You call this a sellout?
Michael Vanier | Pasadena, CA | 01/08/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is it, the Dictators' infamous sellout album. This album is so different from their previous album, the classic "Go Girl Crazy", that you would swear it's a completely different band (actually, they just added one new member, got a new drummer and shuffled roles a bit). But if it's a sellout, every band should wish they could sell out this well. The reason it's considered a sellout is that after the dismal sales of GGC, songwriter Adny Shernoff decided that the Dictator's brand of rock'n'roll humor was too sophisticated for the average dumb heavy metal fan (which is true), so he proceeded to write an album of great songs with intentionally trite lyrics. Note the "intentionally" -- most bands who write trite lyrics (such as Loverboy and Foreigner from that era) write them because they can't do any better. That couldn't be further from the truth here -- Adny was (and is) an amazingly clever lyricist. So what do you get? "Exposed" is a great pop song that reminds me of the Outfield (who came along much later). "Heartache" is a terrific power ballad. "Disease" is a fantastic dark heavy metal song with a large dose of the Dics brand of humor. And on it goes. About the only song I don't like is the cover of the Stooges' "Search and Destroy" -- not that it's bad, but when the original is perfect, there is nowhere to go but down.
After this album, the band realized that pandering to the masses wasn't the way to go, so they regrouped and came back with the terrific album "Bloodbrothers", and, after a mere 25-odd years, the brilliant follow-up "DFFD" (where Adny inexplicably changed his name to "Andy" -- geez, the things some people will do to get attention). But this album is not just for completists; it stands on its own. I hope the Dics will re-introduce some of these songs back into their live gigs -- there's lots to fun to be had here."
Below-average release from one of America's best bands (2.5
TimothyFarrell22 | Massachusetts | 07/25/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The Dictators are incredible. Few bands can alternativly spoof and embrace the rock 'n' roll ideals as these guys have, and their Spinal-Tap-meets-Ramones-mees-Beach-Boys style almost always works - almost. "Manifest Destiny" is a dissapointing release from the 'Tators. I mean its not a bad album, but the guys can do much better than this. There are a few good songs. "Disease" is hilarious, particulary the spoken word act from Handsome Dick at the begining. "Science Gone Too Far" is one of the band's catchiest tunes, proving they were as good as any of the big names from the 60s. Their closing cover of the Stooges' "Search & Destroy" is an okay interperatation of the classic. However, that's about it. The rest are mostly humorless FM-style rockers, and while the Dictators weren't selling out, they were certainly trying to become more accesible. Download those three tunes, and pick up every other album by the band."
Purchase This Over The Import, But......
"The Woj" | Downers Grove, IL | 04/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"No sell-out here. Just flat out, in your face, New York City you talkin' to me, rock. Yes there are a few mellower tunes on this album, but when Ross The Boss let's his Les Paul rip, mellow goes right out the window. Plus, the Dictators mellower songs still are tinged with the melodies and lyrics that made the first album such a masterpiece. I'd like to use the term "more mature" than sellout. Plus, how anyone can call The Dictators version of "Search & Destroy" a sell-out is beyond me. I think the version recorded on this album even made Iggy put on some bandaids & button his fly. The only problem I have here is the sound. While the Wounded Bird release is a millions times better than the dreadfully brutal import version (see me review), it still lacks the sonic depth & punch this album deserves. Wounded Bird is not known for the sound quality of their reissues and it shows here. The highs are a little harsh, the bass a bit muddy, and you still get the feeling a high bias cassette tape was used for the mastering. I'm still waiting for the definitive remastered version of this album to be released. After typing this, I'm off to the Rhino Handmade website to suggest they work their magic on a box set of the first three Dictators albums. Now there's a box set any Dictators fan (or band member!) might drop a Ben Franklin for. Until then, if you are a Dictators fan, and you must be if you've made it this far, add this cd to cart ASAP. It is the best sounding cd release of this album available....for now."