|All Artists: John Palumbo|
Title: Victim of the Nightlife
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Dead Line
Release Date: 8/29/1989
Genres: Pop, Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 019923451721, 019923451745
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Victim of Obscurity
Jason M. Carzon | bowie, maryland United States | 08/03/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you clicked on this, you already know John Palumbo is the leader/vocalist/songwriter for the band Crack The Sky, who still plays live on the east coast but mostly for the old fans and on the strength of the early Crack The Sky albums. Often any subsequent releases got ignored and suffer from dodgy production and on various fly by night indie labels. A worse fate befalls any time Palumbo does solo work. A shame, as this album I find to be more interesting than some of Crack The Sky's albums from the same era.
VICTIM OF THE NIGHTLIFE was released around 1989, after Crack The Sky's decent FROM THE GREENHOUSE album, and there are similarities in the overall production and sound. But where GREENHOUSE was a concept album in an almost Pink Floyd vein with a bit of the usual Crack harmonies and guitarwork flavors, VICTIM draws some influece from R&B and 80's rock sounds. Unlike most of Crack The Sky's albums, there are plenty of synthesizers and programmed drums here, as well as female backing vocals. Bad news for 80's music haters, but if you dig that sound you may like this. It's a unique album which really would have been a hit had it been better produced and promoted by a major label. But that's a tired subject. His version of Walk On The Wild Side is a keeper. The last cut is pretty good as well. At this price, you get your money's worth with those two tracks alone.
Palumbo cuts a dark figure, hiding behind his sunglasses, like Lou Reed, Lennon or Ric Ocasek. Perhaps he was too antisocial to be a big star. Or maybe people just didn't know what to make of him. Though not the best vocalist on earth, neither was Dylan or Jonn Lennon. John Palumbo does have a unique and identifyable voice. At least you know its him. These days he makes music for fun, and has long since accepted that Crack The Sky won't change the world or set the charts on fire.
But check this album out if you like Crack The Sky. Complete the collection. If you never heard Crack The Sky but like 80's rock, buy it to hear a lost chunk of late 80's music. The trax:
DRIFTING BACK TO MOTOWN - a tribute to Motown sounds with plenty of references.
WOLVES - good atmosphere and vocals here. I don't think he would have done this with Crack The Sky, hence the purpose for solo records.
OLD FIRES - big guitars and big chorus/Def Leppard sound.
UNDERCOVER - nice 80's pop sound with female vocals and plenty of keyboards.
WALK ON THE WILD SIDE - funky and moody version of Walk On The Wild Side which is totally reworked and bears little resemblance to the original Lou Reed classic.
DANCING WITH THE FUHRER - bit of a heavy metal sound on this track about the dangers of just blindly going along with things.
THE DANGEROUS TYPE - a Robert Palmer type track, possibly the weakest one here.
LOVE IS LIKE A HEART ATTACK - soulful track with female vox.
GIRLS LIKE YOU - a pulsating new wavey track kinda in the style of The Cars. On of the best on the album. Good closer.
Good forgotten 80's album. Can't go wrong with it, it's mostly decent stuff."