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Roadmaster - 1979 Hey World

ARTIST: Roadmaster
ALBUM: Hey World
LABEL: Mercury
SERIAL: SRM-1-3774
YEAR: 1979
CD REISSUE: 2012, Rock Candy Records (UK), CANDY148
SPONSOR: Rock Candy Records


LINEUP: Stephan 'Mac' McAnally - vocals * Rick Benick - guitars * Toby Myers - bass * Michael 'Bones' Read - keyboards * Bobby Johns - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Hey World * 02 My Eyes Have Been Opened * 03 I'm On My Way * 04 Never Say Goodbye * 05 Us Coming Back * 06 Say You Wanna Be With Me * 07 Rainbow Waterfall * 08 Looking For The Day * 09 Good To Be Back Home

'Spending time with a Roadmaster album is akin to undergoing a spiritual experience'. That was a quote mentioned to me years ago by a fan (he shall remain nameless) of the band. Now, I won't go quite that far, but as many of the GDAZE readers will know, Roadmaster are a popular band with the majority here, so it seems only fair that time and effort are afforded them by the GDAZE staff. I won't go into too much detail about Roadmaster. You can read about them elsewhere on this site. Let's focus on their third album 'Hey World', released during 1979 during what was a busy period for the band. Just prior to the release of their supposed classic 'Sweet Music' album a year earlier, Village Records had become part of the Mercury Records family. On that album, their previous progressive and funk edges had been replaced by a sound bordering on commercial pomp, a term that not even the guys in the band were familiar with. (pomp.. what's that?). Also, their touring schedule was busy, out on the road with Pat Travers, Blue Oyster Cult and Molly Hatchet to name a few. The label appeared to be visibly interested in the band, mindful of what was happening in other parts of the mid-west (i.e the success of Styx and Kansas) and the commercial and melodic musical landscape that was unfolding throughout the USA during the latter part of the 70's. This was reflected in the album charts of the time, with bands like Kiss, Van Halen, Journey and Boston all making headway. At the lower level it was still important for Mercury to consolidate with Roadmaster, as they had a large fan base in the mid-west, and a proven 'away' record on the road.

The Songs
'Hey World' then, was a continuation from 'Sweet Music'. Whereas that album had two distinct sides of music (some not so good, the other very good), 'Hey World' has carried on using the better elements. The best representation is heard on the incredible keyboard driven opener.. the title track 'Hey World'. Still a favourite to this day. Why can't todays bands do something similar I wonder? A straight-ahead follow up 'My Eyes Have Been Opened' settles things down a bit, the melody still ever-present, but the vocals of Steve McAnally really carry it off. Drifting on a tide of melancholy is the wonderfully understated 'I'm On My Way'. Check out the brief but killer keyboard solo in the middle. Getting back on track with the energetic 'Never Say Goodbye', the band, by this stage have clicked into a rockier groove, as evidence on 'Us Coming Back'. This was previously covered by some other artist, who I can't quite recall. Elsewhere, the mid-paced rocker 'Say You Wanna Be With Me' moves into a southern rock workout, while another album favourite 'Looking For The Day' appears toward the end. The finale 'Good To Be Back Home' finishes in a flurry, more guitar-oriented than keyboard however.

In Summary
Many punters debate as to which was the better Roadmaster album; 'Sweet Music' or 'Hey World'. Me I prefer this one, due to its consistency. Then again there was the 'Fortress' album, but because they'd changed their style to a harder radio edge by this time, it isn't comparable in much the same way that the debut Roadmaster album wasn't. There are more ramblings on Roadmaster throughout the GLORY-DAZE site, including the 2001 interview with Toby Myers, and a couple of other album reviews.

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#1 | rostoned on June 28 2008 19:00:58
Horrendous cover aside, this is a good follow up to 'Sweet Music' but that was an excellent effort, especially the second half of it.
#2 | reyno-roxx on June 28 2008 19:11:16
The inner sleeve depicts one member of the band in an Angel T-shirt. There are links between the two bands (not just Steve Riley)..all will be revealed in my book :0)
#3 | Eric on June 28 2008 23:28:53
Book?? Whaaahhh! clapclapclapin loveThumbs UpThumbs Upmusic
#4 | sabace on August 03 2011 14:08:40
superb lp one of the all time best!
#5 | swazi on October 30 2011 10:31:27
REALLY looking forward to the Rock Candy CD release this year! Hopefully it will be on time ..
#6 | sabace on January 12 2012 11:45:43
I note that there is some question to the validity of a cd doing the rounds . I purchased a remastered cd from AORHEAVEN a couple of years ago, it was supposed to be a reissue . I already have the japan rock reissues of the other lps and are obviously bootlegs! . This cd its hard to tell - its a mercury label issued by phonodisc (canada) the number is srm 1 3774 and this no is on the cd itself which is factory pressed! any info welcome .
#7 | reyno-roxx on January 12 2012 12:02:26
I think many have been misled into believing this release was legit, including the sellers. There have been a number of very similar reissues from obscure US groups equally pressed to a high standard. that, like the Roadmaster album were not officially released. If this was released by Universal, who own the rights, there would certainly be the usual legal writing and Universal logos present on such a recent release as well as a new CD catalogue number and not just the original vinyl catalogue number. You'll also notice there is no bar code on the back cover.
#8 | sabace on January 12 2012 12:31:02
you're probably right reyno-rox, still its a really well done cd!
#9 | super80boy on September 26 2015 15:21:58
Roadmaster was continuing their climb into the AOR pomp Styx influenced quadrant. The title track is definitely a standout along with the pomp of 'Looking For The Day'. The dollops of majestic keyboard sounds work well in 'My Eyes Have Been Opened' and the Styx clone 'Say You Wanna Be With Me'. The vinyl version inner sleeve has a nice collage of band pictures. This follow up to Sweet Music is at parity with it's predecessor, there's no huge single worthy tracks or major dudes, just competent satisfying AOR goodness. The real winner was yet to come, 1980's Fortress album.
#10 | gdazegod on September 27 2015 06:51:18
There a bunch of Spanish CD sellers who sell high quality CD bootlegs. I purchased one from Ebay and promptly closed my eyes in ignorance. But yes, the disc quality was exceptional.

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