ARTIST: Emmett, Peter
ALBUM: The Peter Emmett Story
LABEL: MCA/Sweet City
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Peter Emmett (a.k.a Sonny Geraci) - lead and backing vocals * Marty Lee - guitars, backing vocals * Albritton McLain - bass * Rick Bell - sax * Kevin Valentine - drums, percussion * Mark Avsec - keyboards, backing vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 There Goes My Heart * 02 Don't Lie To Me Laina * 03 Sleep With Me * 04 Knee Deep In Love * 05 Never Gonna Fall In Love * 06 Inside Story * 07 Don't Say You're Sorry * 08 She Don't Know Me * 09 Why Can't She
Is it really a story or is it just a speed bump along the highways, byways and freeways of 1983's AOR history? And who is Peter Emmett anyway? Well the good oil is: Peter Emmett is nothing more than a pseudonym for Cleveland identity Sonny Geraci, a man who has been featured here at GLORY-DAZE with his early 70's outfit Climax
in amongst our 1972 pages. Is this similar to the Jim Vallance meets Rodney Higgs case within the rank and file of Canadian AORsters Prism
? Hiding behind an identity to protect his earlier work in alternate areas? Not that Climax
or Sonny's earlier band The Outsiders
had anything to protect during the 80's anyway, but I guess for AOR fans: the Peter Emmett Story sounds far more intriguing and interesting than the Sonny Geraci Story! Well as it turns out, the album was supposed to be a comeback of sorts for Geraci. He hooked up with the original members of Donnie Iris
's band for the recording of this album, though if anyone has a copy of the original LP, you'll see pictures of four blokes fron a local backing band called North Coast
posted on the back cover, though none played on the record. Confused?
Well let's pretend to not be confused and take a listen.. It's a pretty damn likeable LP from where I'm sitting, the opening bursts of 'There Goes My Heart' with its punchy keyboard parts and very cool chorus is a great introduction. No, correction.. Fantastic introduction! Mark Avsec is the driving force behind 'Don't Lie To Me Laina', with keyboards all over the place initially, a moody track with Rick Bell's sax coming to the fore. Poor old Laina is getting a proper guilt trip/workover from Mr Emmett! I had to pass on 'Sleep With Me' (what's up with that title?), the overly bright sound a touch too overpowering on a drab winters day. 'Knee Deep In Love' probes some whimsical pop/pomp styles a la Aviary
and Air Raid
, while 'Never Gonna Fall In Love', a brash pop rocker moves in a direction similar to our friend Donnie Iris
. Flipping the vinyl to side two, 'Inside Story' features more synth domination from Avsec and a rock solid vocal performance from Emmett. 'Don't Say Your Sorry' is a terrific piece of AOR, radio friendly, catchy and sing-a-long, all rolled up into a 4 minute bundle. Avsec's 'She Don't Know Me' gets another workout on this LP, after seeing airtime on Fair Warning
and The Grassroots
LP's in 1981 and 1982. This version is quite edgy with some spacey synths, chugging guitar, obligatory handclaps and big vocals. of course Bon Jovi
would top them all with their version the following year. The final track on this LP is 'Why Can't She', a rollicking tune which could be 80's era Nazareth
on any other day.
In a recent issue of 'Classic Rock Presents AOR.. Issue 5', AOR Underground journo Rob Evans did a piece on Cleveland AOR, and this album duly got a mention as a 'closet classic'. It would seem much of the sessions around this city and timeframe featured a common array of players who would appear on anything from a Michael Stanley
album to a Donnie Iris
or Jonah Koslen
LP.. and a few others in-between. This album is no different, but don't let familiarity put you off, as this is a really good little slice of AOR from our favourite timeframe and deserves a reacquaintance from all of you.
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