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- Released: April 28, 2009
- Originally Released: 2009
- Label: Collectables Records
Description by OLDIES.com:
The UK new wave band The Records had the cult classic "Starry Eyes" in 1979. Group leader, John Wicks, returns with this new recording treating fans to some great power pop. Outstanding originals include "So Close To Home", "That Girl Is Emily" and "Rotate."
- 1.Rising Stars
- 2.That Girl Is Emily
- 3.So Close to Home
- 4.Edges of a Dream
- 5.Different Shades of Green
- 6.Oh Yeah!
- 8.Desert Sky
- 9.The Lost Years
- 10.Come on Round
Personnel: John Wicks (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Berton Averre (guitar, keyboards, keyboard programming); Charles Cronk (guitar, drum programming); Chris Abshire, Gary Schwartz, Randy Hoffman (guitar); Evan Pollack, Joe Parsons, Robbie Rist (drums, percussion).
Recording information: Actiondale Studios, VI; Avalon Studios, MA; Big Mo Studios, MA; Cedar Suites, CA; Cronk Sound, Surrey, England; Mountain View Studios, CA; Smartso Digital, CA.
After nearly ten years away from the recording studio (and 25 years after the official breakup of the Records), John Wicks makes up for lost time with 2007's Rotate, in which he handily demonstrates that his talents as a songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist are still in splendid shape. Calling this "the Records" is a bit of a cheat, since Wicks is the only member of the original group on board (Berton Averre of the Knack does pop up on several tracks, if that helps), but while this will never replace Shades in Bed or Crashes in the hearts of fans, Rotate is a fine exercise in contemporary power pop that ought to please folks who loved his old band. The songs on Rotate aren't quite as snappy as vintage Records sides, and there's a more contemplative tone to songs like "So Close to Home" and "Rising Stars" than one might expect, but while Wicks seems to have learned a few new tricks, he still writes clever melodies with rich melodic hooks, and the banks of harmonies and tight but expansive production (also handled by Wicks) serve these tunes very well indeed. Seven different recording studios are credited in the liner notes, suggesting this project was recorded over a sizable amount of time and distance, but beyond the slightly inconsistent drum sounds (some of which are live while others are clearly machines), the results reflect a unified pop vision that hasn't failed Wicks after years out of the spotlight. If Rotate doesn't quite sound like the Records, it leaves no doubt that John Wicks is still a vital artist with plenty to offer, and if you have a taste for vintage pop from the new wave era, this album brings that sound into the 21st century with all its pleasures intact. Rotate was originally released by the independent Kool Kat label in 2007; in 2009, the album was reissued in edited and re-sequenced form by Collectables Records, with the ballad "Whenever You're Near" and a cover of the Beatles' "We Can Work It Out" cut from the running order. While neither is a major loss, it's a shame Collectables couldn't be bothered to re-release the album in full -- and the new cover art is significantly worse than the original, which wasn't exactly inspired to begin with. ~ Mark Deming
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