Much like Le Roux, Duke Jupiter’s career seems to have taken place in two halves – nondescript yet pleasant late 70’s material and stunning early to mid 80’s AOR efforts.
Written by: Lee South Africa
ARTIST: Duke Jupiter
ALBUM: The Band Played On.. Twenty Years Of
LABEL: Self Released
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Classic lineup: Marshall James Styler – vocals, keyboards * Greg Walker – guitars * Rickey Ellis – bass * David Corcoran – drums
Previous members: George Barajas – bass * Earl Jetty – drums * Dave Hanlon – drums * Don Maracle – guitars
TRACK LISTING: 01 The Band Played On * 02 Rockin’ In A Motel Room * 03 I’m Available * 04 Cut It Loose * 05 Little Lady * 06 The Wrong Ones * 07 Don’t You Look At Me Like That * 08 Slow, Loud And Dirty * 09 Trouble In Paradise * 10 Taste The Night * 11 Sweet Cheeks * 12 Rock n Roll Band * 13 This Is Japan * 14 Out Of My Mind * 15 I Want To Love You * 16 I’ll Drink To You * 17 Days Between Us
WEBLINKS: Site Link
Much like Le Roux, Duke Jupiter’s career seems to have taken place in two halves – nondescript yet pleasant late 70’s material and stunning early to mid 80’s AOR efforts. On this compilation disc we get an overview of the whole career, spread over a generous seventeen tracks. During their recording career Duke Jupiter also managed to tour with many artists of their era, including the likes of Toto, Shooting Star and Foreigner.
From the first three albums, tracks like ‘Trouble In Paradise’, ‘Taste The Night’, ‘Sweet Cheeks’ and the instrumental ‘Days Between Us’ reveal a band embracing a hybrid of southern, bluesy, r & b, jazzy and west coast styles – all fairly laid back and perfect for that Sunday afternoon coffee SESSION. Still, you have to wonder how they got from there to the crisp power AOR of their mid 80’s work, and the stepping stone proves to be their 1981 album ‘Duke Jupiter 1’ (a misnoma really, it’s actually their fourth! Ed.).
Such tracks as ‘Rockin’ In A Motel Room’, ‘The Wrong Ones’, ‘Slow Loud And Dirty’ and the Billboard Top 20 AOR smash ‘I’ll Drink To You’ all feature varying degrees of southern bluesy grit – relegated to an undercurrent under a tidal wave of AOR structure and melody with a superb vocal attack at chorus time. Imagine shades of ZZ Top and 38 Special combined with decent helpings of Shooting Star and Survivor.
Special mention must be made of the classic AOR power ballad ‘Don’t You Look At Me Like That’. By the time of their next album ‘You Make It Look Easy’ (1982), pure and majestic AOR abounded through classic tracks like ‘The Band Played On’, ‘I’m Available’ and ‘This Is Japan’ – truly essential material for the collector of pure AOR, along the lines of those aforementioned mid 80’s bands.
Strangely, their equally definitive final two albums only get one track each, ‘White Knuckle Ride’ delivering the ZZ Top meets AOR of ‘Little Lady’ and ‘The Line Of Your Fire’ yielding the powerful 80’s pomp AOR classic ‘I Want To Love You’. Having said that, their eventual CD release will be that much bigger an AOR event as a result.
‘The Band Played On’ is an excellent career snapshot of one of AOR’s most endearing and rightfully revered legends – Rochester’s own Duke Jupiter … now for the really good news – this very disc is available again and can be ordered directly from bassist Rickey Ellis at email@example.com. Supplies are probably limited, so if you take your AOR collection seriously, do it the favour by adding this essential disc into the ranks.
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