City Boy


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One of the great unsung bands of the 1970s, City Boy released six albums with enough potential hit material to make them stars, but for whatever reason they've become a mere afterthought in the annals of rock & roll. Perhaps the failure to market and promote them adequately or simply being overshadowed by their peers rendered them virtually impotent. Their brand of danceable art-pop combined the melodic hooks of Electric Light Orchestra, Sparks' sarcasm, 10cc's whit, and bursts of Queen's flamboyance. Occasional Bee Gees-styled vocal harmonies surfaced frequently giving this band several catchy ingredients, but to no avail. This 18-song collection captures City Boy in their various manifestations; "Beth" and "What a Night" are examples of their soft rock propensities, while their more danceable side is revealed on "Hap-Ki-Do-Kid and "Surgery Hours (Doctor Doctor)." While City Boy always had a harder rocking edge it was more noticeable in their latter years when drummer Roy Ward assumed a greater roll as lead vocalist. Tracks like "The Day the Earth Caught Fire" and "Need a Little Loving" prove that this band could truly rock. Mike Slamer's electric guitar was essential to their overall sound but particularly integral to their harder rock moments. While it was arguably remiss to omit tracks like "Mama's Boy" and the "Ambition" medley, Anthology is, nevertheless, a representative collection of the essence of City Boy. They were clever and appealing, and while their lack of commercial success often reduced them to cult status, their music was quite mainstream. Their biggest hit, "5-7-0-5," is a testament to that.

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