Sunday, January 1, 2017

"Little Lady" by Duke Jupiter

Song#:  1897
Date:  05/12/1984
Debut:  89
Peak:  68
Weeks:  7
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  After three albums for Mercury that sold very little, this New York band moved over to Coast to Coast Records. Their first album for the label resulted in a minor Pop chart entry with "I'll Drink to You." Encouraged by the results, the label flipped the bill for a follow-up. Unfortunately that album didn't capitalize on the momentum and it disappeared quickly. To make matters worse, Coast to Coast went belly up and the band was left without a label. However, they were able to sign a guaranteed two-album deal with a Motown off-shoot rock label called Morocco. Their first album for them, White Knuckle Ride, featured this single, which did well at Rock radio getting to #12. It got a little crossover action and ended up spending a few weeks on the Pop chart. The single helped sell some albums and White Knuckle Ride became their first to reach the album chart (#122).

ReduxReview:  It's too bad this band never got a real break. I think they had potential, but it just seems that they never quite hooked up with the right label or producer. They had the ability to write catchy pop/rock tunes and perform them well, but they just needed a little more guidance and refinement to compete with the other big bands at the time. Although I like their previous charting single better, this ZZ Top-lite song is not too bad. Rock picked up on it, but it just didn't have enough zest to make a splash at Pop. Another tale of a good band that got shuffled and lost in the music business system.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Bad luck with labels seemed to plague the band and it continued after the release of White Knuckle Ride. Motown figured out that rock music wasn't their forte and decided to close the Morocco label. However, the band's contract was not with Morocco, but directly with Motown and despite the label's attempts to dump the band, Motown was forced to keep them on for the contracted second album. Of course, the label was going to do as little as possible for this venture and basically gave the band zero support. Therefore, the album tanked and disappeared upon release and with it went Duke Jupiter. After a big farewell concert in their hometown in 1986, the band parted ways.


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