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Dukes, The - 1979 The Dukes



ARTIST: Dukes, The
ALBUM: The Dukes
LABEL: Warner Bros
SERIAL: BSK 3376
YEAR: 1979
CD REISSUE: 2009, Wounded Bird (USA), WOU-3376

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Miller Anderson - vocals * Jimmy McCulloch - guitars * Charlie Tumahai - bass * Ronnie Leahy - keyboards

Guests: Stuart Eliot - drums * Morris Pert - percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Hearts In Trouble * 02 Leaving It All Behind * 03 All In A Game * 04 Billy Niles * 05 Crazy Fool * 06 Who's Gonna Tell You * 07 Time On Your Side * 08 I'll Try To Help * 09 Heartbreaker


Background
Not to be confused with the 1982 Bugatti & Musker west coast classic 'The Dukes', this album featured a 'who's who' of classic rock of the day. Jimmy McCulloch on guitar is best known for his long stint with Wings and his former Stone The Crows band mate Ronnie Leahy appears here as keyboardist. New Zealand bassist and former Be Bop Deluxe and Herbs member Charlie Tumahai and ex-Keef Hartley vocalist Miller Anderson complete the stellar line-up. It seems The Dukes couldn't decide on a drummer as Stuart Elliot best known for his work with Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel appears on most of the album with Brand X maestro Morris Pert adding percussive embellishments throughout.


The Songs
'Hearts In Trouble' kicks the album off nicely and was a minor hit single for the band. Piano driven, this song will have Charlie and Runner fans gasping for air. Unfortunately 'Leaving It All Behind' has a funky sound which really doesn't work, but 'All In A Game' makes up for this error reminding me of Little River Band at their best and as a side bar to this reference, bassist Tumahai was in the pre LRB group - Mississippi, but I am not sure if this was the sound they were shooting for, or just a coincidence. The fourth track 'Billy Niles' gets funky again, while the ballad 'Crazy Fool' is heavily orchestrated and one of the better songs on the record with McCulloch's trademark guitar sound taking the spotlight. Side two is a mixed bag as well with the closing 'Heartbreaker' the best of four, again coming very close to Runner.


In Summary
Suffice to say, this is not a strong album and it could have been much better considering the talent involved. The band toured with Wishbone Ash, but failed to capture the hearts and minds of the record buying public. Tragically, the ever talented Jimmy McCulloch would die of drug induced heart attack in late 1979 which pretty much brought an end to The Dukes. Charlie Tumahai passed away in 1995 and Ronnie Leahy in recent years has been tinkering the ivories with Nazareth, but I am not sure about Miller Anderson and his current activities. The Dukes - much potential with disappointing results, now reissued thanks to Wounded Bird.


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Comments
#1 | dangerzone on October 30 2010 17:43:43
I think this is a great album. 'Leaving It All Behind' is a classic in my opinion!
#2 | Traveller in time on February 18 2011 22:21:58
Artwork please
 
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