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Articles Home » 1981 Articles » Bad Boy - 1981 Private Party
Bad Boy - 1981 Private Party

ALBUM: Private Party
LABEL: Streetwise
SERIAL: BB6-5000, SW4321
YEAR: 1981


LINEUP: Scott Stephen - vocals, guitars * Steve Grimm - guitars, keyboards, vocals * John Marcelli - bass, vocals * Jackie Ramos - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Run From Yourself * 02 Don't Pretend * 03 Can't See You * 04 Have I The Right * 05 How Long * 06 Let Me Love You * 07 Come With Me * 08 Come A Bit Closer * 09 Here I Am * 10 Private Party


By 1981 Milwaukee's Bad Boy were ready to unleash their much anticipated third album into the Midwest, after two successful releases in the late 70's. Anyone who owns their 1999 released 'Best Of' CD could be forgiven for thinking that 'Private Party' is a heavy/hard rock album through and through. I'm pleased to report that the three tracks on there are a misrepresentation - there's more great AOR on here than anything else, and why none of these tracks were chosen for the compilation CD is beyond me. Still, it makes getting this album on cd a special experience, so let's get down to it.

The Songs
Beginning with a short introductory track, a steam locomotive roaring along the tracks, out of which the 'Run From Yourself' backbeat rises like the proverbial Phoenix. Plenty of Cheap Trick undercurrent in this one, right down to the vocal phrasing. In short, a bombastic hard rock romp. Next up is 'Don't Pretend' and this is much better, AOR at midtempo, absolutely yearning with melody - not unlike early Survivor, great stuff. 'Can't You See' is AOR of the highest possible class, with a hint of pomp rock at chorus time, even a welcome keyboard note here and there! This stuff is way ahead of where Cheap Trick were at the same time, although Trick would rectify that from '85 to '90. Next up is a cover of 'Have I The Right', delivered with enthusiasm and a healthy sense of fun, leading us to 'How Long', back into sheer AOR territory, the vocals and Steve's guitar hooks combining like magic. Still hints of Cheap Trick and early Survivor, but never to copycat extent. They have a distinctive sound going on, with supporting keyboard parts lending further AOR atmosphere to several tracks. 'Let Me Love You' probably opened side 2 of the lp and rightly so, it's the jewel in the crown. Eventuating from something very similar to the Beatles' 'Day Tripper' hook, one of 1981's top AOR anthems emerges - flowing guitar enough to make Neal Schon nervous, and that much loved 'wall of vocals' chorus you can't get enough of. The remaining tracks move into slightly harder rock territory, while still maintaining plenty of melody. If the title track 'Private Party' is a little reminiscent of Van Halen, then 'Come With Me' is a deadringer for Roth era Van Halen - both highly enjoyable. 'Come A Bit Closer' is more basic hard rock, with Steve's guitar making the chorus really work. 'Here I Am' is so Cheap Trick it's not funny, but here's the thing, with Bad Boy outdoing Robin Zander at his own game - making you wanna break your 'Dream Police' lp over your knee, because this is the real stuff! This classic AOR lp ends as it began, with the train tearing away into the distance : or is it inviting you to return to track 1 for another ride? Count on it!

In Summary
Here are the Reissue details. Having no other choice, Bad Boy have mastered these reissues from their own mint condition lp's, and I can assure you the sound is clear and crisp, original artwork is restored, and you know that if you buy these AOR essentials, you're supporting the musicians who recorded them - not some devious bootlegger. You can get 'em from

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#1 | super80boy on July 04 2013 19:28:31
Bad Boy enter the 80's with this third album offering and provide stand up hamony filled melodic rock songs that have lots of hooks and infectious melodies. 'Let Me Love You' is a real gem and 'Here I Am' is smoking. I like how they venture into a harder sound on Side Two.
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