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Friday, May 20, 2011

Greg Kihn - Greg Kihn Again

Artist: Greg Kihn
Album: Greg Kihn Again
Year: 1977
Style: Power Pop
Similar Bands: Buddy Holly, Kinks, Big Star, Steve Forbert, Dave Edmunds,
"One Word" Review: Earnest-Songwriter-Pop
Based Out Of: Baltimore, MD
Label: Beserkley, CBS
Greg Kihn Again - Cover & Record
Greg Kihn Again - Back & Record
Greg Kihn Again (1977)
  1. Love's Made A Fool of You 2:44
  2. Island 2:38
  3. Last Of Me 4:48
  4. Real Big Man 5:02
  5. Politics 4:20 /
  6. Hurt So Bad 4:45
  7. For You 3:57
  8. If You Be My Love 2:50
  9. Madison Avenue 4:49
  10. Untie My Hands 3:16
Album Rating (1-10): 7.5

Members & Other Bands:
Greg Kihn - Guitar, Vox
Dave Carpenter - Guitar, Vox
Larry Lynch - Drums, Vox
Stephen Wright - Bass, Vox (Fiat Lux)
Matthew King Kaufman - Producer
Glen Kolotkin - Producer, Knobs, Dials, Switches
Gary Phillips - Producer
Tom Lubin - Engineer
P. Brown - Mastering
Flashing Neon - LP Concept
PIGment Fate - Mask
J. Seabury - Assistant Mask
John Jensen - Cover Photo
Moshe Brakha - Back Photo
J. Blodgett - LP Coordination
J. Ingber - Stylist
K. Turtle - Stylist

Unknown-ness: I've never heard of this band. The cover looks silly, the back band photo looks like they are having lots of fun, so I figured this would be a nonsense, easy going pop song album full of singer songwriter fun. But I sense there might be some pretentiousness since the main guy uses his name as part of the album title. You have to be pretty stuck on yourself to use your name as both the act and the title.

Album Review: “Love's Made A Fool of You” is a Buddy Holly styled song, with deeper vocals and an electric guitar. And it has the start/stop rhythm of the song “I Want Candy.” (funny thing is, it is a Buddy Holly cover)
“Island” as a ska adaptation that feels like it could be an Elvis Costello song, but it is even more faithful to the reggae/ska style. It is smooth and feels like it belongs right there at an island themed chain restaurant.
“Last Of Me” begins slow, and feels like it could continue with an island theme with its choice of keyboards sound. But this is just a slow-dance ballad. I’m getting the image of an Eric Clapton number or perhaps nicer put, the Kinks.
“Real Big Man” is a smooth AOR, power pop number: similar to Big Star, but not quite as unique. As the song progresses, it leaves the gentle smooth style, and starts to become more mid-western pop rock, like Mellencamp or even a little like the A’s.
“Politics” has a driving, marching beat that reminds me of James K. Polk by TMBG. The melody is nice, in a sweet, earnest way. I keep feeling like the song is going to break into Van Morrison’s “Wild Night”

“Hurt So Bad” begins with a whiny heart broken electric guitar. Then the song becomes more than a ballad, and evolves into a Kinks-like pop song. After a chorus of sing a long repetition of hurt so bad, the song revisits the intro weepy guitar. But it quickly returns back to the catchy pop number
“For You” reminds me of Bob Dylan, as it is a story song where the lyrics don’t necessarily match up with the music (at least in the beginning). He dips his vocals from nasally balladeer and dips them, when necessary, deeper down in range, giving a broad nice and unpredictable delivery. The song knows its strongest hook in the chorus, and in two sections, strips the repeating chorus with down to the simplified hook during last minute of the song.
“If You Be My Love” is a thoughtful ballad, where it is not just a slow dance, it is of slow but melodic pace with a few slightly faster sections. It again falls in the category of near southern style AOR rock.
“Madison Avenue” follows up with a songwriter’s pop song that reminds me of Tom Petty. The only exception is the harmonized mass-vocal chorus. It is nearly magical in its sound, perhaps a little psychedelic.
“Untie My Hands” continues with the new age psychedelic vibe thanks to its prevalent bass and electric guitar mash up and progressive melody. This instrumental track is defiantly very structured, in an unexpected way. I would have thought that an instrumental track would have been a jam, but this calculated track has a definite Prog vibe.

Stand Out Track: Love's Made A Fool Of You

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  1. Hi-I've been a follower for a while, and your posts have led me on some interesting journeys through used CD and LP bins looking for some of the titles you've mentioned.

    I'm surprised you never heard of this band-they certainly had a few big hits in the late seventies/early eighties, the biggest being "Jeopardy."

    I'd encourage you to check out some of his other output-all good stuff.

    Kihn got a fair amount of Philadelphia ariplay early on by mining the Springsteen songbook for album tracks.

    Sadly, their output on CD was import-only and long out-of-print. Good news-their LP's do not seem to command the same high prices.

    Thanks for posting this-now I know what I will listen to tonight!


  2. DiscConnected ~
    This guy starts every post with "I never heard of this band." How could anyone NOT have heard of this band if they were older than ten by 1979?

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  3. I've heard "Jeopardy" before, yes, but before researching Kihn, I did not realize he made it. So I've heard the song, but not known who did it. And I've come across his name through other aspects of looking up bands...from other singer/songwriters and Jonathan Richman/Modern Lovers. All of these discoveries never told me what his music was really like. So I could easily list it here, on my blog called Thrift Store Music, where all the stuff I blog about is stuff I find in dollar bins or thrift stores that look cool, but i've never heard of/or heard too much about. (that's why they [mostly] all start off "I've never heard of this band").

  4. I may be making an assumption on your age because of your vinyl addiction! I was in high school or college when "Jeopardy" was released, and was already a fan of Kihn's because of the Springsteen covers. You certainly do not get a sense of what the music is going to sound like from the cover!

    You definitely find a lot of obscure items that fell through the cracks-I've purchased quite a few titles based on your reviews-the Convoy CD, for example was excellent.

    I do the same dollar bin scrounging, but focus more on CD's than LP's (easier portability to car and work).

    I'm originally from Philly (35 years)-do you have a store in town? If so, I'll try to drop in my next trip out there! I was sad when Plastic Fantastic (Bryn Mawr/Ardmore) closed-I know he opened up a new store (Gold Million) but have not been there yet.

    Anyway, great blog!