Album of the Day: BAD BOY’s debut – The Band That Milwaukee Made Famous

Years back I got The Best Of Bad Boy CD, and over the years I’ve picked up the band’s LP when I see them locally – which is scarce, since they were on a small label and not all of them got released outside of the US. However, the band’s first album is from 1977 with the interesting title of The Band That Milwaukee Made Famous, showing a camera with a photo of the band in front of the city’s welcoming sign. Recently I pulled this out, and it’s a really good late 70s American hard rock album! What’s notable is the presence of Steve Hunter (special guest) on guitar. Bad Boy (which evolved from Crossover) consisted of Steve Grimm and Joe Luchessi – both guitars/keys/vocals, as well as John Marcelli (bass) and Lars Hansen (drums), with this album being produced by Bob Brown, who’s credits included names such as Ray Manzarek (The Doors) and Alice Cooper (Welcome To My Nightmare). Interesting also that for being a local band, they were taken to California to record this at Warner Brothers Studios.

The Band That Milwaukee Made Famous highlights included “Disco”, a catchy funky rock tune, this was a single, and it should’ve been the album’s big hit. As well the heavy instrumental “Overture”, which strangely is the 2nd track on the album, it features a cool quiet built up organ intro and then some heavy cool guitar melodies. “I Gotta Move” is another good rock track with a bit of funk; this one and “Disco” both kinda feeling like they could fit on a Teaze album (Canadian band from the same late ’70s era). There’s a number of excellent songs, and lots of variance here from the opener “Last Rock And Roller” (that guitar solo reminding me of ‘Skynyrd), the acoustic rock of “Mindless Babbling”, the single (and more AOR-ish “Thinking Of You”, and straight ahead rock of “Shake Me Up”. If you’re into the likes of Teaze, Harlequin, Y & T, and Charlie, check this album out. And for whatever reason, none of the tracks here are included on the band’s 1998 Best Of release.

BAD BOY -The Band That Milwaukee Made Famous, United Artists UALA781G. This quartet of regional musicians has amassed a sizable legion of fans in Milwaukee. The music ranges from mainstream pop to driving rock sound enhanced by the presence of guitarist Steve Hunter. Best cuts: “I Gotta Move, “Machines,” “Thinking Of You, “Mindless Babbling.” – Billboard

THE BAND THAT MADE MILWAUKEE FAMOUS – Bad Boy, United Artists – UA-LA781-G – Producer: Bob Brown – It won’t be long before the rest of the world knows what Milwaukee is already aware of. From the city that brought you all that great beer comes this band of polished rockers with high energy and talent plugged directly into their amps. A guest appearance by guitar standout Steve Hunter is an added bonus in a package that features well -written arrangements and superior vocal treatments. An album that is accessible enough for pop and sophisticated enough for AOR. – CashBox


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