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Big Ric - 1983 Big Ric



ARTIST: Big Ric
ALBUM: Big Ric
LABEL: Scotti Bros
SERIAL: BFZ 38864
YEAR: 1983

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Joel Porter - vocals * Kevin DiSimone - vocals, keyboards * John Pondel - guitars, background vocals * Bud Harner - drums, percussion, electronic drums, background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Take Away * 02 Weather Girl * 03 How Does She Do It * 04 Am I) Comin' In Or Goin' Out Of Style * 05 C.I.A Man * 06 Telecommunicator * 07 Run Away From Your Love * 08 Optic Illusion * 09 Public Relations/Private Lives * 10 Or What


Background
Despite the very AOR back cover photo, I passed over buying this LP many times simply because of the goofy band name and cartoon cover art. I know, I know - never judge a book... but with a slew of more 'rock' looking albums released in 1983 screaming for my limited buying power, a choice had to be made and Big Ric lost, for a while at least. As it turns out, the boys in Big Ric were seasoned professionals in both pop and jazz music and two thirds of the band, John Pondel, Bud Harner and Kevin DiSimone were not only an integral part of Barry Manilow's band, but Pondel and Harner would record as Uncle Festive - a smooth jazz fusion combo releasing six albums between 1987 and 1992.


The Songs
A few notes into the first cut and 'Take Away' will leave no doubt that this is a pop album firmly rooted in the early '80s sound. Quirky, hi-tech and still influenced by the new wave - which let's face it, in 1983 was starting to get tedious - is Big Ric's forte and if stuff like Oxo's 'Whirly Girl' and Men Without Hats give your gray matter a sugar high then 'Weather Girl' and 'C.I.A. Man' should send you over the moon. Both are a little too cute for my tastes and I prefer the album's minor hit 'How Does She Do It' which sounds a lot like Sneaker and is easily the best track here. Side two's 'Telecommunicator' reminds me of After The Fire but from here on in the album slides into a synthesized pop purgatory with no way out for good behavior as they unabashedly use every new wave cliche in the book. Like Devo on steroids and similar in effect to Utopia's 'Oblivion' album which also tried way too hard to be hip.


In Summary
Not a surprise, there's nary a mention of Big Ric on the Uncle Festive and band member biographies found from the usual sources. I'm assuming Big Ric was more of a 'big' embarrassment in the grand scheme of things and a minor blip in their careers that's best left forgotten.


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Comments
#1 | gdazegod on October 01 2009 01:43:40
I wonder, are there any more surprises to be found on the Scotti Bros label during this timeframe? Does anyone know of a Scotti Bros discography list anywhere on the Net? hmm!
#2 | gdazegod on October 01 2009 01:45:18
Did Jill Michaels ever release an LP on Scotti Bros? She was on 'The Wraith' soundtrack if I recall, and I do remember seeing or hearing about a Jill Michaels LP. Was this vapourware perhaps?
#3 | dangerzone on February 24 2012 08:04:06
YouTube Video:
#4 | dangerzone on January 26 2013 03:47:36
YouTube Video:
#5 | super80boy on May 26 2013 20:27:07
Clever and quirky AOR new wave melodies galore on this obscurity. Some catchy moments, like the synth induced CIA Man.
#6 | reyno-roxx on May 26 2013 21:06:24
For some unknown reason the cartoon theme reminds me of the Oregon based band The Gumbys, who released 'Plastic Rock For A Plastic World' in 1982. They had gained the blessing of Gumby creator Art Clokey, which is how Gumby and his pal Pokey wound up on the cover of the album. Pretty decent punky power pop.
 
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