Jim Peterik

Jim Peterik & World Stage

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Illinois superstar Jim Peterik has written a bundle of songs in his ongoing four-decade career, some amazing ("Heavy Metal") and some annoying ("So Caught up in You"). Peterik's first real big-time whopper was "Vehicle" via his band the Ides of March, reinterpreted here with blues dandy Buddy Guy. Big Jim is also Sly Stone's favorite composer (catch "Vehicle" in the Stallone prison picture Lock Up), and "Eye of the Tiger," Rocky III's mother of all anthems, also gets a tune up. The original versions of said smashes are quite stellar and intrinsic to their time periods, but no doubt these updated inclusions mean to sell more units of Jim Peterik & World Stage. However, the highlights of Peterik's career do not highlight this record, because an original song is where it's at: "Zig Zag" unveils a rock-solid parable destined to become one of the lost wonders of the world. Peterik hits one out of Wrigley with help from the glass-shattering tenor of Cinderella's Tommy Keifer and the redoubtable Rick Nielsen and Bun E. Carlos of Cheap Trick (whose Peterik collaboration "You're All I Wanna Do" remains one of the finest moments of all involved). Meanwhile, Dennis DeYoung, Kevin Cronin, and other faded luminaries (Illinois or otherwise) step up for some adult contemporary numbers. Peterik protégeé Cathy Richardson also shows for two snoozers. (Why, in this CD day and age, are songs still tacked on the end and called bonus cuts?) Plus singing Night Ranger drummer Kelly Keagy helps Peterick find "The Road Home." It's high-gloss going, but some guts still exist beneath the sheen, and Jim Peterik & World Stage delivers a lot of talent for the money (plus one shouldn't be without the aforementioned "Zig Zag").

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