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Articles Home » 1981 Articles » Rings, The - 1981 The Rings
Rings, The - 1981 The Rings

ARTIST: Rings, The
ALBUM: The Rings
YEAR: 1981


LINEUP: Bob Gifford - bass, vocals * Mike Baker - guitars, keyboards, vocals * Mark Sutton - lead guitar, keyboards, vocals * Matt Thurber - drums, background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Opposites Attract * 02 Who's She Dancin' With * 03 This One's For The Girls * 04 Let Me Go * 05 Got My Wish * 06 My Kinda Girl * 07 I Need Strange * 08 Watch You Break * 09 Too Much Of Nothin' * 10 Third Generation

The first and best of two albums from Boston's The Rings is widely considered to be a power pop classic, despite some nagging similarities to another band from the same city - The Cars. Yes, The Rings worshipped at the feet of Ric Ocasek, but they did it so damn well it's easy to forgive them! Formed in 1977, The Rings were a big draw on the Boston club circuit as well as opening shows for Ian Hunter and (ahem!) The Cars. Signing to MCA in 1980 was probably not the wisest decision with that labels notorious penchant for MOR, but the band's self produced debut gained a fair amount of attention from the press and tours across the US with Blue Oyster Cult, Toto and The Pretenders proved The Rings were a viable live act.

The Songs
'Opposites Attract', the opening track throws a reggae influence into what could have been an outtake from 'Candy-O'. 'Who's She Dancin' With' breaks from The Cars influence for a nicely executed slab of power pop bliss in the style of Off Broadway and Pezband. 'Let Me Go', the albums single is as catchy as it is quirky and I remember hearing it on the radio at the time, but it failed to do anything on the charts of significance. The remaining material, in particular 'Got My Wish' and 'Watch You Break' again pays homage to prime time The Cars with the exception of the closing 'Third Generation'. A straight forward full bore rock tune sounding very English in the style of The Jam and The Yachts and it's the best song on the record in my opinion.

In Summary
In true MCA style, The Rings second album 'Rhythm Method' received almost no promotion, a fate similar to label mates Axe and Hotel. The band played their last gig in Boston in 1982, disappearing into the pantheon of forgotten power pop. Wearing their influences on their sleeve it's not hard to hear why the record buying public didn't give into The Rings, but listening to this record now is fun and a not so guilty pleasure.

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