The Hassles

The Hassles

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On the Hassles' self-titled debut, the band displayed a naive enthusiasm and a slightly better-than-average blue-eyed soul, covering several hits and standards like "A Taste of Honey," "Fever," and "You've Got Me Hummin'," as well as Traffic's "Coloured Rain" in standard Rascals style. Most of the album is nothing spectacular, but a pair of Billy Joel's tracks -- "Every Step I Take (Every Move I Make)" and "I Can Tell" -- show a budding songwriting talent, with the material fitting in quite nicely alongside established songs. [In 1992, the album was reissued on CD as part of EMI's "Legends of Rock & Roll" series with a generous eight bonus tracks recorded around the same time. The disc was pulled off the market shortly after its release at the request of Joel, who still seems embarrassed by his juvenilia despite the charm of the album.]

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