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Articles Home » 1980 Articles » Straight Eight - 1980 Shuffle N Cut
Straight Eight - 1980 Shuffle N Cut

ARTIST: Straight Eight
ALBUM: Shuffle 'N' Cut
LABEL: Logo Records (UK), RCA (USA)
SERIAL: 2473 920, AFL1-3979
YEAR: 1980


LINEUP: Rick Cassman - vocals, guitars * Boot Kingsman - guitars * Steve Cherry - bass * Paul Turner - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 I'm Sorry * 02 I Can't Stop * 03 Powercut * 04 Tonite * 05 When I'm Alone With You * 06 Tombstone * 07 On The Rebound * 08 Christine * 09 Will You Love Me * 10 Don't Turn Your Back * 11 Satisfied * 12 Only You

A neat little band were Straight Eight. From London, UK, these guys toyed with melodic American influences, and while their style dabbled in AOR and was very commercial, they were mainly a strong pop rock band. Think Pezband, Off Broadway and bands of that ilk and you'd have Straight Eight sussed. The band started life around about 1978, with a single called 'Modern Life'. They released their debut album called 'No Noise Through Here' on Pete Townshend's Eel Pie Record label, but by the time their second effort 'Shuffle N Cut' hit the streets, they had moved over to renowned NWOBHM label Logo Records, but strangely enough, Straight Eight did not register that much interest among the resurgent metal movement during that timeframe. One can only assume that their music was too commercial. Judging by the songs onboard this set, Straight Eight would've done well on a double-bill with the likes of Pezband, The Knack or The Cars. Certainly, I think they would've found more appeal with the skinny-tie brigade rather than the studded wristband metal fraternity.

The Songs
From the outset, you can see where these guys are coming from. The power-pop delight of 'I'm Sorry' taking a delicate lick at sweet melodies found on the other side of the Atlantic. The regimented backbeat of 'I Can't Stop' harks back to sixties styled pop while the wistful 'Powercut' sounds unplugged for the initial part until someone decided to flick the switch halfway through. More melodic delights occur with 'When I'm Alone With You' though the attempt at clever songwriting on 'Tombstone' (picture the dusty wild west main streets and cemetery) fires up a blank, even if it does contain big shout-out-loud choruses. SE power up with 'On The Rebound', by songs end this one is a real rabble-rouser of the grittiest sort, with riffs and solos everywhere - great stuff. 'Christine' returns us to a simpler mode of melodic pop, but the next track 'Will You Love Me' commands much attention with its moody turn of foot and demanding chorus.

In Summary
As it turned out, SE toured with Hall And Oates during 1980 when they came over to the UK to gig. The band continued on for a third album (also on Logo) called 'Straight To The Heart', which came out in 1982. If the material on 'Shuffle N Cut' is anything to go by, then I'd be very interested in tracking that LP down. All in all, a very good band and well worthy of a few fleeting words here at GDAZE.

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#1 | Nick C on November 22 2006 16:29:26
I saw this band support Slade at Manchester University years and years ago...probably around 1980 actually!
I didn't think too much of them and remember laughing with my mate when the guitarists solo just involed going up the neck of his guitar note by note...also the singer kept pulling daft faces that kept us amused all night.
BUT I was only 18 and not really into that kinda stuff..we were also peed off as Slade wouldn't play Merry Xmas Everybody much to the crowds disappointment...but then again it was well out of season (Spring or Summer).
#2 | Nick C on November 22 2006 16:47:29
Maybe 1981 Grin
#3 | Harvey Mettle on November 22 2006 20:08:25
I saw them too and they were more my cup of tea! I loved the first two LP's, high energy r&b/rock, made a change from all the metal I was injesting at the time. Their debut album was released with a neat 'Gimmick'. A number of copies where sold in Woolworths (I think - can't remember) signed by the whole band and Pete Townsend. They had started recording the debut in 1977! The third Lp is very different to the first two, very melodic hard rock, well worth tracking down for folks hereabouts!
#4 | super80boy on January 26 2014 02:28:26
Sturdy power pop rock with an edge. The group's name on the front vinyl jacket comes in a variety of different colors - I've seen Yellow, Red and Black. Their third effort, 'Straight To The Heart' is more of the same formula with more of a lean in the AOR melodic rock direction vs. power pop.
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