Classic Rock Bottom

Who? Donnie Iris

When? 1985

Album title? No Muss...No Fuss review? Yes.

Donnie Iris and his band the Cruisers released four outstanding yet shamefully underappreciated albums for MCA between 1980 and 1983. "Ah! Leah!" and a few other songs were hits, but the public really needed to embrace those albums by the Pittsburgh-area rockers. It didn't happen, and the stardom that Iris and company richly deserved passed them by. But Iris kept fighting. In the aftermath of mainstream indifference and legal tangles with MCA, Iris released No Muss...No Fuss in 1985 on the small HME label, and it's a killer record full of absurdly high-quality arena rock and power pop. Iris' stunning vocals and the clean, melodic instrumental hooks of keyboardist Mark Avsec, lead guitarist Marty Lee, bass guitarist Albritton McClain, and drummer Kevin Valentine remain amazingly consistent. It starts off with three absolute home runs: "Injured in the Game of Love" (which scratched the lower reaches of the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart), the insanely catchy, aggressively nostalgic "10th Street" and the rumbling "Ridin' Thunder." Iris' command of '60s-style pop is evident on "You're My Serenity." "L.O.V.E." is funk/pop bordering on disco. Jubilant blasts of horns propel the relentless drive of "Follow That Car." The smooth melodic groove and assured vocals on the energetic cuts "State of the Heart" and "Headed for a Breakdown" are magnificent. And it goes without saying that Iris' soaring falsetto and the Cruisers' exuberant harmony vocals are found throughout No Muss...No Fuss.

No Muss...No Fuss

1. Injured In The Game of Love
2. 10th Street
3. Ridin' Thunder
4. You're My Serenity
5. L.O.V.E.
6. Follow That Car
7. Don't Cry Baby
8. State Of The Heart
9. Headed For A Breakdown
10. I Want You Back

Availability: Over $230 on CD, but around $10 on vinyl.

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Dang it!  I listened to this on Sunday and totally forgot to comment.

You have been on a pretty good roll lately, and this post is no exception.  I have enjoyed the Donnie Iris posts you've made. It's really just some good power pop.  

State of the Heart is an excellent song!  Just a hair below Ah! Leah.

Another nice post.  I'd love to have this, especially since it's worth 230 clams.


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