Thursday, 4 May 2017

"Eddie Money" by EDDIE MONEY (January 2013 Rock Candy ‘Remastered & Reloaded’ CD Reissue - Jon Astley Remaster) - A Review by Mark Barry...

"...Two Tickets To Paradise..."

Ex New York City Cop and raspy vocalist EDDIE MONEY (Eddie Mahoney) produced a slew of albums for Columbia Records (CBS in the UK) between 1978 and 1992. But his reputation as one of the great Ian Hunter Rock 'n' Roller-types rests on his first four albums - which America's 'Rock Candy Records' have chosen to reissue in 2013 as 'Collector's Editions Remastered & Reloaded'.

I bought the vinyl LPs at the time and loved every good time minute of them. In fact I worked with a band in Dublin called 'Rogue Angel' who used to cover several of his tunes in their brill residency at Toner's Bar in Baggot Street (great memories). But frankly the quality of Money's songs began to taper off by his third platter "Playing For Keeps" in August 1980 and "No Control" in July 1982 wasn't a whole lot better. For me there's only ever been this - his rattling "Eddie Money" debut from late 1977 and the upbeat follow-up "Life For The Taking" released Stateside in January 1979. Two Tickets To Paradise indeed - here are the Rock and Roll Stars...

USA released January 2013 - "Eddie Money" by EDDIE MONEY on Rock Candy Records CANDY172 (Barcode 5055300356567) is a straightforward Remaster of his 1977 US Debut LP with upgraded booklet and plays out as follows (39:46 minutes):

1. Two Tickets To Paradise [Side 1]
2. You've Really Got A Hold On Me
3. Wanna Be A Rock 'n' Roll Star
4. Save A Little Love In Your Heart For Me
5. So Good To Be In Love Again
6. Baby Hold On [Side 2]
7. Don't Worry
8. Jealousys
9. Got To Get Another Girl
10. Gamblin Man
Tracks 1 to 10 are his Debut studio album "Eddie Money" - released October 1977 in the USA on Columbia PC 34909 and March 1978 in the UK on CBS Records S CBS 82434. Produced by BRUCE BOTNIK (of The Doors fame) and Recorded/Engineered by ANDY JOHNS - it peaked at No. 37 on the US LP charts in the summer of 1978 (didn't chart UK).

EDDIE MONEY - Lead Vocals, Piano and Harmonica
GARY MALLABER – Drums all on all tracks except those listed below
GENE PARDUE - Drums on "Wanna Be A Rock 'n' Roll Star", "Don't Worry", and "Gamblin Man"
JO BAKER - Second Vocal on "Baby Hold On"
TOM SCOTT - Tenor and Alto Sax on "You've Really Got A Hold On Me" and "Jealousys"

The 12-page booklet is pretty to look at - live photos from the period - repro's of the Japanese and US singles for "Two Tickets To Paradise", a 'Big Bucks' Eddie Money ten-dollar memorabilia banknote, a Columbia Records trade advert talking about the 'school of hard knocks' and new liner notes from HOWARD JOHNSON. Including 2012 interviews with Eddie about that heady time and how the two huge hits of "Two Tickets To Paradise" and "Baby Hold On" broke the album on American Radio – Money stated his intentions from the outset and how! EM wanted to be a 'Rock and Roll Star' – pursuing that end no matter what. So a lot of the songs are self-explanatory and also show there was a lot of jealousy from others on the scene at the time because he actually got there – albeit after years of gig and plugging graft.

Although released in the autumn of 1977 – "Eddie Money" didn’t dent the US Top 200 until the first week of July in 1978 where it began a slow climb to eventually peak at No. 39 - staying on chart for an impressive 46 weeks. It was the beginning EM needed because the second platter "Life For The Taking" would go Top 20 in 1979 - peaking at No. 17. Fans will also know that less than a handful of tracks from "Eddie Money" have been available on a 'Greatest Hits' set as Remasters and that this is the first time the entire album has been done (ditto for the other three). There are no lyrics and its hugely disappointing that there isn't 'anything' extra by way of bonus material - but at least the Audio makes up for those shortcomings...

Experienced Audio Engineer JON ASTLEY (The Who, Pete Townshend, Tears For Fears, The Boomtown Rats, Bad Company and more) has handled the 24-bit Digital Remaster from original tapes at 'Close To The Edge' Mastering in Twickenham, England - and this sucker 'rocks' for all the right reasons. How good is it to hear songs like the Soulful cover of Smokey Robinson's Motown classic "You've Really Got A Hold On Me" and the Oh God I've been working so hard barroom bar-band sweat of "Wanna Be A Rock 'n' Roll Star" sound this good...

The album opens with a bopping Rock winner "Two Tickets To Paradise" – an EM original about waiting to talk his gal on a trip – get away from the grim reality of the big city choke. His Soulful cover of the Smokey Robinson and The Miracles classic "You've Really Got A Hold On Me" is a fantastic groove brought to life by a trio - his passionate vocals, Jimmy Lyons on Guitar and Tom Scott sailing over the whole thing with those cool Saxophone notes. Songwriter Chris Solsberg would co-write a lot with Eddie on the 1979 "Life For The Taking" LP - for the debut he throws in another cracking 'rocker' - the mission statement "Wanna Be A Rock 'n' Roll Star". It's garage vocals and guitars sound brill on the Remaster. "Save A Little Room In Your Heart For Me" is the big ballad - a keyboard led pleader that reminds me of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers when they'd hit you with a 'touching' melody you weren't expecting amidst all the American riffage. Side 1 ends on a wicked co-write with Jimmy Lyon - the dancing castanets of "So Good To Be In Love Again" - a hugely likeable song that could easily have been another radio hit.

Side 2 opens with the album's other winner - the catchy "Baby Hold On". It entered the US singles charts in April 1978 eventually rising to No. 11 - staying on the charts for eleven weeks ("Two Tickets To Paradise" followed in July 1978 peaking at No. 22). The next EM/Jimmy Lyon song "Don't Worry" sounds like a different band in ways while the wrongly-spelt "Jealousys" gets back to hooky business in a big way. Eddie goes all Jimi Hendrix with the doubled-vocal and guitar opening of "Got To Get Another Girl" - another song about a Rock 'n' Roller who can't control her (oh dear). "Gamblin Man" is co-written with Dan Alexander of The Rockets and ends the album on an upbeat Rock bopper. 

After years in the Rock 'n' Roll wilderness (he'd been gigging since 1974) – his second platter "Life For The Taking" (which I’ve also reviewed) only consolidated the strides EM made on his self-titled debut.

Despite the lack of extras and that greedy full-price tag - this is a stone 5-star CD remaster of "Eddie Money" and I recommend you 'Save A Little Room In Your Heart' for Eddie Mahoney's Rock 'n' Roll charms...

The January 2013 Rock Candy Records CD Remasters for EDDIE MONEY are:

1. Eddie Money (October 1977 debut LP) - Rock Candy CANDY172 (Barcode 5055300356567)
2. Life For The Taking (January 1979 2nd LP) - Rock Candy CANDY173 (Barcode 5055300356574)
3. Playing For Keeps (August 1980 3rd LP) - Rock Candy CANDY174 (Barcode 5055300356581)
4. No Control (July 1982 4th LP) - Rock Candy CANDY175 (Barcode 5055300356598)

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