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Articles Home » 1982 Articles » Sugarcreek - 1982 Fortune
Sugarcreek - 1982 Fortune

ARTIST: Sugarcreek
ALBUM: Fortune (#1)
LABEL: Beaver
SERIAL: Beaver 1952
YEAR: 1982
CD REISSUE: 2002, Escape Music, ESM080


LINEUP: Tim Clark - vocals * Gerry West - guitars, vocals * Rick Lee - keyboards, vocals * Mike Barber - bass, vocals * Lynn Samples - drums, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Soothsayer * 02 Crazy Kind Of Love * 03 American Girls * 04 Everybody Knows * 05 Conquest For The Commoner * 06 Going For It * 07 Here We Go Again * 08 Suzie * 09 Borderline * 10 Ride It Out * 11 Conquest For The Commoner (Live Bonus) * 12 Soothsayer (Live Bonus)

I think it would be easy to say that 1980's AOR couldn't be better represented than this 1982 effort called 'Fortune' from North Carolina's Sugarcreek. While the popular charts and fan attention were swinging to the arena acts of the day (Journey, Foreigner, Toto etc), Sugarcreek were busy plying their trade unbeknown to many worldwide AOR fans, with the probable exception of those Southeastern states of the USA (Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia etc) who had known about them for years. As written about elsewhere on this site, the origins of the band go way back into time, but by the time the 1980's had arrived, these guys were accomplished musicians, and had obviously listened to what was popular at the time, and adapted their style to suit. Everyone who had heard the band often compared them to Styx, and that would be a fair comment. But in reality, their approach was less bogged down, a bit racier, and more in keeping with radio oriented styles rather than the pomp definition subscribed to by Chicago's Great White Hope. By the time Sugarcreek had released 'Fortune', they had already put out a Live set called 'Live At The Roxy'. Now, modern day fans have to realise one thing from that glory days period.. availability of any Sugarcreek material at this point was nigh on impossible to obtain. Media coverage was poor, and only 'those in the know' knew anything about them or their small label Beaver Records. Perhaps Sugarcreek were a true description of a cult AOR band? (only matched IMHO by Iowa's Lynn Allen).

The Songs
Obviously this review coincides with Escape Music's 3CD re-release by the band during 2002. Most of the songs from 'Fortune' sounded great back then, but they positively sizzle this time around with some remastering magic applied to it. Hearing 'Soothsayer' again transports me back to an era where this type of music reigned supreme. the overly poppy 'Crazy Kind Of Love' is a summery happy-go-lucky sort of tune, ideal as a single I reckon. 'American Girls' is more of a straight-out rocker, still high on melody and catchy musical phrases. 'Everybody Knows' kicks along with vim and vigor, singer Tim Clark is in denial mode as he works his way through the lyrics. The epic 'Conquest For The Commoner' is their best known track, and starts off in early Kansas style mode, tinkly piano and symphonic structures, before unleashing a torrent of overblown pomp.. wondrous stuff. We return to straight out rockin' with the pair of 'Going For It' and 'Here We Go Again', before the inevitable ballad appears in the form of the superb 'Suzie'. The next track 'Borderline' is an excellent flowing mid-tempo arrangement, with an abundance of acoustic guitar and a great chorus.

In Summary
Though the history books eventually found out about Sugarcreek, it wasn't until a few years later during the mid 1980's via the guys at Music For Nations that they became better known, as their material was rebadged/licenced from Beaver. Of course, the icing on the cake was the remastering by Escape Music of this 3CD release. This new release includes two live tracks.. perhaps their best two: 'Conquest For The Commoner' and 'Soothsayer'. 'Fortune' is an excellent album for the AOR purist to discover or rediscover as in my case, and for me, it represents one of 2002's more significant moments in the re-release industry.

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#1 | aaasreg on August 07 2014 14:36:07
That's really a great AOR album and a really great voice. One of the undiscovered jewels.
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