Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Street Fever / Mystery Ticket
Genres: Pop, Rock
The Secrets of Street Fever and Mystery Ticket
Tim Brough | Springfield, PA United States | 10/20/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"John "Moon" Martin earned his recording contract the old fashioned way; he duked it out in several unsuccessful bands (even releasing albums with a group called Southwind), got his songs placed with prominent artists, and finally found his moment. Unfortunately, he never got the huge break his songs were worthy of. This two-fer-one CD (holy moly, is my copy really worth 80$?!?) is the only time his third and fourth solo albums have made it to CD (and his original two Capitol albums Shots From a Cold Nightmare/Escape From Domination, are on a similar out-of-print set), and are the some of his best songs in one setting.
While his best known songs (IE: those that became popular via other artists) are on the Shots/Escape CD, these two albums were Martin's attempt to break into other dimensions of sound. On "Street Fever," the results tended towards the generic. "Five Days Of Fever" bursts forth like a Bob Seger/John Mellencamp rocker, and managed some AOR play back in the day. But Martin's interesting style, sort of a New-Wave Buddy Holly with rockabilly leanings and a keen sense of pop) is at its best when he leans towards his Buddy Holly pop/rock, like "Whispers." Martin also self-produced (with Warren Dewey), and his backing band The Ravens were tight as always. (In addition, one of my fave artists, Jude Cole - A View from 3rd Street - was a bandmate and co-wrote the fun "No Dice.") Alas, the album sold less than its predecessor, lacking a hit single like "Rolene."
"Mystery Ticket" as Martin's final Capitol record and a major departure from his first three. Robert Palmer, who had taken Martin's "Bad Case Of Loving You" into the Top 20, was the producer this time around and punched up the sound with 80's synths and dance beats. "X-Ray Vision" was positively new-wavish and scored in dance clubs, but Martin's moment had passed. Oddly enough, it was the non-Palmer production that yielded my favorite song on the album. Andrew Gold (best known for his hit Lonely Boy), wrote and produced "Aces With You." In a better world, this would have been a massive hit.
Both albums are hook-laden and filled with good songs. There are nods to Chuck Berry ("Rolling In My Rolls" and "She's In Love With My Car"), punkish energy ("Bad News" and "X-Ray Vision") and terrific ballads. "Signal For Help" and "Aces With You" are both the type of songs waiting for someone to double back to Martin's catalog and turn into hits. But for now, Moon Martin remains a cult item, deserving of better than out of print imports CD's."