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Grass Roots, The - 1982 Powers Of The Night




ARTIST: Grass Roots
ALBUM: Powers Of The Night
LABEL: MCA
SERIAL: MCA 4331
YEAR: 1982 -

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Rob Grill - bass, vocals * Ralph Gilmore - drums, vocals * Charles Judge - keyboards, vocals * Terry Oubre - guitars, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Powers Of The Night * 02 Here Comes That Feeling Again * 03 Try Me * 04 Keeps On Burning * 05 I'm Not Gonna Cry Anymore * 06 She Don't Know Me * 07 Mirage * 08 You've Got To Be The One * 09 Feels Like The First Time * 10 Little Too Little


Background
For those of us old enough to remember, in the very late 1960's and early 70's The Grass Roots were at the peak of their popularity. Like Three Dog Night and The Association, the group ran counter to the 'hippie' culture that so dominated the era offering catchy pop songs as opposed to extended jams and drug induced lyrics. The Grass Roots released several top ten singles in their lifetime including 'Midnight Confessions', 'Temptation Eyes' and 'Sooner or Later' all of which could be considered proto-AOR. All good things must come to an end and by the mid- 70's the band had run its course. A final album, the cleverly titled 'Grass Roots' with new guitarist Reggie Knighton failed to yield any hit singles leading to the break-up of The Grass Roots. Knighton would go solo releasing two magnificent albums not to be out done by vocalist Rob Grill with his solo album 'Uprooted' which included Mick Fleetwood and Lindsay Buckingham as guests and it seemed The Grass Roots were a name left to the pages of music history until 1982's 'Powers of the Night' hit the store shelves.


The Songs
First of all, this is not The Grass Roots I remember. Here we have straight ahead AOR in typical early 80's style similar to American Noise, Shelter, Alliance, Le Roux and, well... you get the picture. There's even a cover of the Mark Avsec penned 'She Don't Know Me' which you might remember from the lone Fair Warning album, or Bon Jovi's debut. Yes, 'Powers of the Night' is an AOR lover's dream, but for me it's very much paint by numbers music lacking any real identity, unlike the original version of the band. Perhaps this is due to most of the material coming from outside writers, with only two songs featuring Grill's involvement including 'Feels Like The First Time' co-written by Inga Rumpf and Detlef Petersen, two names from the German progressive scene and the group Atlantis that had connections to Lake. Not sure how or why that collaboration took place, but it's a nice bluesy number and one of the better songs on the record.


In Summary
Showing my age, in the early 70's my Dad gave me a little transistor radio he had on his garage workbench. It was from that radio I first heard The Grass Roots and I will forever attach their music with Baseball cards, Bubblegum and warm, lazy summer afternoons riding my bike in suburban Chicago. 'Powers of the Night' is a decent AOR album and I recommend it to fans of any of the references mentioned above, but I will stick with their older stuff and the memories.


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Comments

#1 | jeffduran on October 02 2008 02:56:05
IF anybody has this please let me know! Thanks!
#2 | richardb on October 02 2008 08:26:53
Hi Jeff,

I'm sure I may have this lurking somewhere in my collection - I'll let you know..

Richard B
#3 | jeffduran on October 02 2008 10:27:46
Let me know...Thank you!
#4 | dangerzone on May 29 2010 17:18:24
Finally tracked this one down .... great AOR!!!
#5 | englandashes on August 04 2010 13:56:50
Picked up Rob Grill - Uprooted in a charity shop this dinnertime, just because it mentioned Champlin and Gruska, otherwise I never heard of him,glad I did, cos I didn't realise the connection with The Grass Roots.
#6 | super80boy on June 26 2016 16:40:05
Since this was such a radical shift for the group, I wonder how this was marketed when it was first released, a comeback?. The title track is definitely a hook filled standout. 'I'm Not Gonna Cry Anymore' is another solid cut with Oubre's prominent guitar playing. Westcoaster 'Mirage' has a smooth melancholic arrangement. They even go into the power pop/new wave direction on closer 'Little Too Little'.

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