Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The John Hall Band - Crazy

Here at ERV we are not above taking requests, even from (especially from) The Universe.  Tonight, on my way home from work, I was reflecting on which video to post next when this popped up on my local classic rock station.  I consider it a sign (or a request ... whatever), and as I have said at least once before, when The Universe makes a request, I listen.

You might not know John Hall's name (no, he was not in Hall & Oats) but you know his music.  He was a founder of Orleans, best know for their 1970's top 10 hits "Dance with Me" and "Still the One."  Hall left the band in 1977 (just after their two big hits) in search of a solo career, and as is often the case, it did not turn out that well.  The John Hall Band put out two albums (which did not break the top 100) and two singles, neither of which broke the top 40.

Hall's first solo single "Crazy" (sometimes with the added (Keep on Fallin')) from 1981's All of the Above is a typical early video -- it is just the band playing on a stage.  However, the catchy hook helped it go into heavy rotation for months in the early days of MTV.  I particularly enjoy the three lead vocals, with keyboardist Bob Leinbach challenging The Producers' Wayne Famous as the coolest 80's keyboard player.  The whole look, down to the matching blue glasses and jumpsuit is just ... Crazy, to coin a phrase.  Also, keep an eye out for the six guitar video effect (starting around 2:19).

Even with a solid song and the previously mentioned airplay on MTV, "Crazy" peaked at #42 in 1981, and the All of the Above album  was unable to break through at #158.  When 1983's Search Party LP did not fare much better (#147), EMI-America dropped the band.

During the 1980's Hall became increasingly involved in politics, eventually leading to two terms as a U.S. Representative from New York state.  Hence the Congressman John Hall Band on the video title (below).  Hall lost the 2010 election and has spent the time since with his family and performing at reunion shows with Orleans.



The extremely rare and surprisingly solid video for "You Sure Fooled Me" was posted on ERV in December, 2015, and is worth checking out.

5 comments:

  1. Thx, I really wanted to know who the vocalist is and you delivered.

    Eliot Easton cites Halls early work as an influence.

    Rock on!

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  2. Thanks! Happy that I could help out.

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  3. This single recieved a lot of airplay during NY radio station WAPP's "commercial Free Summer" in 1982. Thanks for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. Glad that you liked it and thanks for checking out ERV.

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    2. long live Stevie RayMay 3, 2014 at 10:13 PM

      Great to hear it again. Thanks.

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