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Articles Home » 1979 Articles » Stumblebunny - 1979 While You Were Out
Stumblebunny - 1979 While You Were Out

ARTIST: Stumblebunny
ALBUM: While You Were Out
LABEL: Mercury/Phonogram
SERIAL: 9198 135
YEAR: 1979


LINEUP: Chris Robison - vocals, guitars, keyboards * David White - guitars, vocals * Peter Jordan - bass * Sammy Brown - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Tonite * 02 Down The Road * 03 Walk Away * 04 Don't Wanna Love * 05 Airplane Song * 06 Young Stuff * 07 Jimmy Rowe * 08 Knockin' Around * 09 Soap Opera Day * 10 Rock N Roll Man


Thanks to the Robots For Ronnie blogspot I came to be familiar with this one-off American band Stumblebunny. A deep listen to their 1979 album 'While You Were Out' uncovers some magical moments worth a mention here at G-DAZE. The membership of this band comes from unusual sources - which could hardly be considered melodic rock, let alone 70's hard rock. If the New York Dolls could be considered a reference point for melodic rock, then I'm a monkeys uncle. But in this case, both Chris Robison and Peter Jordan had played with that band - who are a far cry from the restrained melodic rock/pop that Stumblebunny deliver. It's clever, quirky, not reinventive of anything, and will appeal to both hard rockers and power-poppers. Formed in 1976, the band played live in early 1977, and released a four-track EP thereafter. Famed 60's producer Richard Gottehrer signed the band up to European based label Phonogram, and duly released 'While You Were Out' in Germany only during the early part of 1979. Sounds like marketing suicide for an American band at least, but Stumblebunny did their best to promote the album outside of Germany under trying circumstances.

The Songs
One of their catchier tunes hit us immediately with 'Tonite'. It has an earthy feel good vibe in the vein of Poco's late 70's early 80's work. Even 'Down The Road' displays some slight southern tendencies. Certainly the guitar lines and solo would give that impression. One of the album's best moments is the pop candy of 'Walk Away' - an excitable and commercial offering which highlights this band's best attributes. I also liked 'Don't Wanna Love', with its smooth as velvet chorus combining AOR ideals with pop tendencies. 'The Airplane Song' would arguably be one of their unusual moments, the change-up passages during the middle are straight out of the wacky basket. 'Young Stuff', 'Jimmy Rowe' and 'Knockin' Around' take on a tougher stance, and typify what was the pop/rock hybrid sound coming out of New York during this era. A bit of Rolling Stones attitude is revealed here, as it is on 'Soap Opera Day' - the Jagger-isms coming out of the woodwork. Another point of difference is the slight (ever so slight ) reggae vibe of 'Rock N Roll Man'. It doesn't last for long, as it pushes into a drawn out near folk like tune of (again) unusual proportions!

In Summary
Because of the aforementioned circumstances, the band wouldn't last too long into 1979, though they did tour in Germany and the UK playing support to The Hollies. In fact before years end, the band were no longer, but at least they left behind an interesting set of tunes that is worth pulling out once in awhile for a trip down memory lane. Makes me wonder what would've happened if this band hung in there for just a bit longer because this album certainly had a whole heap of promise. Mainman Chris Robison is still in action, and has featured in many musical projects. Refer his website above.

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