The Pride of Cleveland: WMMS 101 FM

Various Artists

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The Pride of Cleveland: WMMS 101 FM Review

by David Jeffries

It's the only town with a lake that's Erie and a tower that's Terminal but the blue-collar town of Cleveland has the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and at one time had the best station in the nation, WMMS. In their heyday, WMMS played Funkadelic's "Maggot Brain" every Friday at midnight for all the stoners. By 1983, the original release date of Pride of Cleveland, they had switched to playing Loverboy's "Working for the Weekend" every Friday at six. Pride of Cleveland caused a bit of controversy among the town's local music supporters who were quick to point out the station was rarely playing local bands. Reissued for the age of CDs by Esquire Records, the album presents 11 of the city's more mainstream bands. It would have been nice to have Alex Bevan represented by his local hit "Skinny Little Boy" ("...from Cleveland, Ohio/Come to chase your women and drink your beer"), but his "Love Stay Beside Me" presents a softer side. Wild Horses' "Funky Poodle" should have been a national hit with its David Johansen-meets-Joe Jackson attitude and unavoidable hook. Other memorable cuts are the Generators' anthem, Rapscallion's Cars-like new wave, and I-Tal's deep roots reggae. After the album's release, Cleveland would see one more round of great pub rock with the rise of the Adults and Separate Checks before splintering into a bunch of subgenres and cliques, and WMMS would be marginalized, losing their nationwide influence. Pride of Cleveland will have the locals smiling like David Helton's famous character "the Buzzard" does on the cover.

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