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Bourgeois Tagg - 1987 Yoyo



ARTIST: Bourgeois Tagg
ALBUM: Yoyo
LABEL: Island
SERIAL: 90638-1
YEAR: 1987
CD REISSUE: 1987, Island, 7 90638-2 * 2004, Lemon Records, CDLEM17

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Brent Bourgeois - vocals, keyboards * Larry Tagg - vocals, bass * Lyle Workman - guitars * Scott Moon - keyboards * Mike Urbano - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Best Of All Possible Worlds * 02 Cry Like A Baby * 03 Pencil And Paper * 04 Out Of My Mind * 05 15 Minutes In The Sun * 06 Waiting For The Worm To Turn * 07 I Don't Mind At All * 08 What's Wrong With This Picture * 09 Stress * 10 Coma


Background
The Sacramento based unit Bourgeois Tagg graced us with only two albums, but it is their second and final album 'Yoyo' that leaves a lingering taste on the tongue. Somehow, the band combine a unique blend of American power pop, Beatles-eque moments, plus a mixture of Mr Mister and Toto flavoured hi-tech AOR. Their sound is very well produced and professional, reminding me of the technical prowess that was apparent in the band Mr Mister. For this album, the band recruited heavyweight Todd Rundgren to handle the dials. As much as I am a fan of Rundgren, his production efforts with artists elsewhere weren't the best. However, with Bourgeois Tagg, both he and the band come out with kudos.


The Songs
For AOR fans who were around and active during the 80's, I'm assuming that 'Yoyo' was an LP that was resident in your collection. Most of these songs are well-remembered. The obvious highlight being the acoustic ballad 'I Don't Mind At All' which made it into the underbelly of the US Top 40. The song has been described as Rembrandts like, with Beatles influences too. Other memorable moments include the melodic opener 'Best Of All Possible Worlds', the intense rocking of '15 Minutes In The Sun' which could be Mr Mister revisited, as well as the clever arrangement of 'Waiting For The Worm To Turn'. Certainly, some good moments to be found here.


In Summary
Due to the moderate success of 'I Don't Mind At All', the band put in performances on the Johnny Carson Show, as well as a live performance at the 1987 BAMMIES (San Francisco's version of the Grammys) alongside Todd Rundgren. 'After the album, the band were sidelined out of existence. Notably, Brent Bourgeois went onto a solo career, and also ventured into the CCM market. Larry Tagg also went solo, releasing his '..Skeleton Crew' CD during 1995. 'Yoyo' saw a re-release by Lemon Records during 2004 (though it was also issued on CD by Island during 1987), indeed, the re-release ensured the band got their deserved '15 Minutes In The Sun' (or was that 15 seconds?.. Ed). Great little band who will be best remembered by their one-hit wonderment of 'I Don't Mind At All'.


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Comments
#1 | Eric on January 17 2009 00:06:56
A wonderful record! This came out right around the same time as XTC's 'Skylarking' which was also produced by Rundgren and the similarities are hard to miss. Intelligent pop at it's best. Thanks for this G!
#2 | Jez on January 17 2009 13:10:40
Like the debut, I love this album. Had It on vinyl and later got the cd version. I pretty much love all the songs here and Todd Rundgren's production (as usual) is at the top of the pile. Infact, this must be one of the best produced discs my old ears have ever heard.
Check out Brent Bourgeois's solo S/T from 1990, which is also a killer disc.
#3 | reyno-roxx on January 17 2009 14:17:24
One of the first albums I reviewed when I left 'Metal Hammer' and joined 'Kerrang!' A superb record. Still play it from time to time.
#4 | gdazegod on March 30 2011 20:24:48
YouTube Video:
#5 | gdazegod on March 30 2011 20:25:14
YouTube Video:
#6 | code4 on October 18 2015 15:42:01
This is a good cd. Not sure i'd rank it as great most the way, but definitely good to at times excellent. Worthwhile are both the melodic instantly catchy opener and the unusual prog-pop flavoured closer (a song unlike anything else on the disc).
More than worthwhile is the excellent Mr.Mister'ish '15 Minutes in the sun' an upbeat tune with an array of over the top guitar effects and enjoyable lyrics.
The single 'I don't Mind at All' was undeniably memorable and effective (despite lyrics sometimes sounding like they were prop lyrics made up on the spot and never replaced). Some people charge parts of this song as a Beatles lift, while others would say an obvious respectful ode instead. 'Waiting for the worm to turn' (a second single) is instantly catching but wears thin quickly and has a background vocal which sounds like a dying weasel after the second chorus. I guess the target audience for this song was 11-12 year olds. That's not to say it's a bad song. Itself it has a bit of a Beatles updated for the 80's vibe to it. Other fairly worthwhile songs are schizoidy sounding 'Stress' which rather seems like the soundtrack of some 80's flick about a wacky scientist losing his mind trying to get results from an experiment.
My absolute favourite of the entire cd is 'What's wrong with this picture'. Strange lyrics in the atmospheric verses punctuated by a chorus which is catchy as heck, but interestingly has to me a lot of lastability instead of wearing thin too easily. 'Cry like a baby' is about decent while my least favourite moments are the songs such as 'Pencil and paper' and 'Out Of My Mind' mainly because i find them annoying and overly repetitive (the 'na-na-na-nah- nah- nee-na' backing vocals don't help surely help in the former one, just as neither do lyrics that go something like ' you slap on my back and you spit in my face, i must blind, i must be blind' in the latter- lyrics they should have foreseen as being a bit repellent i would have thought).
Still the album is definitely worth a good listen and i would probably just about give it the 4 stars personally. Been meaning to check out their debut forever. Hope i don't like that one more or i'll be kicking myself
 
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