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Doc Holliday - 1983 Modern Medicine

ARTIST: Doc Holliday
ALBUM: Modern Medicine
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: 1998, A&M, 394 947-2


LINEUP: Bruce Brookshire - vocals, guitars, synths * Rick Skelton - guitars * Eddie Stone - synths, piano , vocals * John Samuelson - bass, vocals * Herman Nixon - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 City Night * 02 Dreamin' * 03 Gimme Some * 04 You Don't Have To Cry * 05 Rock City * 06 Hell To Pay * 07 No Relation To Love * 08 You Turn Me On * 09 We Are Not Alone * 10 You Like To Rock


What were these southern rockers thinking when they released this album? Did ZZ Top influence a raft of spin-offs with their brand of synthesized southern rock/boogie? It appears so. Other outfits such as Blackfoot and Molly Hatchet were also dipping their toes into the AOR market with varying degrees of success (some would say failure!). Doc Holliday it has to be said, did not get the recipe right before embarking on 'Modern Medicine'. In fact, if tried and true DH fans were to take a dose of this medicine then there is every likelihood they would've ended up sicker than when they started. Just who was to blame for this disaster is unclear. Sure, ZZ Top's 'Eliminator' probably had something to do with it, but at least it sounded convincing. The American buying public thought so too, that album going platinum with a spate of singles to boot. The Doc's probably needed to have a listen to the Henry Paul Band or Johnny Van Zant Band to see how it should've been done. Out with the baby and the bathwater went the efforts of their last two smokin' southern rock LP's to be replaced by a third album 'bomb' - suffice to say.

The Songs
Personally, it is difficult for me to find any highlights amongst the rubble. The Survivor like start of 'City Night' sees this great band opting to play such an unfamiliar style. Next up 'Dreamin' is so far removed from their southern roots they may as well be on the other side of the continent. And what's up with that godawful drum sound? 'Gimme Some' is caught somewhere between confused and lost - quirky possibly, but even Donnie Iris would have difficulty following this nonsense - possibly Billy Idol may get some mileage out of it. The ballad 'You Don't Have To Cry' is a contender for the skip button, while things improve somewhat for the harder rockin' pair of 'Rock City' and 'Hell To Pay', the latter song is a style they should've persevered with, though the lyrics are too overly clever for my liking. 'No Relation To Love' is another reasonable effort, though it would've sounded better without any keyboards. The last pair of 'We Are Not Alone' and the chant-a-minute 'You Like To Rock' appear to emulate ZZ Top's rabid and modern interpretation of boogie. The latter track even has a Y&T vibe to it, but it ain't no threat to the power of Meniketti's boys!

In Summary
The synths and near pop sound is an insult to this band. Goodness, I hope they didn't play this stuff live.. (gulp!). The band fell apart after this, and rightfully so. They did come back together for 1986's 'Danger Zone' which was back in the territory they rightfully belong - good ol' southern rock. Unfortunately 'Modern Medicine' was an experiment that didn't work - someone at A&M should've lost their job over this poor release, while the band went home to Georgia to lick their sugar coated wounds and get back to their true southern roots, with a good swig of Jack Daniels to wash away the disappointment.

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#1 | dangerzone on January 21 2008 16:59:50
I was watching the video for 'You Like To Rock' on YouTube. Bloody classic! If the rest of this album is as good, count me in.
#2 | reyno-roxx on July 02 2008 09:11:40
A massive departure for the band and I'd suspect this was very much a case of record company interference, especially as AandM preferred 38 Special. That said, there are moments on this album that are quite cool.
#3 | reyno-roxx on July 02 2008 09:12:51
Note: Artwork rendered by the same individual responsible for the Mayday 'Revenge' and YandT 'Black Tiger' and 'Meanstreak' covers. All on AandM of course.

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#4 | gdazegod on July 02 2008 11:34:33
Good spotting Dave.. Yes, nice to see the cover art connection. As for this album, not for me.. lol!

#5 | rostoned on July 02 2008 11:43:50
Spot on Dave! The guy who did the artwork is John Taylor Dismukes, a a 'painter for the next millenium' (from hi bio). Over the years his work has screamed from the cover Rock Legends, The Grateful Dead, Megadeth, Foreigner, Steppenwolf and more. Hollywood has embraced his work in posters for Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Star Trek, The Addams Family and others. See
#6 | dangerzone on August 08 2016 17:13:06
While enduring a maddening 700 mile drive from Phoenix to San Jose yesterday, I listened to more music than I could comprehend. This album was part of it. Even though I've heard it a few times, it became very clear that this could be the biggest load of shit ever committed to vinyl in rock history. Only 'You Like to Rock' is memorable, the rest is an insult just like George said to the first two albums.

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