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Articles Home » 1982 Articles » RPM - 1982 RPM
RPM - 1982 RPM

LABEL: EMI America
SERIAL: ST-17067
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 2004, MTM Music, 0681-116 * 2006, Retrospect Records, RR-214 (2 on 1)


LINEUP: Robert White Johnson - vocals * Mark Gendel - guitars * Jimmy Lee Sloas - bass, keyboards * Tommy Wells - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 A Legend Never Dies * 02 2 + 2 * 03 It Don't Feel The Same * 04 Rendezvous * 05 Envy * 06 You * 07 Firestarter * 08 Don't Make It Hard * 09 Video Games * 10 I'm A Wreck

One of the all time classics in AOR history. Revered just by about every trustworthy AOR scribe over the last twenty years and one of the few releases to get a late CD format release. It was fortunate then I picked up one for $2.50 in a bargain bin just recently. How's that for luck? Some great songs on offer here, and no surprise then that some of their songs have been made famous by other bands, ie: 'Rendezvous' covered by Tygers Of Pan Tang, and '2+2' covered by Van Zant. For a Nashville band this is about as 'un-country' as you can get. The sound overall has everything in common with that other fantastic AOR album by the aforementioned Van Zant from 1985, as well as the best AOR bits from .38 Special. They have a particular strength evident in their songwriting which makes these songs so appealing. The Brent Maher production also gives the band some space to create their melodic mayhem.

The Songs
The album opens up with 'A Legend Never Dies' which to me sounds so similar to the Van Zant song 'I'm A Fighter'. The rock onslaught continues with the aforementioned '2+2', then we slow up a bit for the ballad 'It Don't Feel The Same' which has some nice keyboards flowing throughout some rather melodic moments. It's lovely to hear the original 'Rendezvous', having really loved the Tygers Of Pan Tang version. This one is just as good. Side 2 commences with 'You', a great melodic workout, while the Van Zant comparison continues on the barnstorming 'Firestarter' .'I'm A Wreck' uncomfortably straddles Foreigner territory while the only odd song here is the duff titled 'Video Games' which has a very early eighties british feel to it a la Praying Mantis or Samson.

In Summary
A must have for the true AOR classics collector, and an album which stands tall in your collection. This album finally saw the light of day on CD via MTM Classix series during 2004, and then again via Retrospect Records, which by all accounts is a superior digital recording. Hooray!

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This article has been tagged
Tags: RPM 
#1 | sabace on March 19 2006 13:48:41
#2 | sabace on December 02 2006 18:32:08
this cd and the follow up cd are available at retospect records
on 1 cd remastered
#3 | sabace on December 07 2006 14:14:14
both cds are available in one package . seperate cds remastered by mark gendel the sound is amazing and makes a mockery of the previous cd release
#4 | Vincenzo on November 24 2007 23:11:14
Exist 2 version of this CD: Retrospect Version with this masterpiece and follow up album in a single package, and the MTM reissue. Ok...i prefer MTM version because i don't like 2 disc in a single CD...but...if for you 2 album into 1 cd isn't a problem i recommend heartily the Retrospect version because the sound of MTM version is very bad (probably MTM version is a simple copy of an old and tired LP on a CD).
#5 | gdazegod on November 25 2007 00:47:20
MTM version of the album is indeed a poor copy vinyl transfer. Retrospect's version is much better. Much has been written about the MTM version on prior postings on our forum previously.
#6 | rostoned on April 06 2008 20:29:21
Superb album, in my AOR all time TOP 10 (TOP 5 of obscure AOR). The 2 ballads are simply incredible, I hope someone will cover them before I die. I am pretty sure that the stupid dolls out in da biz now (Kelly Clarkson, Leona Lewis, Avril, Aguilera and shite like that) could have a huge huge hit w/'Don't make it hard' or 'It don't feel the same'!

And yes luckily MTM is out of business but beware, one of their founders now is in NL, which reissued Warrior and Hurricane. So watch out! another poorly remastered (or reissued) classic could be forthcoming from Krautlandia.....bugs
#7 | Jez on June 13 2008 04:52:02
This is a class release in my eyes and is well up there with some of the others of the genre. Some of the tracks on here some people will recognise, Legend Never Dies - Blackfoot, 2+2 - Van Zant & 'Rendezvous' - Tygers Of Pan Tang. Anyways great AOR, with great songs, An album worthy of the 'Classix' tag. Get the excellent Retrospect 2 disc version that comes with the second 'Phonogenic' disc.
#8 | trillion1999 on October 16 2011 22:19:58
My favorite-track on this one is the one that uncomfortably straddles Foreigner territory.rolleyes
#9 | super80boy on May 18 2013 21:28:13
Recently found a clean vinyl copy of this debut and yes, top drawer AOR melodic rockers all the way through. Even the 2 ballads are great. I won't bother with the CD reissues, they can't come close to the warm sounds of vinyl, but thanks for the heads up on the crappy MTM version. RPM proves to be an outstanding high ranking AOR debut. EMI should have thrown a little more into the band.
#10 | rostoned on May 04 2016 07:46:39
One unreleased RPM song (demo?) titled 'How Do I Get You' not included on the MTM reissue of the debut was indeed released in 2004 on the German 'Volume 10' compilation on the MTM label! Canadian Terry Crawford's 1986 'Total Loss Of Control' on Attic features a cover of that very obscure unreleased RPM tune.
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