I have our very own Editor to thank for leading me to Rochester’s finest – Duke Jupiter, I was expecting a decent slice of AOR, but what I got was far more – a classic that runs their more celebrated 1985 effort ‘The Line Of Your Fire’ pretty close.
Written by: Lee South Africa
ARTIST: Duke Jupiter
ALBUM: White Knuckle Ride
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Marshall James Styler – vocals, keyboards * Greg Walker – guitars * Rickey Ellis – bass * David Corcoran – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Shes’ So Hot * 02 Rescue Me * 03 Don’t Turn Your Back * 04 Top Of The Bay * 05 Backfire * 06 Little Lady * 07 A Woman Like You * 08 Work It Out * 09 Me And Michelle * 10 (I’ve Got A) Little Back Book
WEBLINKS: Site Link
I have our very own Editor to thank for leading me to Rochester’s finest – Duke Jupiter, courtesy of his review of their classic ‘The Line Of Your Fire’ record. Considering that album’s status in the AOR sphere and bearing in mind that this one was their previous album from the year before, I was expecting a decent slice of AOR, but what I got was far more – a classic that runs their more celebrated 1985 effort pretty close.
‘She’s So Hot’ is fairly pleasant, but not the knockout track you’d expect in the pole position. Still, it bounces along cheerfully enough and the pomp keys are most welcome. ‘Rescue Me’ is far better, a mid-tempo AOR giant with all the flourishes. Nice use of textures with sedate verses and heavier anthem chorus.
‘Don’t Turn Your Back’ is an instant uptempo classic in the time-honoured mid 80’s AOR tradition – genuine momentum supporting a memorable hook and killer chorus, not to mention those insistent pomp keys! It should have been the opening track.
‘Top Of The Bay’ operates in more sedate territory, revealing the abundant class and songwriting of this fine band. While the next track ‘Backfire’ is fairly forgettable, ‘Little Lady’ is an enjoyable and energetic romp, mining territory not far removed from 80’s ZZ Top, but with the extra AOR sheen always present.
Remaining highlights are the midtempo class of ‘A Woman Like You’, the melodic attack of ‘Work It Out’, and possibly one of the best hook and chorus anthems ever – ‘Me And Michelle’.
It really is a pity that Duke Jupiter’s recording career stopped after 1985, just when they’d released their two finest albums. They should both have enjoyed strong chart placings, but with Motown Records showing little or no interest, the only way was down. Still, don’t let that stop you from tracking down both of these on LP – you won’t be sorry.
Don’t Turn Your Back
Me And Michelle