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Articles Home » 1982 Articles » Iris, Donnie (And The Cruisers) - 1982 The High And The Mighty
Iris, Donnie (And The Cruisers) - 1982 The High And The Mighty

ARTIST: Iris, Donnie
ALBUM: The High And The Mighty
YEAR: 1982


LINEUP: Donnie Iris - vocals * Mark Avsec - piano, organ, synthesizers * Marty Lee - guitars * Albritton McClain - bass * Kevin Valentine - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Tough World * 02 I Wanna Tell Her * 03 Glad All Over * 04 Parallel Time * 05 The High And The Mighty * 06 This Time It Must Be Love * 07 Love Is Magic * 08 You're Gonna Miss Me


This was Iris and co's third album in as many years, having released 'Back On The Street' (1980) and 'King Cool' (1981) to some degree of critical success. Chart action had been obtained in the form of top twenty singles 'Ah Leah' and 'Sweet Merilee', free flowing, radio friendly AOR. Iris and Avsec were of course the brains behind the operation, the two having worked with each other in the 70's in Wild Cherry before finally forming their own band when Avsec's outfit Breathless split. 'The High And The Mighty' continued to develop the bands off kilter AOR style, no matter how melodic there was always an unpredictable tangent or two.

The Songs
The opening pairing of 'Tough World' and 'I Wanna Tell Her' are AOR pushed into overdrive, exciting verses and choruses aplenty with the requisite amount of synths and guitar fills. It's hard not to imagine The Tubes during 'Tough World', same vocal stylings and chord changes akin to Waybill and co, mostly in the verse. 'I Wanna Tell Her' could have been a major hit with its infectious hook and the interplay between all is beyond fault. Sadly this momentum is ended abruptly by the Dave Clark Five cover 'Glad All Over', unfortunate filler for an album with only eight compositions. The futuristic piss-take 'Parallel Time' is heavy on harmonies and there's a sax solo in there, complimenting a vague 50's feel. Iris let's out a Gillanesque scream at the start of the title cut, with a militaristic drumming pattern overriding a blatant anthem with a chantable chorus made for all time! Surprising a sports team hasn't picked this up as their theme. Ultra commercial AOR is present in the horn-riddled 'This Time It Must Be Love', slightly softer with the guitars, backed up by 'Love Is Magic', a forerunner to the sound found on 'Fortune 410' the following year, but not quite as keyboard heavy. It all ends rather too soon with 'You're Gonna Miss Me', yet another massive harmonized chorus, a trait they had taken to new levels of perfection, as heard here.

In Summary
Aside from the Dave Clark Five cover, this is an unforgettable piece of AOR. Some claim 83's 'Fortune 410' is Iris' defintive album but this is a more pure offering as far as the genre goes, not weighed down by the domineering synths of that slice of vinyl. Strangely the album did not sell as well as expected, more so because of the abundance of potental chart hits it contained. Even worse is the failure of MCA to release 'High And The Mighty' on CD, the same deal for 'Fortune 410'. It was only last year on a greatest hits set, that 'Tough World' made it onto CD for the first time in nearly twenty years of existence! Needless to say, if found be sure to snap up, 'Tough World' and 'I Wanna Tell Her' worthy of purchase alone.

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#1 | rostoned on May 28 2008 23:27:33
'Tough World' was the minor hit from this long player, peaking at #57 on the Billboard HOT 100, a far cry from the two TOP 20 and one TOP 40 hits Donnie enjoyed from his two previous releases. A tough world indeed for our beloved Donnie!
#2 | kim_hp on August 30 2012 00:50:41
Mix Huey Lewis and The News with a dash of early 80's The Tubes and this is what you'd get. Good stuff, especially the addictive AOR of "I Wanna Tell Her" and "This Time It Must Be Love".
#3 | gdazegod on January 04 2013 05:46:21
Still surprised that this, and 'Fortune 410' and 'No Muss No Fuss' still remain unreleased on official CD.
#4 | Jez on January 04 2013 15:30:34
I snapped up 'No Muss No Fuss' on CD a good few years back on the Primary label - was this a boot?. Still wish the other 2 would come out though.
#5 | gdazegod on January 05 2013 01:21:51
Jez, if it's on the Primary Records label, then no, it's not a boot. Primary Records was created by Mark Avsec, and two lawyer/legal friends, around about the time he graduated from law school. Most of the recent stuff from Donnie is released on Primary.
#6 | dangerzone on June 24 2013 00:14:40
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