I liked the last album, surprising even myself. It was heavy and I like that, but, now, I’m looking for something a little less harsh. Eugene said he’ll have some time to catch up in the next bit and, hopefully, Jon can, as well. Let’s do this…
#34 – Little Caesar by Little Caesar.
The first thing I thought was, haven’t we already done a Cult album? And, of course, we had but you can’t judge a whole album by one song, especially the first one. That song (musically, vocally) sounded just like the Cult to me. However, that’s where the comparisons ended.
And, that’s where the blandness ended, as well. The rest of the album gave us good rock, soul (literally), hair band-quality power ballads, and just good music. And, really, the first song wasn’t that bland, I just
needed wanted to take a jab at that Cult album (which wasn’t all that bad, really). It did, however, sound just like a Cult song.
Ron Young has an amazing voice. The power in “Chain of Fools” (yes that “Chain of Fools”) alone should prove my point, but don’t stop with that one. Listen to his vocals in “In Your Arms,” “From the Start,” “I Wish It Would Rain” and “Cajun Panther” – just to name a few – to continue my argument. When you can wail during the heavy rock and bring an artful rasp to the oomph in the ballads, that’s a great singer.
The guitar tandem of Loren Molinare and Apache (Jimmy Hayne) is riffy, melodic and tasteful. They’re not trying to blaze through anything but they’re not slackers, either. It’s good chops and good stuff. Fidel Paniagua’s bass is deceptively subtle but he’s doing some serious walking patterns and runs. Great bass playing. Tom Morris’ drumming is not flashy but effective. He’s bombastic, thunder-like, and definitely solid. I would love to know who the female backup singer on “Little Queenie” is because she’s awesome.
There’s not a lot of info on this album or the band on the web. I’d venture that this is probably the most love it’s gotten in a while. That’s a shame. According to Wikipedia, the band didn’t gain a lot of popularity because of their tattooed image. I think that’s a bit of a stretch. Mötley Crüe were tatted head-to-toe and they were still pounding it out and in the spotlight. So, I call bull shite on that. I think their biggest problem was that this debut album happened in 1990. The hard rock genre was getting a bit over saturated and, frankly, tired. What I think is a shame is that other bands that came out at that time got a good bit of attention but this, a band of immense talent, was left “in the basement.” The album was produced by Bob Rock which has a big name, but tired is tired and I think the market was flooded by then. The genre was pretty much its own demise, in my opinion.
There’s not a song on this album that I don’t at least “like.” My favorites, however, are the more melodic ballad-like tunes, such as “In Your Arms,” “From the Start,” “Midtown” and the Temptations hit, “I Wish It Would Rain.” I like this album’s version of “Chain of Fools” as much as (if not slightly more than) Aretha Franklin’s. For whatever reason, she’s not my favorite right now. I can’t put my finger on it. But, I love Young’s voice in that. Don’t skip over “Cajun Panther,” “Little Queenie,” “Hard Times” or “Wrong Side of the Tracks” either. You won’t be disappointed.
Eugene, I love this album, thanks for the introduction. Jon, see you on here soon.
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“Sunshine, blue skies, please go away. My girl has found another and gone away. With her went my future my life is filled with gloom. But day after day I stay locked up in my room. I know to you it might sound strange, but I wish it would rain.” – “I Wish It Would Rain” (Whitfield/Strong/Penzabene)