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Articles Home » 1977 Articles » Pepper - 1977 Pepper
Pepper - 1977 Pepper

ARTIST: Pepper
ALBUM: Pepper
YEAR: 1977


LINEUP: Billy Hocher - lead & background vocals, bass * Eric J. Thorngren - guitars, backing vocals * John Turi - keyboards, backing vocals, saxophone * Dino Danelli, Vince Taylor, Ricky Shutter - drums * Jimmy Moelen - percussion * Ralph Schuckett - piano * Bob Kulick - guitars * James Gregory - bass * Tom Malone, Louis del Gatto, Barry Rogers, Alan Rubin, Erin Dickens, Loni Groves - background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Where You Goin' * 02 Midnight Clown * 03 You And I * 04 Sunshine Hotel * 05 You're Killing Me * 06 So Wild * 07 Come Find Your Way * 08 Blue Day * 09 Playin' The Fool * 10 June (It Was Nice)

Cheesy cover art that appears more as a soap advert than a rock album with the boys dressed in white jump suits on the back looking like a tired (and perhaps a little drunk) night shift clean-up crew, Pepper were three fifths of the post Rascals - pre Fotomaker Gene Cornish/Dino Dinelli band Bulldog. If you never heard of Bulldog, you are not alone since they never did much business back in the day, releasing two ho-hum albums of low grade boogie rock. Jump forward a couple years later and a second wind blows the sweet sunshine of Pepper music up the jean skirts and iron on t-shirts of the unsuspecting 'feathered' hair minions of a new audience hopefully ripe for the taking. Never happened of course, nobody wanted to know and the LP was dumped in the cut-outs with no one looking back.

The Songs
Bulldog holdover Dino Danelli appears on at least one cut here (I am missing the inner sleeve that gives more detail) and yes that's Bob Kulick guesting on guitar too, but don't get your undies too damp, this isn't Balance. Pepper sound like 1972 than 1977 on most of the record and because of this I sometimes wonder if this was to be the third Bulldog album. Due to Pepper's time warp musical adventure, the group were a day late and a dollar short on a scene that had moved on considerably, yet Pepper did present some good material on their only platter from the Bob Seger System and Ian Lloyd influenced gruff yet always tuneful forays into good time rock ('Where You Goin' and 'Playin' The Fool') to taping into the interesting and under rated late period Rascals ('So Wild' and 'Come Find Your Way') jazz and gospel influenced records. Lyrically this is all basic stuff, but the mood is light almost to the level of The Beach Boys on a few tracks adding exotic percussion and nice piano work livening up the more average material.

In Summary
Judging by the cover art you would be forgiven for passing the album over, but it's a better album than you would think, just don't expect another Kansas, Styx or Boston and you will be fine.

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#1 | englandashes on September 19 2008 21:03:00
I'm lucky enough to have the insert and it mentions, Dino Danelli - drums, while Riki Shutter only credited with drums on the track, 'So Wild' while Vincent M Taylor, steel drum on 'You and I', looks like Dino was the main drummer. Bob Kulick appears electric guitar on 'Playin the Fool' and steel guitar on ' Sunshine Hotel'. Must admit, never took much notice of it, I think it deserves another play tonight!
#2 | super80boy on May 29 2013 21:11:33
I just couldn't connect with this album, although i went into it thinking there probably wasn't a good chance of it anyway after reading your review. You are right though, it doesn't sound like a late 70's record.
#3 | gdazegod on March 09 2016 21:12:23
Got some feedback from one of the drummers on the album: Rick Shutter:

I was one of the two drummers on this album - i played on the Single 'So Wild' Dino Danelli from the Rascals was on the rest of the tracks - It can be noted that Steve Jordon was initially hired to play drums on this record early in his career and was replaced by myself.

Other members of 'Pepper' were part of Cyndi Lauper's Band Blue Angel before she went solo. Might be interesting to add some of this to the info that is already there.

Rick aka Riki Shutter.
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