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Articles Home » 1980 Articles » Francour, Chuck - 1980 Under The Boulevard Lights
 
Francour, Chuck - 1980 Under The Boulevard Lights



ARTIST: Francour, Chuck
ALBUM: Under The Boulevard Lights
LABEL: EMI America
SERIAL: SW-17032
YEAR: 1980

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Chuck Francour - lead vocals, keyboards * Patrick Bolen - guitar * Eric Nelson - bass * Craig Krampf - drums * Jerry Peterson - sax * Edna Wright, Darlene Wright - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Under The Boulevard Lights * 02 Wild One * 03 Magician Politician * 04 Don't Call Me (I'll Call You) * 05 Over The Line * 06 Don't Be Cruel * 07 Easy Street * 08 Down In The Alley * 09 Cheap Alibis * 10 Back On The Avenue


Background
A couple of weeks back, Eric reviewed an album by a Florida band called Kracker. This band featured keyboard player Chuck Francour, who is the man in question being reviewed here for his one off album 'Under The Boulevard Lights'. Looking online for anything to do with Chuck, one can't feel for the man as his name is constantly a source of derision among those that despise anything to do with 80's pop rock and soundtrack related music. This album was the only solo outing for Illinois born Francour, who later went off into soundtrack work. Known for his keyboard prowess, Chuck gets to do the lead vocals too, his voice compared to a Bob Seger like tone, though not as rough around the edges. Chuck has a strong connection to EMI America through the use of producers George Tobin and Mike Piccirillo. Both had a hand in albums by other EMI America alumni Robert John and Kim Carnes, and beyond that, Piccirillo and songwriter Gary Goetzman were responsible for the title track, but it is Goetzman who has had a significant career in the movie world. Look him up on www.imdb.com.


The Songs
Francour delivers a tight pop rock album with a hint of the aforementioned Seger, Henry Lee Summer, Michael Stanley and 80's era Nazareth, it's mostly a guitar rocker with not too much in the way of keyboard overkill, but plenty in the way of classic era rock n roll combined with boogie. The title track you can see/hear all over You Tube. Obviously this song is the best known item on the album, and it seems there are a few fans of it on the Net. To me it sounds like a tune you'll hear on classic rock radio all over the rust-belt states of the USA - even thirty years on! 'Wild One' diverts to an acoustic sound in the style of Bob Seger during this same era. Even 'Magician Politican' started out with a 'Hollywood Nights' intro but moves away in its own direction soon after. 'Don't Call Me (I'll Call You)' is a pure guitar driven rocker which sounds familiar but can't quite place it. Francour next dives into a boogie direction, 'Over The Line' could be a Dan McCafferty doppleganger, and if Nazareth were looking for a stand-in, the Scots needed to look no further than Chuck. The cover of Elvis Presley's 'Don't Be Cruel' was probably unnecessary, but the heavy-handed boogie/rock n roll made it an interesting listen nonetheless. 'Easy Street' is the sole ballad on the album, a gentle lilting effort, it's a waystop for the boogie continuation of 'Down In The Alley', the guitar rocker 'Cheap Alibis' and the finale 'Back On The Avenue'.


In Summary
Call it a byproduct of the 80's, but I have to chuckle when I see song titles assembled on one album with the terms 'boulevard', 'street', 'alley' and 'avenue'. What is it about city thoroughfares that tend to get AORsters and melodic rockers excited? 'Under The Boulevard Lights' upon deeper inspection doesn't hold the initial promise of the title track, the lack of keyboards, Francour's gritty vocal and the overall boogie/rock n roll angle didn't quite do it for me. As mentioned, Chuck went off into the music/soundtrack business, you can find some of his work on movies such as 'Beserker' and 'Dance Academy'. Not sure what Chuck is up to nowadays, but I believe he's on Facebook, so there's a hint.


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Comments
#1 | gdazegod on June 26 2011 04:08:40
Chuck Francour - Under The Boulevard Lights
YouTube Video:
#2 | Eric on June 26 2011 15:14:54
On occasion local radio in my area still plays the title track...
#3 | dangerzone on June 27 2011 05:06:23
I remember thinking the same thing when I first heard this. The title track is classic, but the rest is a bloody letdown. To my ears he sounds like Rod Stewart.
#4 | gdazegod on June 27 2011 13:24:29
Yeah Rod Stewart is a good call too. I did ponder putting his name in the review at one point.
#5 | Traveller in time on July 04 2011 21:48:51
I love it, specially the titletrackSmile
 
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