Monday, July 14, 2008

Glen Burtnick - Heroes And Zeros - 1987

This isn't a great record, but it's not a bad record. In fact I retract that statement. Upon further thought I'm going to say this is a pretty good record. There are definitely more good songs than just okay songs which is mostly not the case on some of these forgotten 80's albums.

I'm posting this little piece of rock archeology for a couple reasons. One someone out there might actually like it more than me. It's pretty much a straight ahead pop rock record.

Another reason to post it is because this guy has had an interesting career and among playing with a lot of big names in the music biz her replaced Tommy Shaw in Styx when he left the band. I love Styx and I think Tommy Shaw has some serious talent and some big shoes to fill. Dennis De Young obviously felt good enough about Glen to have him fill those shoes. That little career tidbit it interesting enough to warrant a listen to this 1987 release.

Also it is worth listening to because this guy is from Jersey and I find that some of these tracks sound like a poor man's version of fellow Jersey rockers Bon Jovi. Just give "Heard In On The Radio" or "Spinning My Wheels" a listen and see if you don't here it as well. This may now be as hard rockin' as the Jovi. In fact the hard rock meter is probably closer to Rick Springfield tipping the genre scales more into the power pop category. "Abalene" and "Here Comes Sally" are good examples there. Let me know what you think.

The one oddity on the record is the last track "The Day Your Ship Gets Thru". It's really a vocal pop song kind of in the vein of Backstreet Boys. I know that sound crazy, but give it a listen. Now I'm not one to go crazy over the boy bands of the last ten years, but I will acknowledge that they had vocal talent and they produced some pretty solid pop tunes. So when i compare this track to Backstreet Boys or maybe even N'Sync I do that as a positive.

Another fascinating song is "Love Goes On". It's probably the weakest track on the record for me, but I find it so interesting because it sounds like other 80's bands. The vocals are very Jovi. There is even a line about going out in a blaze of glory. No joke. But then the interesting juxtaposition is the very Journey-like guitar. Listen to what that lead guitar is doing and the specific sound its producing and tell me that's not Journey.

Another highlight it "Here Comes Sally" now which I've already compared to a Rick Springfield song. The nice thing it adds is a great bluesy harmonica bit right in the middle of this driving power pop ditty. This is my favorite song on the record.

After writing all this I'm going to revise my first paragraph and say this is a great record. You may not know the songs, but once you give them a couple listens you realize that song after song is good to great.

By the way you should price this on Amazon. Must be out of print because it's selling for quite a pretty penny. Well, here you can sample it for free and then if you think it's worth kicking out the cash, Amazon is an easy place to go. There are several used copies on vinyl and CD for sale.


01 Follow You.m4a
02 Spinning My Wheels.m4a
03 Walls Came Down.m4a
04 Stupid Boys (Suckers For Love).m4a
05 Love Goes On.m4a
06 Heard It On The Radio.m4a
07 Abalene.m4a
08 Here Comes Sally.m4a
09 Scattered.m4a
10 The Day Your Ship Gets Thru.m4a



John said...

Awesome CD. It's a shame this guy never became huge. He started out by playing Paul McCartney in the west coast version of Beatlemania. Marshall Crenshaw was John Lennon. He's had two #1 songs. One he wrote for Patty Smyth and Don Henley "Sometimes Love Ain't Enough" and "Spirit of A Boy, Wisdom Of A Man" for Randy Travis. Oh, the reason the guitar sounds like Journey is because it is - Neal Schon plays guitar on 3 songs including "The Day Your Ship Gets Thru" which also features Bruce Hornsby.

Spencer said...

Fantastic information. The Neal Schon info is great. Thanks for the comments.