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City Boy - 1975 City Boy



ARTIST: City Boy
ALBUM: City Boy
LABEL: Mercury/Vertigo
SERIAL: 6360 126
YEAR: 1975
CD REISSUE: 1991, Bear Tracks (Germany), BTVD 979415-2 * 2008, Renaissance (USA), RMED-296

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Lol Mason - lead vocals, percussion * Steve Broughton - lead vocals, rhythm guitar, 12 string acoustic, mandolin * Max Thomas - keyboards, 12 string acoustic guitar, percussion, vocals * Mike Slamer - lead and rhythm guitars, percussion, vocals * Chris Dunn - bass, acoustic guitar * Roger Kent - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 (Moonlight) Shake My Head And Leave * 02 Deadly Serious * 03 Surgery Hours (Doctor Doctor) * 04 Sunset Boulevard * 05 Oddball Dance * 06 5000 Years - Don't Know Can't Tell * 07 The Hap-Ki-Do Kid * 08 The Greatest Story Ever Told * 09 Haymaking Time

WEBLINKS: cityboy.org


Background
Starting life as a folk band and going by the name The Cherry Trees, I suppose it would be difficult to imagine these guys would turn out to be one of the best British AOR bands in the history of rock, but that's exactly what happened. City Boy hailed from the city of Birmingham whose previous contributions to the music scene were Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Electric Light Orchestra. Good company indeed, but it's been said that City Boy by the time they started to take themselves a little more seriously in the rock music biz, they were nothing more than another 10cc. There is some truth to this because at the time 10cc were the darlings of the British press, and labels true to form were scrambling to sign bands of similar direction. Nasty Pop, Brian Protheroe and King Harry are just a few examples, but in the end it was City Boy that came the closest to riding the coat tails of Stewart, Gouldman, Godley and Creme on their debut and especially the second album 'Dinner at the Ritz'.


The Songs
This self titled debut is chock full of gems and side one's 'Deadly Delicious' is a standout. Creative musically, very progressive yet melodic and never self indulgent, City Boy were a talented bunch, but admittedly sometimes they were a bit over the top as on 'Oddball Dance' with it's funky riff and strange voices filtering in and out. In my opinion the song really doesn't know what it wants to be. Side Two's '5000 years/ don't know can't tell' reminds me a little of Queen in the guitar and piano parts with a definite 10cc influenced vocal style. I actually think it's the best song on the album. 'The Hap-Ki-Do-Kid' again covers the 10cc sound to the point of blatant plagiarism but who cares? A fun tune with a near reggae beat, it was the albums first single although I am guessing it was barely a blip on the UK charts. 'Haymaking Time' is the closing track and it's a beautiful ballad with some very nice vocal work, a definite highlight and fine close to a very good record.


In Summary
'City Boy' was released on CD in the early 90's on the German Bear Tracks label and is a highly sought after collectible. It was released again by Renaissance appropriately paired with 'Dinner at the Ritz' on a double disc. This too seems to be getting scarce so don't wait too long! AOR fans I am sure prefer City Boy's later work, but for me the first two albums are their best and definitely worth checking out for the more adventurous melodic rock fan.


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Tags: City Boy 
 
Comments
#1 | george_the_jack on June 18 2008 16:45:10
I have the ''Day The Earth Caught Fire'' and it's a great LP....unfortunately, I cannot find this one.
#2 | trillion1999 on October 08 2011 02:35:35
Justice at last even if it might be the Renaissance-versions but by now every City Boy studio-album should be out on Japanese CDs of the Mini-LP-sleeve kind.How they deserve it.clap
#3 | super80boy on May 19 2013 23:04:39
This is a great eclectic album full of creative progressive arrangements. The standout songs are a plenty - 'Deadly Delicious', 'Oddball Dance' and '5000 Years' and 'The Greatest Story Ever Told'. What a stunning little debut. My vinyl came with a insert that had a Buyers Beware article on the piracy of cassette tapes and 8 tracks, interesting reading from back in the day when they were so dominant.
 
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