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Hawks - 1981 Hawks

ALBUM: Hawks
YEAR: 1981


LINEUP: Frank Wiewel - bass, vocals * Dave Steen - guitars, vocals * Kirk Kaufman - guitars, vocals * Dave Hearn - keyboards, vocals * Larry Adams - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 It's All Right, It's OK * 02 I Want You I Need You * 03 Right Away * 04 Lonely Nights * 05 Let Me In * 06 Need Your Love * 07 American Girls * 08 The Admirals Mutiny * 09 Spend This Evening * 10 Dancing In The Shadows

Iowa's Hawks created some of the finest pop music of the early 80's. Ok, perhaps that's an overstatement, but the band certainly perfected pure pop song craft a la Badfinger. Not what you would expect from a band from the heart of the corn belt, but Hawks two albums are considered power pop classics and deservedly so. Formed out of the ashes of Westminst'r a popular Beatles influenced band that recorded a handful of singles opening shows for James Gang, Frigid Pink and other big names of the day. Following their breakup, band member Kirk Kaufman opened a recording studio in an abandoned barn were the band used to rehearse. After signing to CBS the band enlisted producer Tom Werman (Cheap Trick, Blue Oyster Cult, Ted Nugent) and recorded their debut in the Kaufman studio which still exists today as 'Junior's Motel' in tiny Otho, Iowa.

The Songs
These guys were definitely plugged into what makes pop music so much fun to listen to. Each song is filled with luscious hooks and is melodic to the core. The first three songs, 'It's All Right, It's OK', 'I Want You, I Need You' and especially 'Right Away' alone are worth the effort tracking down this LP. 'Right Away' did gain some air play for the band, but was not the big hit the song should have been. This album is not the quirky 'new wave' music so popular during this period, but owing more to The Beatles, Byrds and the aforementioned Badfinger with an AOR edge. I could also draw comparisons to Phil Seymour and New England's John Fannon in the vocal department, but the Hawks sound is uniquely their own, it's just too bad this record flew under the radar of so many music fans.

In Summary
Hawks released a second record for CBS, '30 Seconds Over Otho' which was a little more produced and lost some of the magic of the first album. In turn Hawks were dropped from the label but they did record a third album 'Perfect World Radio' which the good people at Not Lame Records have released and reportedly is even more in the AOR direction. I have yet to hear it, but it's on my ever lengthening 'must buy' list as the Hawks debut should be on yours!

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#1 | rkbluez on August 20 2010 23:13:26
Great album Eric and one that should of been released on CD ages ago along with there 2nd album...oh well you can't always get what you want...I've pestered Terry at Wounded about doing them...but who knows if they'll ever see the light of day on CD. I agree totally with you that the first album is the better of the two...but both albums are very good.
#2 | swazi on December 11 2011 13:50:01
A few days ago I bought myself a new printer with CD label printing functionality. The first CD-R I printed with a proper CD label was this HAWKS debut. Great result and a fantastic release! Smile
#3 | swazi on October 14 2014 17:24:18
This is one that Rock Candy should reissue ....! Pronto!
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