Friday, 3 February 2017
Off Broadway - Live From the Studio 1980 (Flac)
Off Broadway (USA) - Live In The Studio 1980
Broadcast from Full Compass Studio Madison, WI.
On WIBA FM 101.5 MHz Wednesday, October 29, 1980.
01 - Bad Indication (3:35)
02 - Bad Girl (2:40)
03 - Bully Bully (3:57)
04 - Automatic (4:04)
05 - US Girls (4:33)
06 - Oh Boy! (3:48)
07 - Showdown (6:08)
08 - Quick Turns (3:02)
09 - Are You Alone (3:41)
10 - Boys Must Be Strong (6:24)
11 - Eddie's Pals (4:02)
12 - Stay In Time (2:54)
13 - Hang On For Love (10:37)
14 - Full Moon Turn My Head Around (8:15)
Cliff Johnson - Vocals
John Ivan - Lead Guitar
Rob Harding - Guitars
Mike Gorman - Bass Guitar
Ken Harck - Drums
FM > tape (unknown probably reel) > digitization (unknown) > CD-R
CD-R > EAC > WAV > Audacity > WAV > TLH > FLAC
Chicago area Power Pop that delivers both the Power AND the Pop.
The band had hooks and looks, good material, and a charismatic stage
presentation, as this live in the studio recording demonstrates.
A nice selection of songs from their first Atlantic LP On (1,3,6,12,13,14),
and the just-about-to-be-released follow-up, Quick Turns (2,4,5,7,8,9,10,11).
I suppose a lot of areas have local bands that get a sniff of national
attention, but through a combination of bad luck, timing, and label
support never connect with a large audience. Well, here's another one,
captured on a visit to their northern neighbor's largest college town,
in front of a small recording studio audience, straight to the airwaves.
It's too bad there isn't more material from the band - IMHO they compare
favorably with more prolific or better known cult legends and/or more
successful bands of the era like Cheap Trick, the Cars, Shoes, Artful Dodger,
et cetera, not to mention Pezband, which featured Cliff Johnson on vocals in
an early incarnation. On the plus side, we have two studio albums, a more
recent reunion album and live recording, and occasional forays into the
local clubs still occur, if we believe everything we read on the internet.
Track 13 interpolates bits from Oh Yoko (John Lennon) and
Switchboard Susan (Nick Lowe). Seems like they'd frequently play
20 or 30 minute medleys like this, the guitars chugging along with
Cliff singing a few lines from Gloria, Oh Pretty Woman, something by
the Supremes, amd seemingly whatever 3-chord garage rock tune popped
into his head. Johnson is most often compared to John Lennon as a
vocalist, not without cause, for a change, and I'm reminded a bit
of Ian Hunter when he gets to hectoring the listener, as well. Pretty
decent for a kid from Oak Park.
I received this from another former Madison resident I connected with
via Spooner's Facebook page. (Thanks, Kirk!) Original CD-R had gaps
between songs and massive amounts of clipping in places. (Cliff had
a real tendency to swallow the mic sometimes.) Still, a good sounding
source, so I applied Clip Fix, a bit of noise reduction and EQ, and
some Limiting to bring those peaks back below 0 dB. (I'll inquire of the
status of the original tape when I mail a copy of this back to him!)
I made sure there were no gaps in applause between the songs that segue.
Most of the station breaks and announcer talk had been excised from
the recording as I received it, and a few fades and abrupt transitions
will be heard. I took the liberty of snipping a bit from the middle of the
final tune, since the band playing a repetitive vamp behind technical credits
and sponsor acknowledgements gives such a golden opportunity to improve
the listening experience. Apologies to relatives of the station and studio
engineers, and the advertising executives at Stop N Go convenience stores!
Enjoy, with the usual encouragement to share responsibly and support the musicians.
Okay, have a nice day/evening all out there wherever you are.
Frank Flac p1