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Automatix, The - 1983 Night Rider




ARTIST: Automatix, The
ALBUM: Night Rider
LABEL: MCA
SERIAL: MCA 5393
YEAR: 1983

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Bruce Nazarian - vocals, guitars * Randall K Jacobs - guitars, vocals * James A Noel - keyboards * Nolan Medenhall - bass, vocals * Jerry Q Jones - drums, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 When The Feeling Is Gone * 02 Niteside * 03 Just Keep Turning Me On * 04 Keep Away From That Girl * 05 Hold On Tight * 06 What A Man Should Know * 07 Take It To The Top * 08 Two Can Play


Background
Despite this being the only contribution to AOR history from this Detroit five piece, what a great addition to the genre it is. Not much is known about The Automatix however. I had never heard of them until I chanced upon this at a second hand record store for a whole dollar. What a find it was. The Automatix play pure early 80's AOR, that to their credit does not imitate any other act from the era. They mix their styles from ballads to outright hard rock, with a bit of MOR thrown in. The whole soft to hard style is similar to Straight Lines 1981 'Run For Cover', although musically worlds apart. The album was produced by Nazarian and Jones, with a clean sound. Clearly these guys had the talent to go further.


The Songs
The opening track 'When The Feeling Is Gone' will have you hooked from the start. The chorus is perfect, thrilling chord changes and harmonies, setting the tone for the majority of the album. 'Niteside' is the other worthwhile song on Side One, Nazarian's vocal delivery reminding me of Gary Moore. Sadly Side One is a letdown after the first two songs. 'Just Keep Turning Me On' and 'Keep Away From That Girl' both lack a strong chorus to really be effective. Side Two is flawless by comparison. 'Hold On Tight' contains some blatant, glorious synth work and the MOR tinged 'What A Man Should Know' has some hot, lengthy melodic guitar work. The tracks which steal the show are 'Take It To The Top' and 'Two Can Play', both bloody great anthemic hard rock. Both are fast paced, but the overall package, synth, guitar and vocal melodies, are on another level. Absolutely contagious, they will keep you listening for months. Comparisons are pointless as The Automatix had a defined sound that could have taken them far.


In Summary
What a shame this was their only offering. What's even sadder is that the chance of finding this is nearly impossible, unless of course you are lucky like I was. However, this is a fantastic album that deserves to be heard by all AOR loyalists, if just to give The Automatix the recognition they deserve. Consigned to the dustbins of history, that might never happen. Check out our rare Nov 2002 interview with Bruce Nazarian about this cult AOR band..


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Comments

#1 | reyno-roxx on June 30 2008 11:48:09
A very overlooked album. Akin to Franke & The Knockouts in its heaviest moments. The album recently turned up on CD as a pretty decent sounding bootleg in Europe.
#2 | swazi on November 21 2011 16:37:54
I am also one of the other proud owners of this bootleg, which says 1983 Ziponki Enterprises on the back. Bootleg or not, this is absolutely essential AOR stuff! And I love the cover as well!
#3 | super80boy on May 15 2013 02:19:50
Wow, great album. I recently acquired a sealed copy of this to upgrade my existing used copy and after listening to it again, the obvious conclusion = Night Rider is a stellar set of tightly crafted AOR, melodic rock and synth rock songs.
#4 | rostoned on February 13 2017 19:35:34
The Automatix originally released the 'When The Feeling Is Gone' independently on the Transcity label in 1982 (catalog TS-9001). What is very or more interesting is that its B-side was a non LP tune, which did not appear on the 'Night Rider' MCA platter. The title is 'Sure Fire' and it was written by N. Menden Hall/J. Jones/B. Nazarian/J. Noel.

The single also refers The Automatix LP as being released as a self titled as well on Transcity (catalog TS-1004) but to my knowledge it never came out independently first. Or did it? hmm!
#5 | rostoned on February 28 2017 19:38:45
2 other unreleased The Automatix tracks are to be found on radio station LP compilations: 'So Many Ways' on 1983 'WLLZ Motor City Rocks' and the live 'Don't Lead Me On' is on the 'WRIF 101 Live At Hart Plaza' platter.

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