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Monday, February 4, 2008

(the) Blue Chips - Nothing Comes For Free

Name: The Blue Chips
Album: Nothing Comes For Free
Year: 1986
Style: New Wave
Similar Bands: Wang Chung, The Fixx, A's
"One Word" Review: Synthesized-Wave-Metal
Based Out Of: ??New York??
Label: D.P.O Records
Nothing Comes For Free - Front & Record

Nothing Comes For Free - Back & Record

Nothing Comes For Free (1986)
  1. Pieces Of Love (4:02)
  2. Don't Play With Fire (3:42)
  3. Make Your Move (3:13)
  4. Counting From 1 to 100 (4:12)/
  5. Nothing Comes For Free (3:55)
  6. Time to Go Home (5:23)
  7. Dreamgirl (3:57)
Album Rating (1-10):

Members & Other Bands:Jimmy Ostrove - Lead & Backing Vox
James Diener - Guitars (same guy?) (same guy?)
Henry Pincus - Keyboards, DX-7 Bass (same guy?)
Chris Hyams-Hart - Sax (on "time")
Chris Richards - Drum Fills, Produced, Engineered
Stickwork Studios - NY
Vlado Meller - Mastering
Chris Richards & Blue Chips - Arrangements & Drum Programming
Stacey Dale Tappis - Art Direction
Jefrey Krantz - Photography
Danielle Miller - Cover Model
DPO Records MS-001-PMB

Unknown-ness: Never heard of these guys. From the emotional look on the band's faces, and the name of the album, they seem like a spiteful, bitter group of guys. The name of the band + the way the guys are dressed both seem to try and capitalize on the yuppie stock market appeal of the mid-80's. Which probably means synthesized generic 80's band that would fit nicely on the St Elmo's Fire or Breakfast Club soundtracks.

Album Review: I could not find anything on-line about this band. The only other mention of this record is that someone is selling a copy of it, with no further information. There is not even any info on the record label D.P.O Records out of NYC. If anyone comes across this post & knows anything further, please let me know.
They sound just as they present themselves: keyboard based 80's new wave. The first song starts off with a piano keyboard hook. A drum machine comes in, and then the singing begins. The song is an odd combination of a ballad and a catchy pop song. The vocals in the chorus are loud and nearly strained, as he declares "when you're strong enough to rule the world." The song slowly ends with the original piano, winding down like a child's toy. "Don't Play With Fire" begins with a tropical storm of sound. Synthesizers curl and wash over the sound, and the drum beat is a steady simple beat. The 80's stylized keyboard sound hooks the listener in and the vocals start quickly. The chorus struts by in two parts, first with a deep dark synthesized bass. And the second, with an even more pronounced synth keyboard sound. Then like the eye of the storm, a short bridge lightens the mood with a calm keyboard background, and an optimistic feel. But the song crashes back into the chorus, which fades out to end the song. Song 3, "Make Your Move" starts with quick electronic drum fill, a very up beat keyboard, and the same beat that makes the song feel like the Go-Go's. This is a pleasant, happy, catchy, jumpy song. The song structure is very stylized thus far, the songs all feel similar and specific to this band. Overlapping vocals in the chorus give depth and characteristics of a sing-song positive mood. This is a good head bopping number, with great musical build and strength. An artificial kick drum/bass line similar to "Of Montreal" begins "Counting from 1 to 100." Washing over are the sounds of keyboard waves, and an organ sound, making the imagery feel like flying through reeds along a beach shoreline. The singing begins like something from the Clash. The chorus breaks tempo and slows down, and there is a slight reggae feel. Over-all, this sounds like an "A's" song. There is a great synthesized instrumental about 2:30 into the song.

Side B, the title track, begins like "Motley Crew's" 'Girls Girls Girls' with the loud guitar strum, and cackling in the background. Then a metal guitar plays a carnival-esq melody, and the singing starts, rougher than before. This is stylized to be a metal version of a Big Star song. It has the pop-rock sense and song structure, but is harder, and rougher than the rest of the album, with whining guitars, and loud effects throughout. Then "Time To Go Home" begins with an Erasure keyboard, which transforms into a typical 80's keyboard jitter, and then finishes off like the Human League. This is a slower, Thomas Dolby sounding song, full with electronic xylophone and unsuspecting gloom. The musical break has screaming electric guitars echoing, and it transitions into a short sax solo, then back to the verse. "Time" ends abruptly, and acoustic guitars take over to start "Dreamgirl;" the floating, dreamy power ballad. A dark bedroom with a low level of steamy fog is the image the song provokes. The song fades out repeating the chorus over and over, like a trance.

There are a lot of synthesized elements on this record. Mainly the drums and guitars stand out, both sounding predominately synthesized, but there are other small musical eccentricities added for depth and variety. The first side is straightforward new wave, but the second side sounds like it is a 70's metal band trying to adapt to the 80's new wave popularity. I'm sure this was a style choice, and it sounds very good in both cases, both versions of the band are very solid and listenable. I wish there was more than 7 songs from them, but with that said, I wish there was more info about them too.

Stand Out Track:Make Your Move


1 comment:

  1. Can't find contact info for the author of this blog. haroldthepug@gmail.com