Classic Rock Bottom

So the thought of perfection came up this past week, not sure where or why, but I took a note that a good idea for a Hidden Treasures post would be to think about perfect albums. You know, those albums with no filler, every track is special, every track is awesome! If you threw a dart at the track listing theres no chance of it landing on a bad song... you get the idea.... I'm not talking about the biggest blockbusters or the most popular albums at one time or another, but the ones you may may have missed out on. So I wanted to share perfect album hidden treasures this week.

So does the perfect album exist? What is it? And what other albums do you consider "perfect" that we need to know about!



1 - The Last Goodbye

Longtime fans were probably disheartened to hear Rusty Young and Paul Cotton give up any semblance of their country roots on the opening track, "Boomerang," a bracing, heavy rock number (for this band) that didn't sound a great deal like the Poco of previous years. Most of the rest of the album, however, was closer to what one wanted and expected from this band -- "Spellbound" a beautifully lyrical ballad that benefited from Young's instrumental range and his and Cotton's harmonizing, and Cotton's "Barbados" offering similarly alluring musical textures with more of a beat. Cotton's "Heart of the Night," however, dominated everything around it, as one of the most finely crafted songs in the group's history, highlighted by a beautiful sax solo from Phil Kenzie. And then there's "Crazy Love" (composed by Rusty Young), with its soft, ethereal textures, which was a little lightweight for this band but unassuming enough to dominate the adult contemporary charts at the time. Young's "The Last Goodbye" and "Legend" closed out the album on a more thickly textured, higher-wattage note, representing the group's newer sound, the latter with a memorably driving beat that, with "Boomerang," bookended the album.

Opus X

1 - Lean On Me

Opus X is the tenth album (hence the "X") by the Canadian rock band Chilliwack, released in 1982. Producers Bill Henderson and Brian MacLeod received the Juno Award for "Producer of the Year" for their work on the songs "Whatcha Gonna Do" and "Secret Information" from this album. The precedent Chilliwack album Wanna Be a Star had provided the group with its first two U.S. Top 40 hits: Opus X almost continued that success with its lead single: "Whatcha Gonna Do (When I'm Gone)", rising as high as #41 on the Billboard Hot 100. Despite the success of this album, MacLeod and Bryant quit Chilliwack to play full-time with their group The Headpins just after the Juno Awards.


1 - Stand Up

Marathon marked the addition of keyboard player Alan Pasqua and singer Greg Walker's replacement by singer/guitarist Alex Ligertwood in the Santana lineup. Otherwise, the album was notable for consisting entirely of band-written material, although those songs were in the established R&B/rock style evolved on albums like Amigos, Festival, and Inner Secrets. The formula seemed to be wearing thin by now, however, as, even with a Top 40 hit in "You Know That I Love You" (number 35), Marathon became the first Santana album to fall below the 500,000-sales mark necessary for gold record certification. (It has since made the mark.)

Michael Schenker Group
Assualt Attack

1 - Desert Song

Michael Schenker's pairing with former Rainbow wailer Graham Bonnet made perfect sense, since Schenker's facile, classically flavored Euro metal guitar style is a graceful extension of Ritchie Blackmore's innovations. The results on Assault Attack are pleasing; while Schenker predictably delivers top-notch performances, Bonnet's vocals are edgier and more engaging than those of former MSG singer Gary Barden.

April Wine
First Glance

1 - Comin' Right Down On Top Of Me

April Wine is a perfect example of a band that critics loved to loathe in the 1970s and 1980s -- you could fill an encyclopedia with all the negative reviews that First Glance received in 1978. Critics detested commercial hard rock/arena rock items like "Hot on the Wheels of Love," "Roller" and "Get Ready for Love" with a passion, but fans of the Canadian band paid no attention and bought the album anyway. First Glance wasn't meant to be challenging or cutting-edge; April Wine's mission was to pull the listener in with infectious grooves and hooks and enable him/her to escape -- and this album definitely accomplishes those things. One of April Wine's finest releases, First Glance is easily recommended to hard rock enthusiasts.

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might as well open it up!!

Uh, I can't follow directions.

Never heard the entire Pull album

As for these tracks, they are all pretty decent.  I was really intrigued with the MSG song.  That was quite cool.  I may just have to check that album out one of these days.  I don't own any of these five, therefore I cannot speak to their level of perfection, but the order in which I would wanna check them out, based on listening to this playlist:

1. MSG

2. Poco

3. Chilliwack

4. April Wine

5. Santana


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