made a terrible AOR/metal album in the 1989. [AM]