Classic Rock Bottom

Who? Detective

When? 1977

Album Title? Detective

Wasn't the lead singer on an episode of "WKRP In Cincinnati"? Yep!

I can also recall him in an episode of "Sledge Hammer!" Am I right? Yes! Review? Yes.

After Michael des Barres' short stint with the band Phoenix, he formed Detective along with former Yes and Badger keyboardist Tony Kaye, and they were signed on to the Swan Song label. Although there's no way of avoiding the similarities between Detective's sound and that of Led Zeppelin's, their debut album evolved as the freshest of the three albums that they released. Des Barres vocals are unmistakably Plant-like, and Michael Monarch's guitar riffs are somewhat refined, yet at times they buzz and chug just like Page's, but there's still an ample amount of enjoyable rock & roll left over to make Detective a worthy album. Tracks like "Recognition," "Got Enough Love," and "Detective Man" sound more like their own work, and while Kaye doesn't light up the sky with his keyboard work, he does give Detective an added edge which helps to conceal the arrant comparisons from time to time. On the other hand, songs like "Nightingale," "Deep Down," and "One More Heartache" seem to purposely emphasize the resemblances, but they still come off as entertaining hard rock numbers.


1. Recognition
2. Got Enough Love
3. Grim Reaper
4. Nightingale
5. Detective Man
6. Ain't None Of Your Business
7. Deep Down
8. Wild Hot Summer Nights
9. One More Heartache

Availability: New or used available from around $11-13.


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Not only was Michael Des Barres on an episode of the original WKRP in Cincinnati, he was a series regular for 23 episodes of The New WKRP in Cincinnati in 1992.

He also has a 3 hour morning radio show on Little Steven's Underground Garage.

That first track sounds like it wants to be reggae, but it falls a bit short of that.  But it's a dang good track.  And Got Enough Love certainly sounds like Zeppelin. Grim Reaper plods, similar again to a Zeppelin song. Nightingale seems like a left turn from the first three tracks.  Of course, the song then takes it's own left turn.  This is good stuff.  The name is familiar, did Scott feature this band in one of his posts back in the day?

Detective Man has horns. Ain't None of Your Business brings more Zeppelinanigans.  The instrumental neither adds nor takes away from the album. The next to last song doesn't do much for me, but that closer is very Zeppelinesque and I dig it.

This was a cool listen.  I'll pick it up one day if I happen upon it at a used store.

As I was listening to this album, I was hoping I don't recognize anybody from the band. I didn't wanted to be disappointed by an artists I might like, otherwise. Turns out, I had nothing to worry about. That brings us to the question, how did this band manage to secure a record deal? And why would Jon, who is so quick to call out even the slightest resemblance of an artist or song to another one, have this album in his collection, at all? I stand bamboozled.

That being said, the singer is pretty good and I won't judge him for sounding like Plant. He is a good Plant clone. In fact the only good thing on this album.

Did I hear someone say: No shit Sherlock!

That's just rude:-) But accurate.


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