A late 70’s major label obscurity, Ohio’s Euclid Beach Band was produced by none other than pop songsmith Eric Carmen.
Written by: Eric
ARTIST: Euclid Beach Band
ALBUM: Euclid Beach Band
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Pete Hewlett – lead vocals * Rich Reising – keyboards, guitars * Eric Carmen – acoustic piano, electric piano * Rick Marotta – drums * Bob Babitt – bass * Paul Griffin – piano * Hugh McCracken – acoustic guitar * Ron Bell, David Sanborn – sax * Jimmy Maelen – percussion * Rich Reising, Yolanda McCullogh, Diva Grey, Yvonne Lewis, John Barranco, Susan Lynch, Joey Ward, Eric Robertson – backing vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 Don’t Play That Song * 02 There’s A Moon Out Tonight * 03 Karen * 04 I Need You * 05 There’s No Surf In Cleveland * 06 End Of The World * 07 You Make It Easy * 08 Don’t You Know What You Mean To Me * 09 So Hard To Say Goodbye * 10 You’re The One
One of those late 70’s major label obscurities that sort of came and went without much notice, Cleveland, Ohio’s Euclid Beach Band are definitely worth your attention, considering that 90% of the album was produced by none other than pop songsmith Eric Carmen.
Presented as a duo with vocalist Pete Hewlett who some of you might remember from Novo Combo and their two excellent early 80’s albums and former Eric Carmen Band guitarist Richard Reising, Euclid Beach Band started out as a novelty to use up some local studio time.
The duo released a single ‘There’s No Surf In Cleveland’ and it quickly became a regional hit. Eric Carmen, who had recently moved back to Cleveland, fed up with life in Southern California hooked up with Hewlett and Reising, eventually bringing them to a New York studio, cutting a full album and signing to Epic.
The result is a beautiful pop record and Eric Carmen‘s influence cannot be overstated. It sounds like an album tailor-made for the Glory Daze audience, but then again, maybe not. This is a light, fun album made for summer days on the ‘North Coast’ of Lake Erie, or anywhere for that matter.
‘Don’t Play That Song’ opens the album on a high note and never let’s up. Yeah, a bit on the disco side of things but with a catchy hook. ‘There’s A Moon Out Tonight’ honestly reminds me of Bighorn a little bit, sort of pompy with a sweet summery chorus and nice vocals from Hewlett.
‘Karen’ is a great slice of pop rock, similar to Love Affair/ L.A. and even Fotomaker. Brilliant stuff when it comes right down to it. The song that started it all ‘There’s No Surf In Cleveland’ was included on the album and is the only one not produced by Carmen and sounds like it.
Essentially a take on The Beach Boys, I can hear and understand the novelty of the record, but it really doesn’t stand up to the rest of the album. Of course, the two best tracks are composed by Carmen himself. Side one’s ‘I Need You’ and the flip side’s ‘End Of The World’ are some of Eric’s best work. I have said before and will say it again. The man is a pop genius!
I love this record from start to finish. I do think some of you into the heavier sounds of AOR might be best advised to pass over the album. Since there are some hints at Leif Garrett and Andy Gibb (don’t laugh, Gibb’s ‘Shadow Dancing’ is a classic pop album) found in the music as well as the other references mentioned above. But if you enjoy the sounds of pure solid gold 70’s pop music, it didn’t get much better than this. Surfs Up!