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All Sports Band - 1981 All Sports Band

ARTIST: All Sports Band
ALBUM: All Sports Band
LABEL: Radio
YEAR: 1981


LINEUP: Michael John Toste - vocals * Cy Sulack - guitars * Chuck Kentis - keyboards * Alphonso Carey - bass * The Boxer (Jimmy Clark) - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Can't Give Up The Feeling * 02 Turn This Game Around * 03 Jetset * 04 Opposites Do Attract * 05 I'm Your Superman * 06 Run Away * 07 Can't Change Destiny * 08 Hit N Run * 09 I'm Hurt * 10 Lovestruck

Looking back, the image and theme of this album might seem a little silly, but if you're an AOR fan, then this is primo stuff. Forget about sports, get stuck into the music and potato chips instead!! If you weren't aware, these guys take on the persona of a sports character: martial arts, baseball, motor racing, gridiron and boxing. The guys all look quite 'hard case' on the back cover, but the music is a different thing altogether. They fuse Balance like precision with REO Speedwagon's style of radio friendly AOR. Musically, these guys could sure back up if you thought the band name and image was kinda flaky. It seems that the band's mentor (or should that be coach??) was a chap called Tracy Coats. He took some inspiration from the Village People - men dressed in uniforms of varying description playing music. Apparently the All Sports Band were sighted on both American Bandstand and Solid Gold during 1981 dressed in their full regalia. Toste doing high-flying karate kicks, the drum riser surounded by what looked like a boxing ring, and Chuck Kentis' keyboard rig surrounded by what looked like the front-end of a race car. The two guitarists looked as if they were were ready for an hours worth of hard work on the field within their respective sporting codes. Sounds very comical. originally from Cleveland, the band secured a bit of interest from investors and eventually signed with Atlantic Records subsidiary Radio Records.

The Songs
Musically some of these songs appeal greatly. 'Can't Give UpThis Feeling' and 'Run Away' are the pick of the bunch. Superb fast paced radio rockers both of them are. 'Turn This Thing Around' is an upbeat workman like effort, followed by the growling guitar attack of 'Jet Set', complete with a stomping backbeat and sports-team chants (or is that grunts?). 'Hit And Run' is a jolly workout, containing some searing guitarwork from Sulack while the piano work of Kentis taps on the door of REO Speedwagon's Neal Doughty. 'I'm Hurt' is a bouncy piece, part Donnie Iris manic pop meets Huey Lewis's barroom energy.

In Summary
Their demise was accelerated once final copies of the album started circulating around the radio stations and promo handlers. Originally they were given plain white promo copies with no pictures. Once the picture of the band dressed in uniform made it onto the final album cover, that was enough to turn many off, thinking that these guys were a rebadged version of Village People. And coming straight after the disco era when the Village People were in decline was not the wisest move. The album died a death. However, for us hard-core AOR fans who are often the butt of musical fandom derision, it is nice to know we have a band that is held in equal derision. LOL!

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#1 | rostoned on April 23 2008 08:55:00
Amazingly, for such an obscure and much derided act, the 2 singles from it both charted on the Billboard HOT 100: 'I'm your superman' reached #93, 'Opposites do attract' #78.
In 1982 they released a new 7' single in the US on Radio Records. This comes with a unique picture sleeve (of a girl clung to a guitar, no trace of the band....wonder why? *blushing*). The song was 'Young girl', a cover of the 1968 US #2 hit for The Union Gap featuring Gary Puckett. It could have been a promo only release since my copy is like that and has the same song on both sides (with or without audience effects). This didn't chart at all so it was the end of ASB. bye
#2 | reyno-roxx on April 23 2008 14:40:36
'I'm Your Superman' has to be one of the, uh, wimpiest sounding songs ever recorded by a rock band. It's by far the weakest track on an otherwise very strong album.
#3 | rostoned on April 23 2008 21:13:16
Personally I have a soft spot for the lushy ballad 'I'm your superman' (what a fantastic title, so cheesy). I agree Dave it's wimpy and ultrasweet compared to some other tracks on the LP, but that's its charm and it's not millions miles away from other ones on this platter too, say the other single 'Opposites do attract'. Michael John Toste's highly melodic, Freddie Mercury-ish and sometimes limp wristed tone gives quite a commercial edge to all the album. I'd call it a commercial radio oriented AOR with poppy/pompy tones and arrangements. lol
#4 | rostoned on April 23 2008 21:28:30
Amazingly ASB singer Michael John Toste has become an ordained minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ and founded Michael-John Ministries (MJM) and Acts Revival Center (ARC). he began mentoring, preaching and teaching throughout northern California to Washington DC. Also became the founder of World View Business Consultants and for over 15 years Michael-John has advised entrepreneurs, CEO’s and visionaries in the Silicon Valley area and throughout California.

What's better is the fact that he's NOT hiding his past in ASB, just check his website and you'll be amazingly surprised clap
#5 | gdazegod on April 24 2008 00:40:04
I wonder if he'd be interested in an interview then? lol!
#6 | KurtmanJP on April 25 2008 07:12:54
'Turn This Game Around' is my personal favorite track.
#7 | richardb on June 15 2008 17:20:56
Fortunately I wasn't put off by the ridiculous cover. Overall a good album although there is some filler 'I'm your superman' and 'Hit and run' spring to mind.

Richard B
#8 | super80boy on May 26 2013 00:14:39
Clearly a case of don't judge a book by it's cover. The music is quite catchy with plenty of hooks and good keyboards. Production is solid. There are a few missteps, but all and all a very entertaining AOR album and easy to come by at cheap prices. A recommended pick up indeed.

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