Classic Rock Bottom

Who? Dakota

When? 1980

Album Title? Dakota Review? No about an bio? Sure

This US melodic rock outfit was formed in Chicago, Illinois, in 1979 by vocalists/guitarists Jerry Hludzik and Billy Kelly. Recruiting Lou Crossa and Jeff Mitchell on keyboards, Bill McMale (bass) and John Robinson (drums), they based their style on the music of Styx, Toto and Kansas. Heavily dominated by keyboards and watertight vocal harmonies, the band released two high-quality studio albums of pomp rock, before disbanding in 1984.


1. If It Takes All Night
2. Crazy For Your Love
3. Possession
4. You Can't Live Without It
5. One Step
6. Lady
7. Restless
8. Crazy Love
9. It Gets Easier

Availability: The RC version includes 2 bonus tracks (not included here) and runs around $9? Search on Amazon shows the label as Renaissance so you might want to shop elsewhere just to be sure.

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You know I’ve scanned the RC catalog repeatedly and quite often so this looks familiar, but I never stopped to read anything about them. I like the vocalist he has some Rik Emmett tones that I like but on very very poppy songs!

There’s not really anything here that grabs at ya and holds on. I hear the AOR influences, certainly that intro to Restless was very Styx-esque but that’s where the parallel ends with Styx. It was a sound I’ve heard before and like a lot but the band eluded me until the very end and then it struck me, this band sounds a heckuva lot like the early work of Louisiana LeRoux and that’s a fine compliment IMO because I love LeRoux… But, the songwriting here isn’t up to par, heck they don’t even which Dakota to claim! So this is no go for me, but it wasn’t too bad…

I thought about Louisiana's LeRoux too.

So this is not about the Dakota State(s) in the States? Nor it is about the numerous cities, in the States called Dakota. I'm guessing it's not about Dakota Fanning, either. Well, that exhausts my knowledge of Dakota(s).

So the band is from Chicago? Then why Dakota?

The music is pretty decent AOR. I wish they reach for the fruit on the top branches little bit more often, though. Like in the songs: Possession and Lady. If they did, I'd have even higher respect for them.

I started listening to this yesterday afternoon but got a little sidetracked, so I finished it up today.  

This fits perfectly for the time period.  And the band had some definite potential.  I hear some perfect for the times lead guitar playing, reminiscent of Little River Band and other somewhat "light" rock bands.  Those bands always laid down really good, usually short, melodic guitar solos.  

The vocalist is pretty good, and the backing vocals help out a good bit.  Again, it's something that reminds me of the Little River Band.  Their songs aren't bad, but for the most part, they are "just missing" something that might well have pushed 'em over the top.  The melodic vocals are not what they are missing.  

Oh, they kind of remind me of Orleans too.  And that's some killer guitar on that final track.

Nice pick, I enjoyed this one.  Too bad I've gotta wait 2 weeks to hear another fine selection.  


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