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Monroe - 1980 Monroe



ARTIST: Monroe
ALBUM: Monroe
LABEL: Polydor
SERIAL: 2383-597
YEAR: 1980

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Steve Butler- vocals * Gary Sharpe, Pete Humphries - guitars * Ian Taylor - bass * Steve Gibson - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Take The Money * 02 Jane * 03 Love Maybe The Answer * 04 Loser * 05 Who's Foolin' * 06 Keep On Movin' * 07 You Can't Trust A Woman * 08 Love Ya * 09 Who Needs You * 10 Give Me A Little Love


Background
With no band photo and a clever take on Marilyn Monroe's classic scene from the 1954 film 'The Seven Year Itch' on its front sleeve and a big red lipstick kiss on the back, one could easily mistake Monroe for a glam outfit, but that's not the story here. Caught in the netherworld between old school hard rock and the NWOBHM; Monroe supposedly released two albums although try as I might I've never encountered the 1978 debut listed at Rate Your Music and at this point I can't tell if it's the same band or not. Released on Polydor, this 1980 LP was and still is much easier to find with production chores by Andy Macpherson best-known for his work with The Who as well a brace of Barclay James Harvest albums and Twelfth Night's classic neo-prog opus 'Fact And Fiction' while laser-eyed trainspotters will recognize guitarist Gary Sharpe and drummer Steve Gibson from first two Heartland discs while the remaining member's post-Monroe activities are unknown.


The Songs
This is a marvelous piece of hard rock and yes, at times cliched but it does the job and then some. Drawing from a pool of influences ranging from The Babys, UFO and Bad Company while sounding not too dissimilar to American band Hero as well as fellow countrymen Money and Marseille; Monroe deliver a stomping set anchored by Gary Sharpe's tasty riffs and Steve Butler's John Waite-ish vocal delivery. The driving 'Take The Money' features an un-credited organ bridge and hits the sweet spot while the orchestrated ballad 'Jane' has a 'Broken Heart' period Babys feel that's light as a feather and is far too short. The UFO influences beam-in front and center on the sizzling rocker 'Loser' and the punchy 'Who's Foolin'. In comparison the second side doesn't hold up nearly as well although there's still plenty to like in the reggae turned straight up hard rocker 'You Can't Trust A Woman', the poppy 'Love Ya' and the kick-ass Bad Company on uppers closer 'Give Me A Little Love'.


In Summary
There's not much out there info-wise on Monroe other than in relation to Heartland and while 'You Can't Trust A Woman' was released as a single, I'm not sure if they toured, let alone had any promotional support from Polydor. My guess is probably not but fans of British AOR circa 1977-1980 should have this forgotten minor-classic displayed prominently in his or her collections.


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Comments
#1 | Harvey Mettle on May 06 2013 18:03:07
There's no 1978 debut Eric. RYM is wrong again! The LP listed is by a Danish (?) band. Nothing to dow ith this UK ootfit
#2 | Eric on May 06 2013 22:59:08
Thanks Harvey. Suspicion confirmed.
 
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