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Citizen Kane - 1983 Hot Blooded Rocker

ARTIST: Citizen Kane
ALBUM: Hot Blooded Rocker
LABEL: Rocshire
SERIAL: RSR1000, XR-95507
YEAR: 1983


LINEUP: John Croswell - vocals * Mark Anderson - guitars * Michael Burton - guitars * Paul Lee - bass * Chris Olson - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Hot Blooded Rocker * 02 Sugar Babe * 03 I Still Love You * 04 Keep It Up

After recently writing up an article on Detroit band Adrenalin, I thought it would be a good idea to cover off another band affected by the 1984 Rocshire Records fallout. This band was the Orange County band called Citizen Kane, who took a huge hit when their label went under thanks to the fraud and embezzlement activities of the two owners: Clyde (Rocky) Davis and his wife Shirley Davis (Rocky+Shirley = Rocshire). In fact, Citizen Kane have the notoriety of being the first ever band signed to Rocshire, but I think in hindsight, they wished they hadn't, according to band founder Mark Anderson. Despite the financial irregularities, it also seems that Rocky Davis interfered with the band's output; for which he re-recorded and re-mixed the whole thing while the band were on tour in Canada, eventually releasing it without Citizen Kane's input.

The Songs
'Hot Blooded Rocker' is a Mini LP, featuring 4 tracks. Two are up-tempo rockers, one is a ballad, while the other can best be described as boogie/ball-room schmaltz which (in my opinion) probably should not have been included. The opening title track 'Hot Blooded Rocker' is a throwback to late 70's commercial southern rock a la 38 Special circa their first two albums, plus the Johnny Van Zant Band. The change-up moment in the song occurs when the solo kicks in, an increased tempo plus a cool guitar lick adds to the occasion. 'Sugar Babe' is the odd track out. A boogie workout that is a good fit for the ballroom. Think Sha Na Na or Shakin' Stevens. Not my cup of tea, and as mentioned, really shouldn't be on this 4-tracker. Was the decision to include this attributed to Rocky Davis? The third track 'I Still Love You' is the LP's ballad moment. It plods along far too slowly for my tastes but does contain a good solo within. This sounds like a song from the 70's, not 1983! Finishing up with another rocker 'Keep It Up', this is a far better representation of Citizen Kane - this track and the opening title track. This one sounds like a hybrid of Loverboy (especially the drum work) and the Kehr brothers band Urgent. Very tasty indeed.

In Summary
After Davis' interference, the band were none too happy with how things panned out, particularly as Rocky wanted the band to change their style to something lighter. The shutdown of Rocshire Records was a blessing in disguise, but also meant that Citizen Kane were left without a label and without a record, as much of Rocshire's assets were sold off; some of which went to parent company MCA. Citizen Kane went into a shell during 1985, Anderson reforming the band with only Chris Olson remaining on drums, the new version of the band rounded out by Dave MacDonald - vocals, Ed Nacif - guitars and Craig Miller - bass. In 1986 the band returned to gigging work in their Orange County locale, but another record deal and record did not eventuate. However, one thing was for sure.. the members of Citizen Kane got to know the intricacies and pitfalls of the record business first hand!

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#1 | super80boy on February 02 2013 22:10:29
Yeah, the 'Sugar Babe' track really seems out of place, however the ending 'Keep It Up' is a emotive rocker and does make you wish for more. Too bad they didn't make a full length, there was some talent on this one.
#2 | gdazegod on February 01 2015 00:11:03
A very rare video now uploaded to YouTube. Thanks to Ryan (AnthraxFan87).
YouTube Video:
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