Wednesday, July 29, 2015

"The Fanatic" by Felony

Song#:  1342
Date:  02/12/1983
Debut:  87
Peak:  42
Weeks:  12
Genre:  New Wave

Pop Bits:  Jeff Spry (given name Spirili) got his first major break when he became lead singer of Ron Asheton's post-Stooges band The New Order (obviously, not the UK one). Spry got to record one album with the band before being let go for a drug related arrest. A few years later, Jeff formed Felony with his brother Joe. After appearing in the 1981 slasher flick "Graduation Day" performing their song "Gangster of Rock," the brothers got signed to the Scotti Bros. label Rock 'n' Roll. They recorded this song that got enough attention to get it close to the Top 40. The result was good enough for their label to request an album. Their self-titled LP got issued, however by that time interest in the band waned and further singles failed to make the chart. The band would issue a couple more albums in the 80s, but those also failed to garner any attention. A new song, mainly done by Joe, had them on the verge of deal with Capitol Records, but it fell through when issues between the brothers arose. Sadly, soon after in 1992 Jeff committed suicide.

ReduxReview:  This chugging tune reminds me of early Joe Jackson. Lead singer Jeff Spry really digs into the vocals and creates a character. There is not much of a melody or tune here, but the charging beat and Spry's vocals created something that probably sounded very unique and interesting on the radio. It's a cool, forgotten tune from the new wave era.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  This song was included on the soundtracks to two 1983 films. Initially, it was included on the soundtrack to the Pia Zadora bomb "The Lonely Lady." It was later also part of the 1994 Rhino issue of songs from "Valley Girl," the 1983 Nicholas Cage movie. Full of new wave favorites, the film initially could not get a full soundtrack released due to licensing issues. An EP of a few songs did get out at the time but it was never officially released. It wasn't until 1994 when nostalgia for the film's music sent Rhino Records to the vaults. They issued the first official soundtrack for the film, which sold quite well. It prompted a follow-up disc called "More Music from the Valley Girl Soundtrack."


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