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Perry, Joe (Project) - 1983 Once A Rocker Always A Rocker

ARTIST: Perry, Joe (Project)
ALBUM: Once A Rocker Always A Rocker
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: 1994, MCA, MCAD 11028


LINEUP: Joe Perry - guitars, vocals * Mach Bell - vocals * Danny Hargrove - bass * Joe Pet - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Once A Rocker Always A Rocker * 02 Black Velvet Pants * 03 Women In Chains * 04 4 Guns West * 05 Crossfire * 06 Adrianna * 07 King Of The Kings * 08 Bang A Gong (Get It On) * 09 Walk With Me Sally * 10 Never Wanna Stop


On the surface the review of The Joe Perry Project's 'Let The Music Do The Talking' is perhaps the only representation the band requires here at Glory Daze, but it would be a huge disservice to this vastly undermined third and final album from Perry and company if it were to be overlooked. Perry had enlisted a whole new lineup following 'I've Got The Rock N' Rolls Again' and one of the chief reasons he kept the band alive was due to tax problems with the IRS, the only problem was his project wasn't making a fortune, mainly because of bad promotion from Columbia and MCA. This particular lineup was put together 'just for fun' according to Perry. The free for all, high spirited hard rock proves this point, with a succession of anthems that deserved more recognition than the savaging they received by the music media. Thus the album went unnoticed, a shame as its almost on par with Perry's solo debut.

The Songs
You'd be hard pressed to find one positive review of this album anywhere. Most of the criticism was aimed at Bell's vocals, which to my mind, along with Perry's riffs, are the albums highlight. Bell (previously with Boston legends Thundertrain) recalls Slade's Noddy Holder vocally and the songs subsequently contain the massive hooks that made Slade giants. The title track is a certified rock classic, try getting that chorus out of your head! Aerosmith never touched this level in later years, Perry included. 'Black Velvet Pants' was the albums lone video, boogie by all means with some inspired soloing by Perry, accompanied by delightful horn work. Rock and roll to the bone. Hard to classify is 'Women In Chains', which attempts a more contemporary AOR feel for 1983 and admittedly falls flat when compared to the fierce '4 Guns West' and 'Crossfire', both which would have proudly graced any mid to late 70's Aerosmith album. The uptempo sax ridden funk of 'Adrianna' is a must-hear, the chorus one to revisit over and over. What caused this to be dismissed is open to scrutiny. What did the detractors of this album make of 'I Don't Want To Miss A Thing'? The intro riff to 'King Of Kings' is well over the top, beautifully ludicrous, making for a good hard rock track in the process. Naturally the T Rex cover 'Bang A Gong' is worth skipping, the only question being why the US refers to the song by that title instead of 'Get It On'. Perry takes matters back to the 50's for 'Walk With Me Sally', vintage rockabilly, with 'Never Want To Stop' not too dissimilar, with even Ted Nugent paling to the theatrics on show, Perry and Bell clearly having the time of their lives.

In Summary
Nothing commercial resulted from 'Once A Rocker..', MCA putting no effort into promoting it, leaving it languishing and forcing Perry finally to cut his losses and rejoin Aerosmith. As mentioned in the 'Let The Music Do The Talking' review, Perry was at his best with these three solo outings, and how this particular album has been treated is actually disgraceful. Some say Perry was trying to appeal to the burgeoning glam rock movement through his image and music. Now I've heard it all. If recording an album of straight ahead rock and roll is glam then maybe I'm confused or have being listening to the wrong albums for the last fifteen years. Like Perry stated, all he wanted to do was have 'fun' with a 'good time band'. In that case he succeeded.

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#1 | Nick C on January 02 2007 23:54:17
I have to agree totally with the above, and although the albums IS still my least favourite of the JPP albums it by no means warranted the overly bad reviews it received.
If you want to really hear Mach Bell at his best check out Thundertrain - Hell Tonight live CD, brilliant live release which nods towards Starz and Aerosmith and has a real 70 U.S. hard rock bravarda about it.
#2 | gdazegod on January 03 2007 05:25:12
Agreed. JPP stuff is pretty good when looking back. I recall all of the 'Sounds' Magazine reviews for the three albums were nothing short of stellar! Someone there obviously knew a thing or two about a decent rock album in the 80's! I think it might've been Xavier Russell or Dave Roberts.. one or the other..
#3 | Nick C on January 04 2007 03:47:28
I think it was Geoff Barton for the LTMDTT and Xavier for IGTRnRA. Not sure about Once a Rocker. I'll have to checkout all my Aerosmith cuttings from 70's through to the early 90's.....all carefully stored away...but sadly I've not really kept up with them over the last 15 years as much GrinGrinGrin
#4 | david on January 29 2007 07:51:47
Xavier Russell did review IGTRNRA, along with Y&T Earthshaker and Anvil hot and heavy. All in the same week.
#5 | sabace on February 02 2007 20:57:38
my fave of the jpp lps
#6 | sabace on December 25 2007 19:54:13
the lp was reviewed by Dave Roberts (SILVERWING ) IN sounds
and gave it a great review, he actually mused at the time it was nice to see an American band sticking to their roots and not trying to emulate the NWOBHM which was in vogue at the time .

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