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Articles Home » 1979 Articles » Blast - 1979 Blast
Blast - 1979 Blast

ALBUM: Blast
SERIAL: BL 36012
YEAR: 1979


LINEUP: Ula Hedwig - vocals * Jaroslav Jakubovic - sax, keyboards, vocals

Additional Musicians: Yaron Gershovsky - keyboards * Alex Blake - bass * Buddy Williams - drums * David Earle Johnson - percussion, vocals * Jerry Goodman - violin * George Smith, John Scofield, Rick Derringer, Johnny Winter - guitars

TRACK LISTING: 01 Takin' My Time * 02 Over Under Sideways Down * 03 Now I'm Feelin' Good * 04 Unknown Musician * 05 Dance With Me Baby * 06 You Better Slow Down * 07 New York Blues * 08 Independent Woman * 09 Wildest And Craziest

Boy, here's an odd one but still interesting nonetheless. Blast were the New York based duo of American vocalist Ula Hedwig, a long-term back-up singer for Bette Midler and whose own resume of session work is pretty darn impressive, paired up with Czech born sax player and part-time vocalist Jaroslav Jakubovic. Blast signed up with CBS and with a gang of high profile players including Rick Derringer, Johnny Winter as well as a bunch of jazz guys; turned out an album of weird new wave-ish AOR pop that still confounds me to this day.

The Songs
Blast is very much New York 1979 having all the flavour of that grimy, hot, smoggy, cocaine driven period and city and I'm totally serious when I say the album sounds like Ellen Foley backed by the 'Saturday Night Live' band. It rocks hard, not in a heavy way but it's not soft rock either and Ula Hedwig vocals not only bring to memory Foley and her excellent 'Night Out' LP released the same year but Karen Lawrence as well. Yet stylistically Blast is all over the map. The stabbing keys of 'Takin' My Time' are totally AOR, but Jakubovic's sax work and ho-hum chorus bring to mind Blondie who beyond their first couple albums I can take in small doses and yet a total wacked out surprise is the frantic, almost punkish cover of The Yardbirds 'Over Under Sideways Down' which sounds like a Jewish wedding band taking a stab at Kansas. Yup, strange stuff although 'Rockin' You' is kind of cool, like Tim Curry on his first album and yet the weirdness just keeps a comin' with the Pink Floyd meets ABBA oddball 'Now I'm Feelin' Good' and I'm left breathless not sure what to make of it all. Flip over to the B-side I'm less flabbergasted as there's not much going on other than some half-baked blues rock although 'Independent Woman' has an Aerosmith influenced sleaze groove that I quite like with hints at classic 1994.

In Summary
I'm sure the folks at CBS had no idea what to do with Blast and predictably the album languished in cut-out bins for years to come. With an option for a second album not in the cards Hedwig went on to further session work and appearances on the 'David Letterman Show' band while Jakubovic moved to Israel but remains active in the jazz scene.

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#1 | gdazegod on November 24 2014 07:05:52
I think I'm going to try and track this one down, just for a laugh! I love these oddball albums.
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