BEAUTIFUL! STANDING TALL!!!
Shlomo Sinatra | Alaska | 12/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Dictators were the greatest band of all time. Their sound was not captured 'til Bloodbrothers, with Manifest Destiny a mess, and The Dictators Go Girl Crazy! an album that's a lotta fun but the great songs on there were not captured in the best manner; Andy Shernoff was quoted as saying that he never intended the humor on it to overshadow the music, and he stated that Bloodbrothers was the first album to truly represent The Dictators' sound. Which I fully agree with.
This mighty masterpiece, filled with soul, passion, and strength, is too great for words.
For a LONG while I was completely addicted to D.F.F.D.; now once again I turn back to the album that defined the GREATNESS that was The Dictators.
Where to start? Faster And Louder is both funny at times and an assertment of the need to break free, break loose, and MAKE SOME NOISE! It's a superb rocker all the way. Bruce Springsteen has a cameo on it (he yells, low in the mix, "1, 2, 1-2-3-4!" before the final verse. He was a fan (Lynn Goldsmith's book of photos of him shows him wearing a Dictators shirt; they had a mutual admiration society). It's appropriate for me, as my two favorite albums from '78 are Bloodbrothers and Darkness On The Edge Of Town (Radios Appear comes a very close third--or is that SECOND?!)
Baby Let's Twist is the same kinda deal as Sheena Is A Punk Rocker, except this time it ain't all fun being different; here the lonely girl can't find love, but finds comfort and a realization she's not alone in her alienation due to the healing power of rock 'n' roll. This song says it better than Rock And Roll by the Velvet Underground! Tremendous heart and soul.
No Tomorrow is beautiful and melancholic; school surely can be the most traumatic time of one's life; it can leave scars that never really heal; and the "sting of rejection" -- here, the DICTATORS sing for the lonely!
THAT'S what this album is all about! It gives strength, like "Rocky", only better.
Minnesota Strip is about the OLD New York (see the version on Viva Dictators! for Handsome Dick's opinions about how it is now that's it's been "cleaned up". I'M SICK OF EVERYWHERE BEING "MODERNIZED"!!!
Great guitar by Ross The Boss -- WHAT, you'd expect less than that from HIM??!
Stay With Me -- AH, oh MAN!! The best song The Dictators ever DID! The perfect pop song, done later by Scott in The Del-Lords, and with Dion in The Little Kings (NOT to be confused with cheesy L.A. band from '89 or so); The Creamers from S.F. covered it too.
It's one of the most perfect pleading love songs ever--"I stare into the TV screen, but every face reminds me of a girl/ I never used to be so Mean, but I can't bear to face my shattered WORLD YOU just ain't fair to this Romeo..." -- DIG that change, the way Andy wrote it so WORLD blends into the next line! Man, that's BRILLIANT! He does it again once more in this song, "I'm only half the man I was with YOU SAID we'd never part til we die, WHY DIDN'T YOU STOP WHEN YOU HEARD ME CRY BABY, baby..." -- he does it TWICE in that line! He sets it up for the chorus! Shernoff, a genius at times, truly a songwriting genius.
(for those who don't know what I'm talking about, you NEED to hear this song! and a sample won't do!)
It's one of my favorite love songs EVER, up there with Splash 1 (13th Floor Elevators) and I Can't Hide (Flamin' Groovies)-- 'cept this song CAN'T MAKE me SAD!! It's all heart and soul! the only tears The Dictators can produce from me on this album are tears of PRIDE! Of being HUMAN! this album encompasses everything in the New York Dolls' classic "Human Being"; Personality Crisis too, come to think of it.
Now side B (I ain't got no turntable anymore, it broke down, what am I saying? But it opens with...a song that makes it ALMOST hard to say that Stay With me is their best! ALMOST...)
I Stand Tall is far less about being proud to be an American than it is about pride as a person, as an individual Human being, although coming back from touring overseas, where they felt a police-state environment, especially in regards to the searches involved with traveling, inspired this song to be written.
Yet its the call for individual assertiveness in standing tall as a HUMAN BEING, having pride in yourself, that this SUPREME song is about.
What other song can you think of , where the band pleads with you to stand tall? (the ONLY one I can think of is Stiff Little Fingers' "Stand Up and Shout", which was the definite highlight of seeing them March 22, 1992; but I Stand Tall, live by The Dictators, was surely as much a tear-jerking, heart-warming moment!
