CLEVELAND ROCKS (Various Artists) CD (2019)

CLEVELAND ROCKS (Various Artists) CD (2019)

£8.75
Description
CLEVELAND ROCKS and it never rocked harder than it did in the mid 70s, when a record industry survey showed that more records were sold per capita in Cleveland than any place else in the country. Former Clevelander, Steve Popovich who was heading the A&R department at Epic Records at the time, was ready to leave corporate life and return to Cleveland, a city he loved and often defended. In mid 1976, Popovich returned home to Cleveland to set up the label s main office in a house he bought there as well as a label office in New York. Spector s cover of Billy Joel s Say Goodbye To Hollywood , was the label's initial release, featured back-up by Bruce Springsteen s E Street Band. The production, by E Street guitarist, Miami Steve Van Zandt, was in the classic Phil Spector wall of sound style, spotlighting the debt that Springsteen owed to Spector. At the same time, wheels were turning for what would become CI s first album release, first smash, and one of the best selling records of all time. A completed full-length album by an obscure artist had been turned down by several labels by the time the tape landed in Popovich s hands. The more he listened, the more he became convinced it had staying power. How much power Meat Loaf s BAT OUT OF HELL would have they could not have begun to guess. Steve first had to convince a skeptical Epic to pick up the album. Then following its fall, 1977 release, he had to convince an equally skeptical radio that blustery, oversized artist with the operatic voice singing the long melodramatic Jim Steinman compositions, would work on their stations. It wasn t an easy sell. But the C/I staff wouldn t give up. They defied the typical record company procedure of the time, which was to release a batch of records and work them for a month or two and then move on to the next thing. Cleveland International concentrated all its efforts on one project for as long as it took to make it catch on. With BAT OUT OF HELL passing platinum in the summer of 1978, C/I moved on to its second major project, TOO WILD TO TAME, an album by a no-frills hard rock band from Illinois called The Boyzz. Other releases followed in the next few years, including a solo effort from Meat Loaf songwriter Jim Steinman and three albums by Ellen Foley, who had served as Meat Loaf s female foil on the opus Paradise By the Dashboard Light (both Steinman and Foley went platinum in a number of countries). From Pittsburgh, a gritty, blue-collar town with a vibe similar to Cleveland s, came Joe Grushecky and the Iron City Houserockers, whose C/I album HAVE A GOOD TIME BUT GET OUT ALIVE, reflected an authentically scrappy working class attitude. Cleveland International also served as a marketing and management consultant for a number of acts, including Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes, whom Popovich had signed at Epic and who had a major fan base in Cleveland, former Mott the Hoople vocalist, Ian Hunter whose anthem, Cleveland Rocks became part of a weekly Friday evening ritual on local radio. In 1994, Steve Popovich again returned to Cleveland from Nashville. He reactivated Cleveland International to begin a whole new chapter in this saga of independent entrepreneurship in the music industry. This compilation is both a summing up of the first chapter and a launching pad for the next chapter. These artists are a mixed bag, but what they have in common is that each of them like Popovich did what he or she loved, each in their own way. -Anastasia Pantsios
1. Say Goodbye to Hollywood - Ronnie Spector & The E Street Band
2. I Don't Wanna Go Home - Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes
3. Time Warp - Just Us Girls
4. Have a Good Time But Get Out Alive - Iron City Houserockers
5. There's No Surf in Cleveland - Euclid Beach Band
6. Too Wild to Tame - The Boyzz
7. Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through - Jim Steinman
8. We Belong to the Night - Ellen Foley
9. Paradise By the Dashboard Light - Meat Loaf
10. Sweet Fools - Essence
11. I Am a Rocker - Mike Berry
12. Wasn't That a Party? - The Rovers
13. Cleveland Rocks - Ian Hunter
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