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Articles Home » 1984 Articles » Carey, Tony - 1984 Some Tough City
Carey, Tony - 1984 Some Tough City

ARTIST: Carey, Tony
ALBUM: Some Tough City
YEAR: 1984
CD REISSUE: 2008, Renaissance, RMED-384 * 2012, Air Mail (Japan), AIRRAC-1676


LINEUP: Tony Carey - vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 A Fine Fine Day * 02 A Lonely Life * 03 Eddie Goes Underground * 04 The First Days Of Summer * 05 Reach Out * 06 Tinseltown * 07 Hungry * 08 I Can Stop The World * 09 Some Tough City * 10 She Can Bring Me Love

WEBLINKS: www.tonycarey.com

Quite the mercurial talent is Tony Carey, whose first brush of musical fame arrived in 1976 when a scout of Ritchie Blackmore's discovered him in a Hollywood recording studio, suitably impressing the great man, leading to a one album stint with Rainbow, 76's 'Rainbow Rising'. Carey left Rainbow in 1977, not caring for Blackmore's legendary temper. Carey relocated to Germany in the late 70's on the advice of a friend, recording a virtual slew of instrumental albums. It wasn't until 1982 when his first proper solo album was released, 'Tony Carey' (on the soon to be defunct Rocshire Records), while also undertaking the group project Planet P, an outlet for more of Carey's music. Amidst this he signed with MCA, and recorded perhaps his most well known AOR album, 'Some Tough City', which yielded a pair of hits in 'A Fine Fine Day' and 'The First Day Of Summer'. The tour he undertook in support of the album was his last in the U.S to date - now nineteen years ago!

The Songs
Running throughout the album is a theme of hard life in the big city, L.A. and New York for example, and Carey's songwriting is superb in portraying people down on their luck. 'A Fine Fine Day' is a wonderful opener, relaying the story of 'Sonny', a thief who 'disappears'. The use of organ is the key sound, a vague Bruce Springsteen connection bought with it. The overall sound is closer to 'North Coast' era Michael Stanley Band than anything, with a home-grown, earthy rock and roll sound, with huge use of AOR melody. 'Eddie Goes Underground' is a pounding rocker regarding a sex offender on the run, with some fascinating lyrics that at times overshadow the music. Carey's most well known track 'The First Day Of Summer', is also the most melodic of the album, breathtaking chord changes aplenty with a perfect hook, which saw it rise to no 33 on the singles charts. I hear this one occasionally on the local 80's station, proof of its enduring quality. Piercing synths provide the basis for 'Tinseltown', AOR of significant clarity, and a bridge with layer after layer of shifting melody and a fairly savage lead guitar break. In a surprising shift in style 'Hungry' goes for a near replica of Donnie Iris' 1982/83 sound, with an upbeat chorus and a host of keyboard effects. The lyrics about barely making it, are at odds with the 'happy' mood. The Michael Stanley comparisons run thick and fast through 'I Can Stop The World', raw US rock, something encapsulated by the title track and its hard hitting lyrics about giving up in the city. A sax solo adds to that Springsteen/Stanley notion, almost an obligatory addition to that particular form of rock. It ends as well as it began, the AOR ballad, 'She Can Bring Me Love', featuring some tasty riffs.

In Summary
This is an album that demands to be heard. Carey captured a real sense of emotions, whether it be despair, desperation or love. This album runs Springsteen into the ground in terms of bleak urban landscapes. No track is wasted, melody exists within them all, and that Carey did it nearly all on his own, is a sign of a near genius. Sadly Carey's momentum was halted when his deal with MCA was cancelled due to a falling out with his manager, who signed the contract. Carey has achieved mass prominence in Europe since, thanks to his constant recording, his latest album being 2000's 'The Boystown Tapes'. Although he has been largely forgotten in the US, 'Some Tough City' is a vital acquisition for anyone who may be unaware of Carey thus far.

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This article has been tagged
Tags: Tony Carey 
#1 | sabace on January 06 2008 17:04:39
#2 | vinyldinosaurus on February 01 2008 21:36:53
sabace: Wrong bloke. You're thinking of Tony Kaye who also played with Yes in addition to Detective. Tony Carey had previously played on one studio album (Rising) and one live album (On Stage) with Rainbow.

That said Some Tough City is a excellent piece of early 80s AOR.
#3 | rkbluez on February 01 2010 11:29:10
Yes it's an excellent piece of AOR...well produced and a good mix of some really strong songs.
#4 | Eric on August 18 2011 02:57:22
In-between the album on Rocshire and Planet P Project, Carey released an electronic album as Yellow Power in 1982. Sort of a Kraftwerk meets Moroder...
#5 | super80boy on May 05 2014 01:11:40
I just recently picked this up in a clearance bin and I knew this would be a fine listen. As suspected I was very impressed with the quality of musicianship. Just knowing Tony does almost everything on here is impressive in its own right. Side One is stellar with all top rated tracks. Side Two is almost as good. 'Hungry' adds some cool creativity to the set; it's a prodding experimental track with vocoder and synth effects. The hype sticker on my vinyl calls out 'A Fine Day', 'The First Day Of Summer' and 'A Lonely Life', all notable tracks.
#6 | swazi on October 18 2014 17:24:11
Great disc! I am really enjoying this one! Smile
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