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Articles Home » 1977 Articles » Dees, Stephen - 1977 Hip Shot
 
Dees, Stephen - 1977 Hip Shot



ARTIST: Dees, Stephen
ALBUM: Hip Shot
LABEL: RCA
SERIAL: APL1-286
YEAR: 1977

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Stephen Dees - vocals, guitars, bass, piano, gong

Daryl Hall - background vocals, keyboards, synthesizers, vacuum hose * David Kent - keyboards, background vocals * Steve Mele - lead guitar * Ralph Schuckett - keyboards, synthesizer * Larry Fast - synthesizers * Todd Sharp - slide guitar * Charlie DeChant, Joey Stann - saxophone * Rubens Bassini - percussion * Steve Shive - drums * Eddie Zyne - drums, temple blocks * Tasha Thomas - background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Counting On You * 02 Wacky Together * 03 Kerry * 04 You Defy The Law Of Gravity * 05 Got My Eyes On You Babe * 06 Too Close For Comfort * 07 Out A My Skin * 08 Beat The Devil


Background
Bass player and vocalist Stephen Dees was a member of Hall & Oates band between 1976 and 1977 appearing on two of the Philadelphia duos biggest hits 'Sara Smile' and 'Rich Girl', but it's Novo Combo that most GD readers will remember Dees, heading up two excellent albums 'Novo Combo' and 'Animation Generation' and penning the groups surprise hit 'Up Periscope' before disappearing into the ether. Lesser known is Dee's solo album from 1977 which didn't exactly set the world on fire but it is of note due to production chores handled by the man paying his bills at the time - Daryl Hall.


The Songs
Very much a product of it's time 'Hip Shot' is a slightly funky, soulful rock album and not too far removed from the Hall & Oates mid-70's sound. This is especially so on the opener 'Counting On You' and the follow-up 'Wacky Together'. Both have that white boy blue-eyed soul sound so very popular in '77. Not all that original really and staying close to his roots Dees cover of 'Kerry' adds very little the original which appeared a year earlier on the classic Hall & Oates album 'Back Together Again'. I wonder why this was necessary, but scratch my head even harder after listening to 'You Defy The Law Of Gravity' which is a mind numbing plodding space funk - come new wave track that is truly awful. Quickly flipping over to side two, it doesn't get much better with 'Got My Eyes On You'. I won't bother describing this mess of a song, although 'Too Close For Comfort' and the closing 'Beat The Devil' does save the side somewhat. Both are ballads again in same vein as Hall & Oates and I think after playing this album a few times over the years, Dee should have stuck with the duo and developed his material (and voice) a while longer before striking out on his own. Manager Tommy Mottola should have known better.


In Summary
Hall & Oates followers will want to give this a listen and picking it up cheap shouldn't be a problem. Dees does have a Myspace page and although it doesn't look official it might be the best way to check out a few of the songs described above without spending any ka-ching since I can't imagine any label taking a chance on reissuing this on disc.


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Comments
#1 | super80boy on September 13 2015 17:36:22
'Hip Shot' starts strong with two Hall and Oates influenced rocking funk tinged numbers, 'Counting On You' and 'Wacky Together'. The proto new wave of 'You Defy The Law Of Gravity' plods along and has spacey psych moves towards the end, but I actually liked it since I'm a fan of the genre. 'Got My Eyes On You Babe' doesn't know what it wants to be, it runs around in all sorts of directions, but like 'Out-a My Skin', it provides for some energetic rock. If Dees had a more polished voice and vocal style, this could have been better…It's not bad, just not great either.
 
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