Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Dictators - Demos and Rare Tracks (1973-76)

Saturday, May 30, 2009
The Dictators - Demos and Rare Tracks (1973-76)

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The Dictators are an American punk rock band formed in New York City in 1973. Critic John Dougan said that they were "one of the finest and most influential proto-punk bands to walk the earth." The Dictators are represented in the "Punk Wing" of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in Cleveland, Ohio. Steven Van Zandt called them "The connective tissue between the eras of The MC5, Stooges, NY Dolls, and the punk explosion of the mid to late 1970's"

The original postbox recording line-up consisted of bassist/vocalist Andy "Adny" Shernoff, lead guitarist Ross "The Boss" Friedman (aka Ross Funicello), rhythm guitarist Scott "Top Ten" Kempner, and drummer Stu Boy King (who was, in fact, the band's fourth drummer since forming in 1973). It was this line-up - along with roadie/occasional vocalist and "Secret Weapon" Handsome Dick Manitoba - which recorded the band's 1975 debut album, The Dictators Go Girl Crazy for Epic Records, produced by Sandy Pearlman and Murray Krugman (best known for their work with Blue Öyster Cult). Although the album sold poorly at the time, today it is considered one of the most important albums ever recorded by a New York punk band of the period, and still stands as arguably one of the funniest records ever made.

Frustrated by the lack of sales, the band broke up for a few months in late 1975, but reconvened in early 1976, with bassist Mark "The Animal" Mendoza replacing Shernoff. After a few months Shernoff was persuaded to return to the group as the group's keyboardist. This line-up soon secured a contract with Asylum Records (at least partly due to the notoriety the group had developed following a well-publicized brawl between Manitoba and Wayne County) and released their second album, Manifest Destiny, in 1977. The album - again produced by Pearlman and Krugman - is usually considered the weakest of the group's first three albums, and featured a considerably more mainstream sound. The band resisted playing songs from Manifest Destiny for several years because the album had not been re-released on CD.

During this period the band was christened with their nickname, "The 'Taters." This culminated in an incident during a tour with Uriah Heep and Foreigner in which Foreigner's roadies strung a net filled with potatoes above the stage and released it during the Dictators' set.

By 1978 Mendoza had left the band (he soon joined Twisted Sister) and Shernoff had returned to his original position on bass guitar. It was this line-up of Manitoba, Shernoff, Friedman, Kempner, and Rich Teeter which recorded Bloodbrothers (yet again produced by Pearlman and Krugman). It was the first album to feature Manitoba as the group's vocalist on all the songs, though Bruce Springsteen - a big fan of the group to this day - can be heard counting "1-2-1-2-3-4" during the album's opening track, "Faster and Louder." The album's "Baby, Let's Twist" was a minor hit on a number of east coast radio stations, but the lack of mainstream success caused the band to split the following year. Shortly before the split drummer Mel Anderson had left Twisted Sister and joined The Dictators, replacing Teeter.

Demos & Rare Tracks '73-'76

1st demo, 1973:
01. Weekend
02. Backseat Boogie
03. Master Race Rock
04. California Sun
05. Fireman's Friend

1975 demos:
06. Interstellar Overdrive
07. Tits to You
08. Too Much Fun
09. Dogs

March '76 ("Jabberwalk" session):
10. America the Beautiful
11. Sleepin' with the TV On

1976 demos:
12. Heartache
13. Search & Destroy
14. Disease
15. Sleepin' with the TV On
16. Exposed

1976 live--reference to "The Wayne County Incident"
17. Smash That Faggot's Head (clip)
18. 1977 radio ad

Upplagd av How about you! kl. 11:32
Etiketter: The Dictators

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