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Nantucket - 1980 Long Way To The Top

ARTIST: Nantucket
ALBUM: Long Way To The Top
SERIAL: JE 36523
YEAR: 1980
CD REISSUE: 2004, Wounded Bird, WOU-6523


LINEUP: Larry Uzzell - vocals * Tommy Redd - guitars * Mark Downing - guitars * Eddie Blair - keyboards, saxophone * Pee Wee Watson - bass * Kenny Soule - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 It's A Long Way To The Top * 02 Living With You * 03 Time Bomb * 04 50 More * 05 Media Darlin' * 06 Rugburn * 07 Too Much Wrong In The Past (For A Future) * 08 Over And Over Again * 09 Turn The Radio On * 10 Tell Me (Doctor Rhythm Method) * 11 Rescue * 12 Rock Of The 80's


Looking like a rag tag bunch of barroom merchants are this lot from North Carolina called Nantucket. Now lets get this straight, North Carolina and Nantucket are quite away from each other geographically speaking. If one knows their map of the USA, Nantucket is an island just south of Cape Cod Massachusetts. Where the inspiration for the name comes from is a mystery from this Raleigh N.C based band, but it sounds cool nonetheless. 'Long Way To The Top' is Nantucket's third album, having released their debut and 'Your Face Or Mine' the prior two years. They are coming at you very much in a radio rock direction, with a bit more variety in their approach (piano, sax etc), sounding more rounded out than the one-dimensional approach of some of their contemporaries of that same era. In vocalist Larry 'The L Factor' Uzzell, they have a singer who straddles the fence between Steven Tyler and Tommy Keifer (Cinderella), but in a rough-house sort of way. The producer is Tom Allom, who has obviously added his weight behind the band, without over-producing it. A couple of changes in the band this time around: Mike Uzzell had left, and Pee Wee Watson had joined as the bassist, taking over from Larry Uzzell who would just focus on the lead vocals instead.

The Songs
As for the songs, well they're a mixed bag, styles that is, and not the lack of quality. The album opener is the aptly titled AC/DC standard 'It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)'. Not a wise move to open an album I think, despite the fact it's dedicated to Bon Scott in the liner notes, but hey.. they did it anyway. Second up is 'Living With You', which is a good party time rocker. Light and refreshing. The quirkiness of 'Time Bomb' doesn't do anything for me I'm afraid, but they do improve things with a better effort on '50 More'. I definitely liked 'Media Darlin' and 'Tell Me (Doctor Rhythm Method)', both great cranky guitar workouts, whlist 'Rugburn' also a guitar based track has choruses akin to Airborne's material. Side two's material ventures more into the AOR/melodic rock arena, with keyboards coming to the fore. Tracks like 'Too Much Wrong In The Past', 'Over And Over Again' and 'Turn The Radio On' all hark back to classic Michael Stanley era radio rock, though not in the same class.

In Summary
There are enough moments of intrigue to generate some interest among the older melodic rock collectors out there. Check the website below, and if you have any queries about Nantucket related material, Steve (over at the site), will be able to assist you.

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#1 | gdazegod on November 22 2009 04:15:33
Surely one of the best album covers of 1980. I love it! King Kong has morphed into a crab!

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