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Bad Boy - 1977 The Band That Made Milwaukee Famous

ALBUM: The Band That Made Milwaukee Famous
LABEL: United Artists (UA)
YEAR: 1977
CD REISSUE: 2016, Rock Candy Records, CANDY311


LINEUP: Steve Grimm - vocals, guitars, keyboards * John Marcelli - bass * Joe Luchessi - guitars, keyboards, vocals * Lars Hansen - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Last Rock And Roller * 02 Overture * 03 Shake Me Up * 04 Disco * 05 I Gotta Move * 06 Mindless Babbling * 07 Watching You * 08 Machines * 09 I've Had Enough * 10 Thinking Of You


Though the band Bad Boy are associated with Wisconsin and Milwaukee, their origins actually start out in the city of Boston, under the guise of a band called Crossfire. Formed by Steve Grimm and John Marcelli, the duo returned to their native Milwaukee, changed their handle, and signed up two others in the form of Luchessi and Hansen. Much touring resulted during 1975, which resulted in a deal with United Artists. Bad Boy's debut 'The Band That Milwaukee Made Famous' was the resulting output. Given a strong media run, the album is typical of many mid 70's acts at the time, the guitar oriented sound straddling the fence between pop rock (bordering on power pop in places) and a more gritty style. Think of acts such as Starz, Hero, Aerosmith, and you'd be getting a fair idea where they are coming from.

The Songs
Listening to this many years later, it comes across as a reasonable if not spectacular slice of hard rock. I'd even go so far as to suggest that this sounds much better in hindsight than it did when it first came out. Many of the songs are short sweet and snappy, hovering around the two and a half, to three minute mark. At least half the songs offer variety, while the remainder rock out as best as 1976 had to offer. 'Disco' is a funky workout (not disco as the title might suggest), 'Mindless Babbling' is a different sounding track, perhaps even progressive in the mould of debut era Roadmaster. 'Watching You' is different altogether, whimsical and acoustic, not unlike Pavlovs Dog but without the helium induced vocals of Robert Surkamp. Elsewhere, straight ahead rockers such as 'Last Rock And Roller' and 'Thinking Of You' lift the vibe of the album, but it's on songs like 'Shake Me Up' and 'Machines' - where Bad Boy rock slightly harder, that they start to appeal more.

In Summary
Bad Boy returned to the studio for 1978's sophomore album, 'Back To Back'. This too didn't set the hard rock scene on fire, the band were cast aside by UA and had to revert to indie releases (1981's 'Private Party' and 1984's 'Electric Eyes' being two of these) and popularity on a regional basis, rather than national. As read elsewhere on this site, the band did actually reform, and released a return album during 2003 entitled 'We Should've Been Dead By Now'. Though Bad Boy were not as popular on a national (or international) basis, their hard working ethic and regional popularity ensures that they get a well deserved mention here at GDAZE.

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