Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Beau Nasty - Dirty, But Well Dressed (1989)
As promised, here is the long out-of-print Beau Nasty album I referenced in a post a few days ago. This album came out just as the hair band fad of the late 1980s was peaking. It went nowhere for a lot of reasons that have been documented elsewhere, but I'll recap here.
First, this glam metal/hard rock band might have been put together with the idea of cashing in on a trend, and therefore didn't build up a groundswell of support by doing a lot of touring. This was important for this scene in the '80s and is what helped bands like Guns N' Roses, Cinderella, and Motley Crue really take off.
But I also think the wrong singles were picked. The songs pulled as singles were the ballad "Paradise in the Sand," the rocker "Shake It," and the band's cover of the Clovers/Searchers hit "Love Potion #9." The first was a bit too bland for mass appeal, the second was way too harsh, and the third a bit too quirky (it would take another few years before Americans "got" semi-ironic cover versions of oldies by rock acts). Anyway, I think the single should have been the ballad "Make A Wish," which was penned by Jesse Harms, who'd written a hit with Eddie Money ("Walk On Water") and also co-composed songs with Sammy Hagar.
The other big reason for this record flopping was the band's ridiculous attire on the album cover. This has been covered elsewhere, but I'm reluctant to give a link because the last time I put out a link that promoted a music blog not only did I get a nasty comment here, but the guy called me names on his own blog. No good deed goes unpunished, so all good links will go unpublished. Use Google if you want more info.
This album also reminds me why I was never a good rock critic. That's because no matter how much I dislike something, I'm reluctant to call it bad. The reason why is that I can usually understand why other people like it. The sound of this record grates my nerves, particularly the high-pitched screeching of Mark Anthony Fretz. But here's the thing: If you like this style of music and enjoy the Axl Rose-Sebastian Bach style of singing, then this record actually isn't bad at all and Fretz is an excellent vocalist for this genre.
How do you judge good and bad when you think like this? As regular readers know, I happen to love old surf music, but lots of friends have commented to me on how the boppy '60s tempos and nasal lead singers can get annoying. Yet when I hear that sound, I immediately perk up. The same thing that makes them lunge to change the radio dial makes me turn it up. Who's right?
When you get down to it, preferences outweigh the idea of good vs. bad. And I think that the kind of people who adhere strongly to the "good vs. bad" concept when it comes to music (or any art form, for that matter) are arrogant and self-absorbed. This is one reason I stopped writing professionally -- and the main reason I don't take to religion. Anyone who think they know "the answer" and fails to even consider that there might be other opinions is not worth listening to because they lack a basic understand of what makes us human -- our differences.
For example, if a teenage girl hears Ke$ha and truly loves it and relates to it, then it's good music for her. Who the f*ck am I to say otherwise? Same goes for Beau Nasty. It might be fingernails-on-blackboard to my ears, but somewhere out there are guys and gals who will discover this album and think it's a great lost hair band masterpiece. Maybe it will sound to them as great as the never-released second album by the Sunrays sounds to me. Who is to say either of us is wrong?
The Pat Travers Band - BBC Radio 1 Live In Concert (1980)
Humble Pie - The Scrubbers Sessions (1997)
1. Shake It
2. Goodbye Rosie
3. Gimme Lovin'
4. Paradise In The Sand
5. Dirty, But Well Dressed
6. Love To The Bone
8. Piece Of The Action
9. Make A Wish
10. Love Potion #9