This song is just what I need right now; my Mom died this year, and today would have been her birthday; I felt NUMB until hearing this.
This song is the most beautiful thing in the world!
"I STAND TALL! And I STAND PROUD of WHAT I AM. REPEAT THESE WORDS! REPEAT THE WORDS THE DICTATORS ARE SINGING! STAND UP, AND SAY them LOUD and CLEAR! STAND UP, and be PROUD! I STAND TALL
AND I STAND PROUD--
OF WHAT I AM!"
As only The Dictators can be.
This song also urges evryone to pick up a guitar, and give playing in a band a shot, a chance. Beautiful. Right ON!
(This song is like the National Anthem of Rock and Roll!)
Well, it's hard to follow that one, and the album does go down a little bit afterwards, but only in comparison, in relative terms.
Borneo Jimmy is a great song that may have been for Richard Meltzer, but they are encouraging for anyone not to give up, and keep chasing their dream, that their day will come. (I don't CARE if that sounded corny to you! This album is about HEART!) It's about never letting life get you too down.
GREAT guitar solo also--Ross, yer amazing! YEAH, yeah, YEAH!
What It Is is a good song, basically about how the chick just doesn't get it that you are the one for her, what's WRONG with her? Ha ha ha, What it is!
And Slow Death, by the Flamin' Groovies, their best song in my book (well-- yeah, it's better than Shake Some Action, I think...)-- closes out the album in fine syle, despite their getting some words wrong; this song was chosen as the album's closer over a cover of Dance, Dance, Dance (the Beach boys. who else?). The band felt it fit the mood of the album better, and man were they right! When I got to see them at the Stone in S.F. in August of '91, the ending of this song was like a sonic, musical equivalent of an orgasm, it was so incredible!
Oh Man, this album was JUST what I needed today!
It belongs in EVERY rock 'n' roll fan's collection, with NO exceptions!!
Their finest album.
As the majestic looking ad for this (which SHOULD be a poster, dammit!) said--
There's Nothing Tighter Than A Bloodbrother.
The Dicators live forever."
Bloodbath_and_Beyond | usa | 02/11/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After the Taters failed to gain mainstream relavence with their so called "mainstream" album Manifest Destiny, the band returned to their roots with the third album, 1978's Bloodbrothers. Although most claim their sophomore effort to be too poppy and their 'weakest' album, at some degree it seems like the band were almost spoofing pop cliches on the second album, even hearing the Dictators do AOR rock anthems and ballads seemed fun just because it was them doing it, however some fans weren't happy, and the band realizing that they were born to linger in obscurity, as their attitude and humor was so ahead of it's time. Bloodbrothers right off the bat breaks down the wall with one of the bands best cuts Faster & Louder, with a 1-2-3 intro from fellow fan Bruce Springsteen (the NY/NJ connection) the song stays true to it's title and the call & response chorus is great. Baby Let's Twist, is another of the band's prime highlights, although it plays to the band's more melodic side, it's a great pice of pop/rock, the kind of stuff found on Manifest, only much more inspired. No Tomorrow is another teenage anthem as the kind found on the bands debut. The Minnesota Strip is one of Top Ten/Ross the Boss's most heaviest riffs, and is a track not to be missed out on. While Stay With Me and I Stand Tall and What It Is, seeminly blend the clean sound on Manifest, with their newfound invigoration on songwriting keeps these tracks on par with the rest of the album. Borneo Jimmy (which was about rock critic and BOC member Richard Meltzer) is definetly a near classic Taters rocker. This bitchin album wraps up with a cover of Slow Death which lends its way to some great playing, as the group stretches out a bit to add the one final blast to what would be their last record for 20 years. All in all it's by far the group's most straightforward album as Adny Shernoff has described it as the most truest sounding Dictators album, even more so than the ever so classic Go Girl Crazy! Yet weather or not it's as good as their brilliant debut is something to be determined. Anyone that really knows rock and roll, knows these guys were one of the best bands'of all time, and this album, upon hearing it will promptly strengthen your opinion of that in case you had any second thoughts after Manifest Destiny. This album is a rock classic pure and simple, the late 70's had a lot of great music (mainly punk and new wave and the burgeoning heavy metal scene) but rarely was any of it as good as what the Handsome one and company put together - D.F.F.D."