Monday, September 14, 2020

"Rev It Up" by Newcity Rockers

Song#:  3257
Date:  09/12/1987
Debut:  95
Peak:  86
Weeks:  4
Genre:  Hard Rock

Pop Bits:  This Boston band formed by radio personality Bob Rivers grabbed a low-charting single with their remake of Led Zeppelin's "Black Dog" (#80). It was from their self-titled debut album as was this second single. It performed nearly the same peaking low on the chart after a month and missing the Rock chart. Neither single generated much interest in the album and it failed to chart. With those results, Rivers decided to call an end to his rock 'n' roll project. Rivers would continue his career as a radio personality for various large market stations. Along the way he would release numerous novelty records of songs and sketches from his radio programs with most of them included in his "Twisted Tunes" series. In 2014, Rivers would hang up his microphone and retire after 42 years in radio.

ReduxReview:  The band tried to rescue this song from obscurity (see below), but they didn't make much headway, which is too bad. It's a terrific arena rock track in the Bon Jovi/Ratt/Mötley Crüe vein. The original by Treat was better. The production on that version aimed for a big Mutt Lange sound and succeeded. The Newcity Rockers tamped down the glam rock a bit and that made the song sound more like a lost Loverboy track. It still turned out pretty good and it's a shame it couldn't get much traction at Pop or Rock. If a rock band on a major label had recorded this tune and it got good promotion via MTV, I'm sure this would have at least made the Top 40. It's now just a fun, lost artifact from the 80s (although I'm pretty sure the Treat version is going to make its way into a couple of my playlists).

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  This is a remake of a song originally recorded by the Swedish hard rock band Treat. Written by two of the band's members and their producer, the song was included on their second album, 1986's The Pleasure Principle. The band did fairly well at home and in a few European countries, but they were overshadowed by another highly successful hard rock band from Sweden that they were compared to named Europe ("The Final Countdown"). Treat would release five albums between '85 and '92, but none achieved widespread success. They would break up in 1993, but reunite later in 2006. Somehow either Rivers or someone in his camp discovered the Treat song and Rivers' Newcity Rockers decided to record a version for their album.


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