CJ & Co

Deadeye Dick

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CJ & Co went down in history as one of the one-hit wonders of the disco era; most of the people who acquired "The Devil's Gun" (the vocal quintet's only major hit) never heard its debut album (also titled The Devil's Gun) or its sophomore album, Deadeye Dick. This 1978 LP received very little attention, and that's regrettable because it has a lot to offer. Like The Devil's Gun, Deadeye Dick was produced and arranged in Dearborn, MI, by Mike Theodore and former Motown session guitarist Dennis Coffey. And like its predecessor, Deadeye Dick successfully combines disco gloss with a strong appreciation of Detroit soul. Infectious, ultra-danceable tracks like "Beware the Stranger" and "Burning Drums of Fire" thrive on an appealing marriage of Motor City disco and Motor City soul -- much of the time, this LP underscores the influence that Edwin Starr, the Dramatics, the Temptations, and other Detroit artists had on disco. And Coffey, whose guitar playing graced countless R&B sessions in Detroit in the 1960s and 1970s, certainly does his part to give Deadeye Dick plenty of Motor City appeal. The same goes for Theodore, who wrote most of the songs -- including the title track, a delightfully campy ode to a fictional Wild West outlaw of the 1880s. In a perfect world, Deadeye Dick would have been a hit. But the record was ignored, and it's unlikely that it will ever be reissued on CD.

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