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Articles Home » 1976 Articles » Diamond REO - 1976 Dirty Diamonds
Diamond REO - 1976 Dirty Diamonds

ALBUM: Dirty Diamonds
LABEL: Kamasutra
SERIAL: 940 549
YEAR: 1976
CD REISSUE: 2013, Rock Candy Records, HRCANDY003


LINEUP: Norman Nardini - bass, vocals * Warren King - guitars * Frank Zuri - vocals, keyboards * Rob Jones - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 All Over You * 02 It Ain't What You Say, It's What You Do * 03 Scratch My Back * 04 Mamma Let My Love * 05 It's A Jungle Out There * 06 Lover Boy * 07 Power * 08 Bad News * 09 Boys Will Be Boys * 10 Helter Skelter

WEBLINKS: www.normannardini.com

The true spirit of unabashed 70's hard rock was captured by many a great band during the decade, but how many people ever stopped to consider this particular slab of vinyl in the high stakes game of 70's rarities? Well this isn't rare by any means, but it is overlooked as a sonically advanced piece of late 70's hard rock mayhem. Led by the semi legendary Nardini, Diamond Reo rose out of the steel town of Pittsburgh in the early seventies to sign a deal with Atlantic, resulting in 1975's self titled debut and lucrative tours with luminaries such as Kiss, Rush and Ted Nugent. Legend has it the band were a tad too excessive with their off stage antics and dropped by their label and manager Al Nalli, the man behind Axe and Blackfoot. The band wasn't done however, and returned with this remarkable crushing set of pure US hard rock that is leagues ahead of more than a few contemporaries of the time.

The Songs
Nothing soft or laid back to be found here, just an endless stream of heavy riffing and rock and roll with aggressive guitar work found at every turn. The only misnomer is a cover of The Beatles 'Helter Skelter', which doesn't matter in the onslaught of the nine originals which come before. Right off the bat is the raunch of 'All Over You', with Nardini causing a storm with his vocals amidst the first barrage of riffs that make Jimmy Page look small by comparison. The undisputed classic here is the rapid fire 'It Ain't What You Say, It's What You Do'. Those who think of Starz or Aerosmith as late 70's US rock gods may want to catch a snippet of this, it blows them away and is on par with anything by AC/DC for mayhem circa 1976. Mind blowing to say the least, and the melody levels are equal to the wall of noise. 'Bad News' isn't far off either and this is the sound Gus And The New Breed adopted on that 1983 special 'On The Verge', nothing fancy, no frills rock. 'Boys Will Be Boys' is 1980's party metal before it existed, and this is so far ahead of its time that it might be 1987! Listen to that hook, that's what rock is supposed to represent, defiance and fun. Nothing else can be faulted of the remaining tracks, and if you can get to grips with how heavy this really is, then the rewards are worth the effort.

In Summary
Nardini has been pegged as the perennial artist who never made it and quite how these guys slipped away is sad and a pathetic statement of the music industry. Nardini went solo and formed Norman Nardini And The Tigers, signing to CBS releasing a pair of albums in the early 80's with the help of Jon Bon Jovi and David Bryan amongst others, and with titles like 'Heat Of The Night' I think it's safe to say Nardini went AOR which means those albums would be worth tracking down. Nardini continues to rock away to this day, now regarded as a legend in his parts, and the wild atmosphere of 'Dirty Diamonds' sums this guy up. Isn't it amazing people once considered punk to be the hip antidote to the supposedly limp late 70's? Compared to this, punk has no balls, then, now and forever. This is the ultimate rock experience.

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This article has been tagged
#1 | sabace on December 24 2007 16:08:08
#2 | Jokerdean on January 10 2008 18:14:10
Great Stuff here..don't be fooled by the Cover...these guys
Rock HARD. Great Riffs and Songs..Kinda sounds like Nugent,KISS, Aerosmith...IMO...clap
#3 | Eric on January 29 2008 01:55:35
Supposedly this was reissued in Japan on CD, but was/is it legit?hmm!
#4 | sabace on March 12 2008 13:20:50
this has been reissued by LION RECORDS GERMANY recently in a cool digipak!
#5 | rostoned on June 28 2008 12:08:17
Awful cover but excellent platter, 'Power' is a killer! Both Japanese and recent German CD releases are NOT legit. Please (Sabace) don't support bootlegers!
#6 | sabace on July 23 2008 18:40:43
sorry I did'nt know LION were bootlegs!
#7 | reyno-roxx on August 02 2008 21:54:23
Might be a bootleg, but it sounds great. Picked it up cheap off e-bay a while back. I'd forgotten how great this was. Maybe I appreciate this kind of 70s rock now more than I did at the time?!
#8 | dangerzone on May 13 2010 01:14:19
Does anyone have those early 80's albums of Nardini?
#9 | gdazegod on May 13 2010 01:59:59
I think there was only the one official LP, from 1983 'Norman Nardini and The Tigers', released by CBS. The band split in 1986.

Here's a good link to Norm, written by Ron Ierace.


Great to see this coming out on Rock Candy. Who's doing the liner notes? Reyno?
#10 | englandashes on May 13 2010 12:05:45
I have the LP at home by Norman, if memory serves me right, sure Jon Bon Jovi appears on backing vocals, I'll dig it out tonight, initial listens it wasn't that good!
#11 | reyno-roxx on May 13 2010 18:09:53
Jon Bon Jovi and Norm are good friends going back to Jon's days in The Rest. Norm opened for that band and kicked their asses! Spoke to Norm last week and Frank Zuri last night. Great guys. Sadly, Warren passed away earlier this year and Rob a year or so ago.
#12 | Traveller in time on May 13 2010 19:36:20
I have a EP with 4 tracks from 1989, Splash Records.
The EP has the No. 2263.

Also the LP from 1985 is great
#13 | MUSCLE on December 15 2010 19:46:16
a mighty slab of vicious hard rock. guaranteed to blow your balls off!guns
#14 | sabace on October 12 2012 08:51:21
they opened for Kiss at Cobo Arena - the Alive recording!
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