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Articles Home » 1984 Articles » Combonation - 1984 Combonation
Combonation - 1984 Combonation

ARTIST: Combonation
ALBUM: Combonation
LABEL: Warner Bros
SERIAL: 25075-1
YEAR: 1984
CD REISSUE: 2009, Wounded Bird, 2507-2


LINEUP: Randy Foote - vocals, percussion * Mark Hart - vocals, guitars, keyboards * Steve Dudas - lead guitar * Rick Moors - bass * Billy Thomas - drums, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Babble On * 02 Adventures In Modern Living * 03 It's All Over Sue * 04 Hazardous Conditions * 05 A Place In Your Life * 06 Girls Like You * 07 We's Gwyne Hollywood * 08 No More Information * 09 Nature Of The Beast

A couple of years back, Eric wrote a brief backgrounder on the band The Dig. This band entered the GDM Archives based on their 1987 s/t album. The forerunner to this band were Combonation, a Los Angeles outfit, caught between commercial new wave and a stylish brand of AOR. That description was typical of the general L.A sound during that time, and it actually sounds ok. Signed to Warner Bros, they were big enough to attract the attention of Van Halen producer Ted Templeman, but even though there is no Halen like magic on this LP, it has a certain charm about it which demands listening time.

The Songs
Combonation are a product of that early MTV era, with a dancy oriented style of party pop/rock. There's a hint of Novo Combo here, which is a good fit for mine. Likeable songs abound on this LP, so you'll get good value. 'Babble On' (surely a play on the term 'Babylon') is as good example as any. Admittedly, there's lots of guitar soloing on this one, which helps to harden up the song. 'Adventures In Modern Living' features some Michael Shrieve like drum work, overall it has a very sharp and linear delivery. 'It's All Over Sue' is a just a lovely jangly slice of radio rock, very smooth and one that will appeal to the AOR audience. Trust me.. 'A Place In Your Life' is a glorious affair, this song demonstrates the ability of Combonation in an AOR context. 'Girls Like You' is the closest to that aforementioned commercial new wave sound, while 'We's Gwyne Hollywood' is throwaway reggae which is out of character with the rest of the LP. Let's forget about that one. The Novo Combo comparison raises its head once more with 'No More Information', the album signing off with the synth laden 'Nature Of The Beast' with a nod in the direction of Mr Mister. Cool chorus on this one I might add..

In Summary
Warner Bros released a video for 'Girls Like You', featuring actress Robin Penn Wright, and two singles ('It's All Over Sue' and 'Girls Like You'), but overall the album didn't move heaven nor earth, which is a real pity. The album did see the light of day on CD, thanks to Wounded Bird, who thankfully, are able to get at most of the Warner Bros back catalog for reissue purposes. As mentioned, Combonation changed names, picked up a new deal with Atlantic, and proceeded to walk more of the AOR path as The Dig.

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#1 | gdazegod on April 08 2014 00:02:59
Combonation - Girls Like You

#2 | gdazegod on April 08 2014 00:04:10
Combonation - It's All Over Sue

#3 | tompa on April 10 2014 16:22:37
Excellent album! Agree that PLACE IN YOUR LIFE is glorious and WE'S GWYNE HOLLYWOOD is not.
#4 | rkbluez on April 11 2014 00:34:33
Really liked this album since it came out...remember scoring a promo copy of the album for 25 was the best quarter I ever spent...was so glad that Wounded Bird reissued it on disc and it sounds great...they were a quirky high tech new wave meets rock...wasn't a fan of the tune WE'S GWYNE HOLLYWOOD either but some of the other tunes were Templeman's production and Steve Dudas played some great guitar and killer solo's...this one is an obscure classic IMO and one to check out if you haven't already while the CD is still in print.
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