Monday, March 14, 2016

The Long Ryders - I Want You Bad

This is the second appearance on ERV for The Long Ryders; the superb "Looking for Lewis and Clark" was posted on our little blog in October, 2013.

Regular readers will recall that The Long Ryders were a roots rock act associated with the LA Paisley Underground scene.  They made a bit of a ripple on the college radio scene in the middle part of the 1980's, but never quite found their audience.

"I Want You Bad" was the lead single of the group's 1987 LP, Two Fisted Tales.  It is a cover (more on that below), but highlights the band's style and musicianship.  Unfortunately, I don't believe that either the LP or single charted.

While The Long Ryders remained well-regarded by critics, their big breakthrough never happened and in 1987 and the strenuous touring schedule finally did the band in.  Bassist Tom Stevens and guitarist Stephen McCarthy left the group by year end, and the remaining members (vocals/guitarist Sid Griffin and drummer Greg Sowders) chose not to continue.  However, the group did re-form in 2014, and plans to tour and perform some more as of this writing.

As mentioned above, "I Want You Bad" is a cover of an NRBQ song, below.  NRBQ is an influential and eclectic rock band who are known for their live shows.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Ray Parker, Jr. and Raydio - A Woman Needs Love (Just Like You Do)

Ray Parker, Jr. formed Raydio in 1977 with with Vincent Bohnam, Jerry Knight, and Arnell Carmichael.  The group's smooth pop/funk quickly led to success, with "Jack and Jill" and "You Can't Change That" as strong examples of their style.

First among equals bands, where there is one dominant member, often have trouble staying intact and Raydio was no exception.  By 1980, the group was called Ray Parker, Jr. and Raydio; this only lasted around a year before Parker left Raydio to go out on his own.

"A Woman Needs Love (Just Like You Do)" was off the last Raydio LP of the same name, and the success of the song and album likely encouraged Ray Parker, Jr. to go solo.  The single reached #4 on the charts, while the album peaked at #13 and went gold.

While the song picked up a significant amount of airplay on pop and adult contemporary radio, I don't recall ever seeing it on MTV.  The combination of the soft pop sound and MTV's initial positioning as a new wave/rock video channel probably account for this.  However, the vid is an awesome timepiece -- from the time Parker gets out of his Porsche, I was hooked.  Smooth, relaxed love advice never sounded so good (at least in 1981).

As regular readers will know, Parker's solo career go off the a strong start, with "The Other Woman," featured in our All Hallows Even celebration of 2014.  However, his career was inconsistent from there, though he did score a #1 hit in 1984 with "Ghostbusters."