Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Johnny & Distractions|
Genres: Pop, Rock
Listen to Samples
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Good Solid R&R
Daved Kohls | the West Coast, USA | 09/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"During the 80's I lived in Portland, Oregon. As new wave & dance groups like Quaterflash and Nu-Shooz were bringing national focus on the Northwest with their slick, studio sounds, Johnny & The Distractions were a powerhouse cornerstone of the local music scene.Why? Because Johnny Koonce rocked!!! He was an exciting performer, swinging from the light trusses, climbing the P.A. stacks, dancing thru the audience, and constantly working the stage from one end to the other.
Even more important, his music was not fancy, sequenced, or canned. It was true, straight ahead, demandingly catchy rock & roll... done with real guitars, drums, Hammond organ, and growling, sweat drenched vocals.The Distractions first released a brilliant, self produced, independant LP in the very early 80's that sold out of the local music stores as fast as they were put on the shelves. This led to they're record deal with A&M, resulting in "Let It Rock", a slicker re-recording of that first indy which, in the corporate studios, had lost some of its fire but sold moderately well. Johnny's attempt at national recognition & acceptance then led to his disbanding the Distractions and releasing a 'solo' album, produced by Al Kooper, with big production, horns and lackluster tunes... everything that the Distractions fanbase had previously admired Johnny's avoidance of.This fan perception that Johnny had "sold out", along with the one creative critique that had always plaqued Johnny... a vocal comparison to Bruce Springsteen, resulted in Johnny's fading from the spotlight.These are not the original recordings. In the CD booklet, after a brief rundown of the D's history, Johnny tells us that, despite fan demand, A&M would not give permission to re-issue these vinyl albums on disc, but DID give permission to re-record the material. So, in 1989, Johnny reunited key Distraction members to put this CD together with material from the first 2 albums.The result is exciting, fun, and for those of us who were there the first time around, enjoyably nostalgic. Although I would truely love to see the original tapes re-issued, these re-recordings of such great songs as "Guys Like Me", the darkly powerful "Octane Twilight", and the hard driving "Shoulder Of The Road" have retained that intensely emmotional & subtley raw quality which originally made Johnny & the Distractions local NW musical heroes of the 80's."
Johnny & the Distractions--My Desire
Andy Iyall | Federal Way, WA | 12/21/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"When Johnny & the Distractions roared through the Northwest here back in the early 80's, they literally tore through the region. They flooded the local Seattle airwaves for a few glorious years.Most of the material on 'My Desire' (7) are re-recordings of songs from their '81 vinyl 'Let It Rock' (which rocked full throttle without a clunker in the bunch-all gems). While the performances here were done many years after the originals, the 'hearts on their sleeve' passion of youth is gone. Don't get me wrong, these are very good performances, and for any fans of Springsteen/Seger/heartland rock, this is a welcome addition. Perhaps A&M will one day give the Distractions their due & issue their early stuff on a comp, perhaps with some of Koonce's '83 solo material. They were both good songwriters & performers. The Distractions deserve a good catalog representation because, when they were young and hungry, they cooked."
Bob MacCracken | Snohomish, WA | 02/10/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It is an interesting release--'90 CD of an '80 album. Actually 3 tracks are not on Let It Rock (can't see it now, but #6?--Cry Just a Little?) From the samples, sounds like a more primitive recording, probably in Portland, before they signed with A&M & recorded Let It rock in NY. They were my favorite bar band while in college in Eugene '78-'82. Saw Johnny again around '84 & '85 or '86 in Seattle, but with 2 totally diff versions of the D's (the 2nd time with the Rangehoods, aka The Heats). His solo on cassette was disappointing. I've hoped to see a comeback; & agree that a re-release on CD would be great. Chuckie-Boy Records in Seattle (chuckieboy.com)has done it with The Heats & The Cowboys--how about it? Perhaps they could dig up some old live recordings."