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USA - 1982 USA



ARTIST: USA
ALBUM: USA
LABEL: Philly World
SERIAL: PWLP 1002
YEAR: 1982

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Larry Baud - vocals, keyboards * Rod Margolis - guitars, vocals * Preston Tiley - bass, vocals * Zuff - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 I Love You * 02 Hard Life * 03 The One Who Really Loved You * 04 Come Back Baby * 05 Alone In The World * 06 Teenage Rock n Roller * 07 Last Song * 08 You Think This Is Love * 09 Only One * 10 She Said No


Background
As you can guess from the record label, this band hail from Philadelphia, and they made a small dent on the AOR scene back in 1982. Because industry communication was confined to regional areas, not many people outside of the city knew anything about the band, but from what they heard, they could tell that this version of USA was made of two halves (one half pomp, the other being middle of the road hard rock) but somehow interconnected. Sound exactly like their political system too huh, with Democrat and Republicans running around like loose cannons.. Probably the best known name here is Larry Baud, who would later feature in the bands Red Dawn and Network (Mark Eskey's band). Larry sings on a handful of the songs only, plus he is credited with keyboards as well. It would be hard to pin any comparisons down, because they are all over the place influence wise. Listening to each of these songs is like listening to a completely different band. Frustrating for some, great for others because it shows the diversity of the band. No pigeon-holing for USA then!!


The Songs
Starting out with the swirly keyboard effects is 'I Love You', a track that is part of their AOR arsenal. Shifting gear into the fast lane is the guitar rocker 'Hard Life', sounding right at home stacked alongside the eighties LA metal hopefuls at the corner traffic-lights of 25th and Main! Adding to their AOR portfolio is 'The One Who Really Loved You', featuring more pompy/parpy keyboards but with a lightweight delivery a la Beau Coup. Keeping it in the family is the Franke & The Knockouts flavoured 'Come Back Baby', it's followed by the ballad 'Alone In The World', sounding like any number of bands.. I'll leave you to pick it. Side Two kicks off with the hard rock/boogie of 'Teenage Rock n' Roller'. Probably not the pick of the bunch but hey.. Thankfully, the rest of the album picks up from this point. All strong songs. The quartet of 'Last Song', 'Ya Think This Is Love' (sounding like hi-tech AORsters Taxxi), the impressive 'Can't Get You Out Of My Mind' (perhaps a poor-mans Preview?) and 'She Said No' all demand attention.


In Summary
Only the one album for this lot. The only entry of note for USA was in the first edition of the Encyclopedia Of Heavy Metal. And like many one-off albums featured in that publication, many have gone on to become collectors items, though equally, many have also had their reputations dented as the passing of time has taken the gloss of redeeming features. USA though for what its worth, still sounds credible today, so all safe there!


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Comments
#1 | reyno-roxx on October 18 2011 15:20:10
This band was actually the Philly group Network under a different name for some political reasons at the time. It's all very odd. As is the just issued 'remastered' CD-R being offered through Amazon as part of the 'Essential Pop' range by a company called Essential Media Group. The sound is decent enough, but no liner notes or band line-up details to be had at all. As mysterious a release as the original vinyl!
#2 | super80boy on June 29 2013 16:18:46
Well, I was able to track down another copy of this after regretfully getting rid of it many years ago. Glad I decided to track down another copy. This is sturdy underground hard driving pompous melodic rock. There are a few hiccups along he way, but an overall satisfying outing for the private press independent fan.
#3 | gdazegod on April 04 2014 01:23:59
The other strange thing about this album was their label Philly World. It was mostly a disco and soul label. So Duke Jupiter weren't the only AOR strays signed to a non-AOR aligned label!
 
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