|All Artists: Little Caesar|
Title: Little Caesar
Members Wishing: 6
Total Copies: 0
Label: Polygram Int'l
Release Date: 4/11/2000
Album Type: Import
Genres: Pop, Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
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The full flowering of hard rock, cut off in its prime
Michael Bulger | Rochester, NY, USA | 09/09/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you follow the history of hard rock/heavy metal, or its multitude of subgenres - or if you lived through it - you'll know that it reached a peak in popularity in the mid- to late 1980s, only to die, depending on the account, of its own excesses, of having become a stale genre, from the rise of alternative rock (especially grunge), or all of the above. This is basically true, as far as I remember it. What gets lost in the shuffle, however, is the sudden explosion of great hard rock bands that was underway in the early 1990s, just as grunge arose to kill them off. Little Caesar was one of those bands.
What's striking about Little Caesar is how they simultaneously managed to come across as a complete kick-butt group while producing music with real soul. "From the Start" and "In Your Arms" are a world apart from the usual sappy power ballads all hard rock groups of the time were obliged to include on their records; these are ballads no one should be embarassed to listen to today. The crowning achievement, though, has to be their transformation of Aretha Franklin's "Chain of Fools" into a hard rock number.
That's not to say that there aren't a few clunkers here - this was the band's debut, and better was to be expected if they had received any support at all, but of course that wasn't to be. And not just because of alternative rock - the bandmembers were seriously ugly dudes. This was one kick-butt band that really looked like they could kick some butt; I'd have put money on them in a throw-down with any other band of the time, and it should go without saying that they'd scare any current rock band right out of the cage. Their appearance made the soulfulness of their sound that much more incongruous. Regardless, the band was doomed in the video age, relegated to self-release status for their next record (the inferior but still enjoyable "Influence") and then to complete oblivion.
I enjoy the best songs from this album to this day. If you enjoy hard rock, give this band a chance."