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Articles Home » 1984 Articles » Franke And The Knockouts - 1984 Makin' The Point
Franke And The Knockouts - 1984 Makin' The Point

ARTIST: Franke And The Knockouts
ALBUM: Makin' The Point
YEAR: 1984
CD REISSUE: 1998, Escape Music, ESM 030


LINEUP: Franke Previte - vocals * Bobby Messano - guitars * Tommy Ayers - keyboards * Leigh Foxx - bass * Tico Torres - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Outrageous * 02 You Don't Want Me (Like I Want You) * 03 Come Rain Or Shine * 04 You're All That Really Matters * 05 Carrie Why? * 06 So Cool (Nobody's Fool) * 07 One Good Reason * 08 Blame It On My Heart * 09 Can't Get Enough Of You

There's something a bit special about these New Jersey legends, and it goes deeper than Franke Previte's golden voice. They show a genuine grasp of melodic hooks and quality AOR songs, regardless of tempo. With two acclaimed albums already under their belt, this third effort comes across as a hybrid of their West Coastish debut and the tougher streetwise AOR of 'Below The Belt'. But it came at the cost of departing personnel, notably guitarist Billy Elworthy, who contributed so much to the F & KO's sound. He was replaced by ex Starz axe-slinger Bobby Messano, no slouch on the guitar that's for sure.

The Songs
It's critical that the opening track on any album should be one of that album's highlights, and 'Outrageous' does not disappoint. Tastefully played keys combine with crunching riffs and a punchy rhythm, over which Franke delivers a convincing and melodic vocal display. 'You Don't Want Me' and 'Come Rain Or Shine' are strong examples of mid tempo AOR, while the anthem format is revisited on 'Carrie Why', and done rather well. That keyboard hook is very reminiscent of Survivor's classic track 'Jackie Don't Go'. 'So Cool' keeps the tempo racing, before tracks like 'One Good Reason' and 'Can't Get Enough Of You' bring us home in more sedate fashion.

In Summary
Although some of us might have preferred some more anthems near the end, the West Coast inclinations of these last few tracks are pleasant and well crafted, and there's more than a hint of Toto and Dakota on display. Overall, a very pleasing AOR album which is unlikely to disappoint even the most exacting AOR purist. Sadly, it was also the band's swan song. I still wonder what a 1986 album might have sounded like from these guys ... at least all three albums are available from Escape Music, and they're all worth owning. Now if only they'd catch some reunion fever and reward us with a comeback!!

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#1 | reyno-roxx on June 29 2008 19:47:59
I think Tico and Bobby joined directly from their tenure with Tycoon. The inclusion of 'You Don't Want Me' on this record caused a degree of controversy at the time what with its great similarity to the Marc Avsec co-written 'She Don't Know Me' on the first Bon Jovi album (also on Peter Emmett's album, the Fair Warning and Grass Roots albums).
#2 | jeffduran on June 30 2008 05:47:16
'You're All That Really Matters' is one of my favs. Forgot about this lil gem.
#3 | rostoned on July 02 2008 19:01:32
Definitely their magnum opus. Far heavier, more modern sounding and tastier than their 2 previous efforts, which were respectively just good and very good, while this is excellent.
#4 | richardb on November 29 2008 21:30:40
I like this album naturally (show me an AOR fan who doesn't..), but for me 'Below the belt' will always be the pick of the bunch.

Richard B
#5 | roadrunner158 on September 06 2011 11:47:21
Their best one. "Come Rain Or Shine" and "One Good Reason" are both fantastic. Btw.: Jeff Porcaro is listed in the credits, and I'm pretty sure he's the drummer on these two songs, as they have his trademark groove.
#6 | jeffrey343 on November 04 2011 00:49:48
My life would have been better if I had actually discovered this gem in '84 rather than last week. Seriously, I had never heard a track from this until last week. I'd looked for FandTKO on Rhapsody whenever I'd come across this review or the ones for the other two or a reference to them, and finally they made it to the digital realm. I can't believe I didn't hear anything from this on the radio or MTV, or had a friend who played it for me. If I had heard 'Outrageous' or 'Carrie Why' or 'So Cool', I'm quite sure I would have rushed out and gotten this. It has vaulted to way up on my list of top 1984 albums (which is a very strong list). I agree with rostoned that this is the pick of the three.

One reason I really like this is that I'm a big fan of a couple of albums that Bobby Messano played on around that time - the debut Fiona album and Joe Lynn Turner's 'Rescue You' album. He added an edge to this one for sure.

Those three songs I mentioned are absolute killers, and the rest are all very good. I think 'Can't Get Enough Of You' is not quite as sedate as lebrad mentioned - it's a darn good closer.

All in all, I'm glad to report that this did live up to the hype that you all have given it. Glad it is now part of my collection.
#7 | Nick C on November 04 2011 08:40:05
Heh! Jeff...you and me both, I just grabbed this of eBay earlier nice n cheap so I thought I'd check out the review here. One I missed out on back in the day BUT I did own their 1st two albums as I bought them cheap as cut outs from good old Yanks records in Manchester, sadly now long gone, but again being into the slightly harder stuff back then (Starz for example...there's the Messano link Smile ) I thought they were a bit too wimpy and the vinyl got sold, and I passed when the CD's for those releases came out. Now I'm kicking myself on the hour every hour at the moment as pennance!
#8 | swazi on March 02 2012 09:57:03
Well, I am with rostoned and roadrunner on this one. This is my favourite release by FATK. I bought the LP shortly after it was on the market and "Come Rain or Shine" is still one of the tracks I'd take with me to an island.
#9 | gerard on January 30 2013 21:10:29
Yes, Bobby Messano played on some great records! Picked up an album from 1978 by Stanky Brown today. Because Messano is listed on it I bought it. Had never heard of that band and haven't heard the album yet, but curious to find out!
#10 | reyno-roxx on January 30 2013 21:52:25
Stanky Brown was Bobby's first recording band.
#11 | Eric on January 30 2013 23:13:04
Stanky Brown Band rivaled the Good Rats in the NY area in the late 70's but the Stanky's had a big advantage having been managed by a major east coast promoter who put them on shows with nearly every big name that blew through places like the Capitol Theater in Passaic, NJ and other venues. Their albums were not that great (Doobie-ish bar band AOR) but they did get air play on east coast stations and remember hearing 'em often.
#12 | gerard on January 31 2013 13:03:02
Thanks for the info! Had never heard of Stanky Brown before!
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