Enuff Z'nuff

1985

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Lady luck bestowed a righteous thrashing upon Chicago rockers Enuff Z'nuff in the early '90s, and by 1994 the once promising, ever-critically acclaimed band was quite literally down on its knees. Penniless and mired in escalating drug abuse, the band's heart and soul, songwriters Donnie V and Chip Z'nuff were in a real bind and resorted to desperate measures by releasing their first demos from 1985 as the next Enuff Z'nuff album. A quick remix and repackaging would have been enough for most bands, but prolific songwriters that they were, Enuff Z'nuff recorded an entirely new batch of songs for what eventually became their eponymous 1989 debut. Lucky for them, as the old demo tapes sure came in handy a decade later when the band so desperately needed some pocket change. After opening in surprising fashion with the Motown chestnut "Tears of a Clown," the band quickly establishes their power pop sound, blatantly quoting their creative rabbis Cheap Trick with next track "Catholic Girls." From here on out, hard-edged rockers like "Fingers on It," "Aroused," and "Goodbye, Goodbye" (reminiscent of Cheap Trick's black-hearted "Auf Wiedersehen") are interspersed with pluckier, power pop numbers like "Hollywood Squares," "Marie," and "I'll B the 1 2 Luv U" (think Trick's sugary studio version of "I want You to Want Me"). Not bad for a demo, but despite delivering the usual excellent hooks, 1985 still amounts to one of Enuff Z'nuff's less rewarding offerings.

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