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Boylan, Terence - Suzy (:LP)
 

Boylan, Terence - Suzy (:LP)

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Genre: rock
Rating: 3 stars ***
Title:  Suzy
Company: Asylum
Catalog: 6E-201
Year: 1980
Country/State: Buffalo, New York
Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+
Comments: original inner sleeve
Available: 1
Catalog ID: 6349
Price: $7.00

The lone Appletree Theater LP has been a long standing personal favorite and even though I've owned a couple of Terence Boylan solo albums for years, for some odd reason I never made the connection between the two ... So much for my in-depth knowledge of 1960s and 1970s popular music ...

Released in 1980, the self-produced "Suzy" was Terence Boylan's second solo studio album (third if you included 1969's "Alias Boona" and like those earlier releases, this one disappeared without a trace. That was a major shame since about half of the album was thoroughly enjoyable; especially if you grew up during that timeframe and were a product of that special Southern California sound that dominated mid-1970s airwaves. Backed by an all-star cast of L.A. sessions players, including Toto's Michael Pocorao, Steely Dan's Jeff Skink Baxter, and most of The Eagles, the album managed to capture the best of that era without the pretentiousness that marred so much of that timeframe. Boylan was blessed with a great voice, a knack for crafting catchy melodies (check out the single 'Tell Me), and a knack for razor sharp lyrics (long time buddies Walter Becker and Donald Fagan would have been proud of a song like 'College Life'). I hate to compare him to other acts, but imagine a more commercial, less sensitive version of Jackson Browne and you'd at least have a place to start. A longtime friend of Browne, Boylan even looked a bit like an older, more world weary Browne. Anyhow, it made for a great album to play spot-the-influence with 'Shake Your Fiorucci' offering up an especially nice version of the game with nods to The Rolling Stones and Derek & the Dominos.
- Opening up with some nice jangle rocker guitar (courtesy of Will McFarland), the mid tempo rocker 'Suzy' sound very much like an early Eagles track. Dark, intense, catchy, and very commercial - Boylan sounded uncannily like Jackson Brown on this one. rating: *** stars
- Okay, I had no idea what a Fiorucci was ...turns out it's a reference to a high end Italian fashion designer. In this case I think Boylan may been referring to Fiorucci as a maker of blue jeans. Regardless, the result was a scathing and funny stab at the hip and happenin' disco crowd with some hysterical nods to The Rolling Stones and Derek and the Dominos. rating: **** stars
- I'm guessing because it sounded so much like an early Steely Dan song, complete with catchy melody, hard to forget chorus, and take-no-prisoners lyric, 'College Life' has always been one of my favorite performances. Hard to imagine this one was tapped as a single at a time when The Dan was all over the airwaves. rating: **** stars
- The first couple of times I heard 'Dump It In a River' I wasn't even sure Boylan was the singer ... his voice sounded so much deeper and rawer. Musically it was almost a slice of Americana roots music with a very dark and ominous feel - I'll admit the disturbing lyric has always been a mystery to me. Will McFarlane contributed the stunning acoustic guitar. rating: **** stars
- So I'm guessing the mid-1970s minimum wage was $5.50 ... Another bouncy, commercial melody with caustic lyrics seemingly decrying modern commercialism that would have sounded great on top-40 radio. 'Course the nasty word ensured that this was never going to get on radio play lists. rating: **** stars
- Side one's most radio friendly offering, 'Roll Your Own' was a pretty mid tempo ballad highlighting a nod to T.S. Eliot (remember Mr. Boylan was a product of Bard College) and McFarlane's fantastic lead guitar. Shame the song faded out just as McFarlane's was really starting to play ... rating: *** stars- 'Did She Finally Get To You' was a pretty enough atmospheric ballad, but sounded a bit over-polished ... kind of like one of those late-1970s Christopher Cross, or Toto songs that were almost more product than music. Perhaps nothing more than coincidence, but Toto bassist Michael Pocorao played on the track with Eagles Don Henley and Timothy B. Schmidt providing background vocals. rating: *** stars
- Opening up with tinkling electric piano, the ballad 'Tell Me' sounded like something Stephen Bishop, or Christopher Cross might have recorded (yeah I'll admit Boylan's voice was way better than those two contemporaries). Very late-1970s vibe which meant it was soulless, but radio friendly. Nice chorus and harmony vocals from Timothy B. Schmidt with Steely Dan guitarist Skunk Baxter featured, though his contributions were all but invisible. Asylum tapped this one as a single. rating: *** stars
- With inspiration apparently drawn from H. Scott Fitzgerald' story of the same name, he jazzy chords that opened 'Ice and Snow' sounded like an "Aja" outtake. Great if you liked Steely Dan-styled jazz. Not so much if you weren't a big Dan fan ... The ornate orchestration sounded a bit out of place on this one. rating: *** stars- His voice was way smoother than Michael McDonald's, but 'Going Home' had the same adult contemporary feel that plagues so much of the formers work. A very bland mid-tempo rocker. Eagle Don Felder provided the brief guitar solos. rating: ** stars
- A dull, plodding ballad, 'End of the World' sounded like a bad Jackson Browne, or J.D Souther track. Totally forgettable effort. rating: * star
- I enjoy 'weird', but 'Miso Soup' was even strange for my tastes. I hate to keep going back to Steely Dan comparisons, but complete with kids chorus, Japanese flavors, and some Chevy Chase keyboards (I kid you not), this sounded like the most jazzy sections of "Aja" on steroids. rating: *** stars

As mentioned above, the album was tapped for a quick disappearing single. I've never actually seen a stock copy.

- 1980's 'Tell me' b/w 'Tell Me' (Asylum catalog number E-46631)

Had side two contained a couple of up tempo rockers, you'd be talking about this one in the same breath as those better known late-1970s Southern California based acts ...

"Suzy" track listing:
(side 1)
1.) Suzy (Terence Boylan) - 3:35
2.) Shake Your Fiorucci (Terence Boylan) - 2:22
3.) College Life (Terence Boylan) - 4:41
4.) Dump It In a River (Terence Boylan) - 4:09
5.) 5:50 an Hour (Terence Boylan) - 1:52
6.) Roll Your Own (Terence Boylan) - 2:50

(side 2)
1.) Did She Finally Get To You (Terence Boylan) - 4:00
2.) Tell Me (Terence Boylan) - 3:56
3.) Ice and Snow (Terence Boylan) - 3:21
4.) Going Home (Terence Boylan) - 3:21
5.) End of the World (Terence Boylan) - 3:12
6.) Miso Soup (Terence Boylan) - 3:32


For anyone interested, Boylan has a web presence at:
http://www.terenceboylan.com
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