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 an important element of the metal 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 was 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 written about elsewhere on the Web, but I'm reluctant to link the blogger that wrote about it, because the last time I promoted a music blog I got a nasty comment from the blog writer here and then the guy called me nasty 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 No good deed goes unpunished, so all good links will go unpublished.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 for that is because I can usually understand why other people like it. The sound of this record grates my nerves, particularly the high-pitched screeching of lead singer Mark Anthony Fretz. But here's the thing: If you like this style of music and enjoy the Axl Rose-Sebastian Bach style of vocalizing, then this record actually isn't bad at all and Fretz is an excellent frontman.

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 thinks 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 as good to them as the never-released second album by the Sunrays sounds to me. Who is to say either of us is wrong?

Related posts:
The Pat Travers Band - BBC Radio 1 Live In Concert (1980)
The Pat Travers Band - Live at the Warfield - San Francisco (1980)
Humble Pie - The Scrubbers Sessions (1997)

Track list:
1. Shake It
2. Goodbye Rosie
3. Gimme Lovin'
4. Paradise In The Sand
5. Dirty, But Well Dressed
6. Love To The Bone
7. Gemini
8. Piece Of The Action
9. Make A Wish
10. Love Potion #9


  1. http://www118.zippyshare.com/v/9naCDlS4/file.html

  2. I actually had this one cassette when it came out -- I was a hair metal fan for a while, though now I look back at most of that music and ask myself why I was so into it at the time. But when I was in my mid-20s, it spoke to me and I loved it.

    I agree with you about the objectivity of what's "good and bad." I don't think ANY form of artistic expression, even if it's one I don't happen to personally like, is bad. For instance, I can't stand rap (I've always said that it rhymes with crap for a good reason), but hey, lots of people like it, and it's a form of art. Too many people turn their noses up at anything that doesn't happen to grab them right off the bat and say that it's "bad" when, in reality, it's just not their personal cup of tea.

    I can point out another band that fits your theory. Ever heard of I, Napoleon? I love them. They made one (very rare) album, which I actually have on cassette AND on CD. Most people I've played it for think that Steve Napoleon's vocals either sound like two skeletons screwing on a corrugated tin roof, or a herd of rabid wildebeests in their death throes. But I love his voice. So .... what it comes down to is, different strokes for different folks. And that's never a bad thing. After all, the world would be a pretty boring place to be if we all liked the same thing!