BETTY BOO: Boomania

BETTY-BOO

Betty Boo’s original breakthrough came with the release of “Hey DJ / I Can’t Dance (To That Music You’re Playing)” as The Beatmasters featuring Betty Boo on Rhythm King in 1989. Her debut album Boomania followed in 1990 peaking at # 4 in the UK album charts and achieved platinum status of 300,000 sales. This Deluxe Edition includes the twelve original album tracks, plus fourteen bonus tracks, it has been remastered using original master tapes, and the sixteen page full color booklet features an expanded design of the original artwork, extensive sleeve notes written by Michael Silvester and a full UK discography featuring Betty Boo’s front cover images.

I had originally heard the Beatmasters featuring Betty Boo, and was intrigued when the news of her own album was first put out. I had been into house for a while and was looking forward to her album. The good news was that it was every bit as good as her song with the Beatmasters and actually improved on the sound by being even more infectious and attention grabbing than before. Of course you get the hits “Hey DJ / I Can’t Dance (To That Music You’re Playing),” “Doin’ The Do,” “Where Are You Baby?,” and “24 Hours,” but the crazy amount of remixes makes this a treasure trove for those that wore them out back in the day, or couldn’t find/afford them all. The mix of pop, rap, and dance/house kind of dates the music, but if you were there, it sounds glorious to your ears still. It just shows how the charts actually had a mix of music back then, as well as happy music mixed in with the dour sounds of grunge, or what the media was improperly calling punk back then. The songs and the videos had a sense of sixties kitsch to them, and the hooks were huge, so big that just the titles on here alone will make the song creep into your head again and get stuck all day. The remastered sound is cleaner and clearer, adding to the sounds and effects on the album, and giving it a touch more depth.

The great mix of styles, the hook laden tracks, and the pure fun of this album will make you smile and dance a hole into your carpet. It brings back the fun and the excitement of youth, not just your own, but youth in general, hearing the songs again, or for the first time for the curious. This truly is a treasure trove and will be getting lots of plays around my house.

https://www.facebook.com/CherryRedRecords/

http://www.cherryred.co.uk/

Advertisements

THE DONNAS: Spend The Night

Spend the Night is the fifth studio album and major label debut by The Donnas, originally released in 2002 on Atlantic Records. It was the band’s first charting record on the Billboard Hot 200, peaking at #62, and features their most successful single, “Take It Off,” which peaked at #19 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. Cherry Red Records has remastered the album and added five bonus tracks: “Hyperactive,” “Rock ‘N’ Roll Machine,” “Mama’s Boy,” “Play My Game” and “Backstage,” the latter taken from the soundtrack to the remake of the movie Freaky Friday.

Of course being a male and loving hard-hitting music, such as punk, metal and hard rock, as well as four attractive women in the band, (oh Maya!), I was already a fan when this originally came out and was looking forward to it. It was a bit different from their older albums, a touch of gloss here, a bit more rock, less punk, but all in all, I really liked it a lot. Now we have the re-release with added songs and I like it as much, if not just a bit more than I did at first. I haven’t listened to it in a while, so it was great to hear the album again, and rock out to the tracks that I remembered and loved from the past. The extra tracks from soundtracks and b-sides is a cool bonus since I now don’t have to buy a few soundtracks that I would have had to buy just for their song being on it. The booklet is a great touch, giving you background about the band and the process of putting this out back in 2002. The band plays tight and the vibe is hard rock with touches of metal and punk, but with enough gloss to make it shine, not overpower the songs and the playing. It has a sameness throughout, but again, not in a bad way, the way a Ramones/AC/DC/Joan Jett album has a sound that carries the entire album and makes you instantly recognize them. A feeling of familiarity and warmth that you crave and love.

The great sound, the added tracks, and the booklet make this a definite buy, as well as it just being a damn good album too. I really wish that they would get back into the studio and give us a new album, the world isn’t the same without them. In the mean time, put this on, crank it up and spend the night with them, they might scare you a bit, but oh, what a night indeed.

https://www.facebook.com/thedonnas/

https://www.facebook.com/CherryRedRecords/

http://www.cherryred.co.uk/

THE ALIENATION: No God No Religion

This trio from Amos, Quebec have just released their second album of hardcore with songs in both English and French. The trio of Peet (bass/vocals), Dom (guitar/vocals), and Matt (drums) have put together eleven songs of charged energy and thought-provoking lyrics.

I always get excited when I get punk to review, since I seem to get a lot, and I do mean a lot of metal to review, when I am way more into punk than metal. As a fellow Canadian, now living in Texas, but still love to give props to my country men putting out music, also being someone who was forced to take three years of French and remembers none of it, it is cool to hear a band doing songs in their own language, not just in English. Of course, because I failed two of the three years and they were over thirty years ago, I have no idea what they are singing about on those songs, but the English ones are clear about what pisses them off and I love to read the lyrics and get an idea of where a band is coming from. The songs are angry, gritty and hard-hitting, which is such a great thing to hear with all the wimpy pop punk and emo crap passing itself off as punk. The gruff vocals are perfect for the bitterness being spewed, as is the blazing guitar playing, the thick bass, and the pounding drums which all create a sense of organized chaos that grabs your ear holes and drags you into the pit. Every song is another spit in the face of the craptastic society that we are force-fed and they are played with the verve and power that gets your adrenalin going and makes you get mad at the shit going on too.

This is a band that is sick and tired of bullshit around them and isn’t afraid to get in the face of the fools that stand in the way of what they believe. Fast-paced and a destructive force coming at you with the power of a hurricane, but with a message……destroy the shit!

https://www.facebook.com/thealienationpunx/

https://thealienationpunx.bandcamp.com/album/no-god-no-religion

http://www.thealienationpunx.com/

THE ARCHIES: Sugar, Sugar – The Complete Albums Collection

Finally, all five of The Archies albums are released on CD for the first time which will make fans quite happy. I was, and still am a fan of the comic books and I owned two of these albums on vinyl way back in the old days. The sad thing about this collection, which I have only as a download, so I can’t comment on the booklet, is that they are sourced from vinyl, not remastered. You would think that such an undertaking would have them doing that one step to take this over the top.

Well, onto the music, which is a delight, a complete joy to listen to and will put a smile on your face and get your toes tapping and you will sing along, yes you will. Of course you get the huge hit “Sugar, Sugar,” but there is so much more on her besides that. “Jingle, Jangle” is every bit as good and I love that damn song. The songs are of course bubblegum, and I have no problem with that, but they also went a bit weirder and got into social statements as the albums progressed, so take that people who dismiss this band. Other standout songs are “Archie’s Theme (Everything’s Archie),”  “Feelin’ So Good (S.K.O.O.B.Y.-D.O.O.),” “She’s Putting Me Through Changes,” “Get on the Line,” and “This Is Love.” The male vocals for the group were provided by Ron Dante, who started his career as a member of the Detergents who did “Leader Of The Laundromat,” and was also the voice of  The Cuff Links. The albums truly are a delight to hear again, and not just have a greatest hits collection that just gives you a few songs, this gives you all of them and you can hear the band progressing and changing. Maybe they never rose to the heights of “Sugar, Sugar” again, but this is definitely not throwaway music, this is a bit of history that will never be repeated, a time of crazy pop music aimed at kids that grew up and still sounded great.

While maybe not the perfect box set, this is a pure delight that will give you smiles and if you were there, memories that will come back to you and make your heart happy. In these strange times, isn’t something that makes you happy worth owning? I think so.

https://www.facebook.com/CleopatraRecords/

http://cleorecs.com/home/