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Articles Home » 1977 Articles » Osmonds, The - 1977 Brainstorm
Osmonds, The - 1977 Brainstorm

ARTIST: Osmonds, The
ALBUM: Brainstorm
LABEL: Polydor
SERIAL: PD-1-6077
YEAR: 1977
CD REISSUE: 2008, 7T's (UK), GLAMCD73 (2 on 1 with 'Steppin Out')


LINEUP: Donny Osmond - vocals, synthesizer * Alan Osmond - vocals, piano, guitar * Merrill Osmond - vocals, bass * Wayne Osmond - vocals, guitars, woodwinds * Jay Osmond - vocals, drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 I Can't Live A Dream * 02 Back On The Road Again * 03 Boogie Down * 04 Gotta Get Love * 05 Walkin' In The Jungle * 06 At The Rainbows End * 07 Learnin' How To Love Again * 08 It'll Be Me * 09 Check It Out * 10 Medicine Man


No, I'm not kidding - read on. Ogden, Utah's Osmond Family have been the brunt of jokes as long as I can remember. Being of the Mormon faith didn't help wooing over a traditionally secular rock press, nor did their squeaky clean image and music which flew in the face of hard rock posturing and progressive rock's highbrow meandering. There was nothing radical about The Osmonds music as they were pure as Christmas snow on and off stage with a catalog of pure pop hits that proved to non-believers their formula for success was nothing to be laughed at. And the hits kept coming with Jimmy, Donny and the delectable Marie Osmond all releasing solo projects at an incredible pace culminating in the mid-'70s with 'The Donny and Marie Show' which quickly became one of the most popular shows of the day. By 1980, the families' prospects were not quite as rosy with most of their fan base having grown up and moved on although both Donny and Marie continued to chart with solo singles well into the decade. For connoisseurs of '70s pop music, The Osmonds albums have long been considered top drawer and not the bad joke they were so often made out to be with sweet vindication coming in the form of a hugely successful 2007 reunion tour and Cherry Red's 7T's imprint recent Osmonds reissue campaign encompassing the majority of their classic era material to critical acclaim.

The Songs
'Brainstorm' was released at a difficult time for The Osmonds. With their popularity on the decline, the group seemed to be searching for an audience, not quite sure where to find it. The Osmonds had definitely outgrown their bubblegum sound with albums like the glam rave-up 'Crazy Horses' and the progressive pop concept 'The Plan', but with punk and disco all the rage in '77, 'Brainstorm' seems a bit behind the times, but charmingly so - at least on some tracks. The opener 'I Can't Live A Dream' is a slick as it gets with chicka-chicka guitar; disco beat, sweeping orchestration and hooks galore. It should have been a massive hit but wasn't. 'Back On The Road Again' the albums second single is Wings 'Let 'em in' meets the soft pomp of Alexis although it too criminally failed to draw any attention. There are two other superb tracks worth a mention - 'At The Rainbows End' and Learnin' How To Love Again' written by co-producer Michael Lloyd (Benny Mardones, Belinda Carlisle). Both are very much in the Jigsaw/Bo Donaldson & the Heywoods style and it's too bad Lloyd didn't push more of his stuff on the boys, since these four tunes are as good as the album gets. In between we get some embarrassing attempts at pop including the god-awful 'Boogie Down', a failed attempt at hard rock with 'Gotta Get Love' and I won't even bother with the horrible 'Walkin' In The Jungle' or the faux funk of 'Check It Out' which are all prime time 'skip' button material.

In Summary
Following this record, Donny would leave the group in favor of even more TV work and personal appearances with Marie, while as a foursome The Osmonds next album 'Steppin' Out' produced by Maurice Gibb would venture further in the world of disco and white boy soul with varied results. While not the best of The Osmonds work, 'Brainstorm' is a half and half proposition, worth picking up on the cheap, cherry picking the best cuts in a download or paired with 'Steppin' Out' on the 7T's reissue.

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#1 | gdazegod on March 16 2009 12:49:17
OK, I'll fess up.. I'll admit to owning a couple of Osmonds LP's from the early 70's. The Osmonds Live from 1972 (if I recall) and another one from 1971 (name escapes me now..) They were great for the time/era, especially those custom made outfits they used to wear (with sequins and tassles), all looked the same except each brother had a particular color which was their own (I think Donny's was purple). My older brother then switched me onto Jethro Tull, Black Sabbath, Zeppelin, Purple and Heep. My life would never be the same again.. bye
#2 | gdazegod on March 16 2009 13:11:51
In fact, the LP was 'Phase III'. Just found it on a blogspot site, along with the Live album. A reacquainted we shall be.. lol!
#3 | Eric on March 16 2009 13:24:40
I'll fess up too, I hated the 'Donny and Marie' TV show and that intro 'a little bit country- a little bit rock 'n roll..' pissed, but around 1990 I came across a bunch of Osmonds albums for a few dollars (Phase III was one) and found them all to have some pretty good stuff in them. Pop, far from rock, no one makes stuff like that anymore which is a factor in their recent resurgence.
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