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Cock Robin - 1985 Cock Robin



ARTIST: Cock Robin
ALBUM: Cock Robin
LABEL: CBS
SERIAL: BFC 39582 (LP), CK 39582 (CD)
YEAR: 1985
CD REISSUE: 2014, Cherry Pop, CRPOP152

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Peter Kingsbery - vocals, bass, keyboards *Anna LaCazio - vocals, keyboards * Louis Merlino Jnr - drums, percussion, vocals * Clive Wright - guitars, Roland GR 300

Guests: Paulinho da Costa, Pat Mastelloto, Arno Lucas - percussion * Steve Hillage - rhythm guitar on 'When Your Heart Is Weak'

TRACK LISTING: 01 Thought You Were On My Side * 02 When Your Heart Is Weak * 03 Just When You're Having Fun * 04 The Promise You Made * 05 Because It Keeps On Working * 06 Born With Teeth * 07 Once We Might Have Known * 08 More Than Willing * 09 A Little Innocence

WEBLINKS: www.peterkingsbery.net


Background
Primarily a pop combo from Los Angeles, Cock Robin based their presence around the duo of Peter Kingsbery and Anna LaCazio. I remember absolutely thrashing this album back in the eighties, wearing out my cassette copies as well as vinyl. Their unique flavour of pop rock was highly addictive, and melodic. Trying to compete against the rising tide of British new romanticism (a la Duran, Spandau etc) were a few American acts, such as The Motels, Cyndi Lauper, Aimee Mann and Til Tuesday and this lot Cock Robin. Though the band formed in 1984, it wasn't until the following year that this album popped out. Full of intelligent lyrics, wistful emotion and atmosphere, the band offset that by using a multitude of percussion to liven things up. Kingsbery, who has a music degree, bought all his collective skill to the table, and became the perfect foil for LaCazio's spirited vocals. The band proved to be a bigger hit in Europe ironically enough, the USA not quite appreciating their potential at the time. Prog guitarist Steve Hillage was an unusual choice for producer, but manages to keeps things interesting with these first-time studio novices.


The Songs
The opening brace of songs are all winners in my book. 'Thought You Were On My Side' manages to mix an energetic approach with the equally impassioned vocals of both LaCazio and Kingsbery. The chorus is memorable, easy-on-the-ear, while the guitars of Clive Wright are at just the right volume in the mix. 'When Your Heart is Weak' is more sombre and introspective, the keyboard layers are atmospheric, allowing Kingsbery ample room to direct his voice. 'Just When You're Having Fun' is aptly named, a fun workout containing loads of percussion with Anna at the helm. Perhaps my favourite tune is 'Promise You Made', the patient build-up culminating in another atmospheric but commercial tune. 'Because It Keeps On Working' takes the hi-tech direction, with keys and percussion populating the track. 'Born With Teeth' gallops (literally) across your speakers, the fast paced and poppy sound again touching the hi-tech running rail. 'More Than Willing' is the closest to AOR on the album, vaguely resembling a band like Wild Blue for instance. The album finishes with 'A Little Innocence', an undulating track, that meanders and suffers from a case of the in-betweens. Not quite sure whether it should rock out or stay closer to ballad territory.


In Summary
A good album for me, and in 1985 I gave it a heap of air time, alongside Asia, Michael Bolton and Autograph. As mentioned, Europe became their savior, with better success recorded in the UK, Germany, and particularly in France. A point not lost on Kingsbery who later emigrated to Paris in the early nineties. Cock Robin would revert to the duo of Kingsbery and LaCazio for their two remaining albums: 1987's 'After Here Through Midland' and 1989's 'First Love Last Rites'. There were some reports that a reunion album and tour would rear its head during 2005, and indeed that happened, with the release of their 'i Don't Want To Save The World' album, reuniting Kingsbery and LaCazio.


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Comments
#1 | Eric on August 22 2012 23:02:16
This is just a great album as are all three and I'm very fond of thier last (?) 'First Love Last Rites'. Steve Hillage as producer is a brilliant choice as his work with Simple Minds (a band I plan on covering here soon) was exemplary and does an excellent job here.
#2 | swazi on August 23 2012 22:23:25
Simple Minds, Eric ?? That would great! I've been a huge fan up to "Real Life", which was in 1991. Since then I lost interest completely.
#3 | Eric on August 23 2012 22:36:09
Yes, although which Minds album to go with first will be a challenge. So many great albums (and a couple clunkers), but they definitly deserve a spot on these pages.
#4 | gdazegod on August 24 2012 01:17:42
I will add a SM review to the queue, not sure which one yet. Will concur with you first Eric, so we don't double up.
 
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