There is very little on this band online.
At the risk of sounding twee I will say that in some ways knowing nothing about a band can be a good thing. There are no preconceptions because all you have to gauge the music is the music itself and art work. The music has to stand on its own. This is, perhaps, how it should be but popular music is more than just music, as has been proven many times.
The Rockspurs seem to be New Yorkers (well at least a couple of them are) who signed to English label DJM which had distribution and offices in the US.
Lead vocalist and bassist, Greg Hollister, had been in rock bands "The Silver Caboose" and , "Anthem" who released an album in 1970 and then went on to tour and do sessions in the 70s and 80s. He is currently in the band Marco de Sade.
New Yorker and guitarist Mike Festa ended up playing guitar, in the 80s, for Shakin Stevens. He now lives in Adelaide, Australia and fronts "Mike Festa & Bluesmen".
That's about it on history.
Artwork … make up your mind yourself but, in this age, charges of sexism would be levelled … especially regarding the back sleeve. The hand on the fly is a giveaway. Then again the album is called "Getting Off …", what did you expect?
But, to be fair, the late 70s was littered with hard rock, power pop and pub rock sleeves like this. A sign of the times? We are better than that now? And our music is better also?
The Rockspurs seem to be another rock band jumping on the skinny tie new wave, power pop
phenomena at the end of the 70s.
That said, this album was released in the very early days of new wave rock (in 1979) whilst their first self titled album was released in 1978 (and apparently is more of the same) and, accordingly, the band gets kudos for being earlier than the opportunistic efforts by latter-day "power-pop" bands.
The Rockspurs aren't fully power pop, they aren't frantic and there are quite a few standard hard rock and mainstream rock stylings but they hit enough power pop markers to come in under the banner. They also have strong vocal harmonies, sometimes sounding like power pop if it was done by The Four Seasons.
They are perhaps a bit more on the Greg Kihn (or The Babys) side, with nods to mid 70's Graham Parker.
Jerky hook laden pop with harmonies.
The musicianship is strong and there is a bit of humour and "street" attitude.
Power pop fans will, ultimately, get into this like this as there are a few good power pop songs, and there is that evocative artwork which reflects power pops musical obsessions with girls, love, sex, and good times.
Tracks (best in italics)
- Thinkin' About The Good Times – (Gregg Hollister) – a good song though a little underwhelming.
- She Can't Get Off – (Michael Festa, Mick Moran) – this one has more new wave stylings though it falls back on standard rock motifs.
- Dream Love – (Michael Festa) – hmmm
- You're With Me Tonight -(Mick Moran, Richard Tannum) – a hoot of a song with good vocals.
- I Wish There Were More To The Story -(Michael Festa) – a pleasant song with some attitude.
- Red Light Runner – (Mick Moran) – another good power pop tune.
- Night Full Of Rain – (Gregg Hollister, Peter Yellen) – a retreat to 70s rock
- I Could Give You It All – (Mick Moran) – quirky power pop but quite mainstream … this is just lazy. They could have committed fully to the sound.
- Sabotage – (Gregg Hollister) – Someone said, "And now I will write a power pop song". This is full on new wave power pop. It's obvious and a little funny (with a few punk overtones , "annihilate" is used rather that "destroy" and "anarchy") but it is totally enjoyable.
I have a lot of power pop and I'm not a singular power pop fan … I will tape a couple and sell. But … you never know …
Nothing no where
You're With Me Tonight
Red Light Runner
- Produced by Arthur Braun apart from "Dream Lover" produced by Larry Alexander and Arthur Braun.