Tycoon is effectively the pairing of Norman Mershon and Mark Kreider, one can only assume the duo continued songwriting into 1982 and 1983, hence this assembly of tracks.
Written by: gdmonline
ALBUM: Opportunity Knocks
LABEL: Self Released
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Norman Mershon – vocals, guitar * Mark Kreider – bass, vocals * Bobby Messano – guitars, vocals * Benji King – keyboards, vocals * Tico Torres – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Tell Me Why * 02 Secret Dreams * 03 Way Of The World * 04 The River * 05 Let It Go * 06 Love Comes Easy * 07 Satisfy You * 08 Guess Life Works Out That Way * 09 That Girl * 10 If I * 11 Straighten Up
Just what is the exact history behind this unreleased third album by New Yorkers Tycoon is unclear. Previously signed to the Arista label for their 1978 debut and their criminally underrated 1981 effort ‘Turn Out The Lights’, the band went into hibernation soon after.
Tycoon is effectively the pairing of Norman Mershon and Mark Kreider, one can only assume the duo continued songwriting into 1982 and 1983, hence this assembly of tracks, and a backing band featuring the soon to be Franke And The Knockouts pairing of Bobby Messano and Tico Torres, who signed on for Previte’s 1984 album ‘Makin’ The Point’.
If this was supposed to be a showcase for Mershon and Kreider’s songwriting abilities then it obviously worked, as this is a variable package. When not trying to emulate Franke Previte’s band, Tycoon can be heard peddling a mixture of styles, not necessarily AOR it must be said.
Take the aptly named ‘The River’ or ‘Satisfy You’ which could grace any Mark Spiro CD, such is the jangly acoustica on display. Opting for something completely different is the Dan Reed Network inspired funk of ‘If I’. This one is primetime ‘Slam’ era. Adding to the variety is the Memphis-blues piano workout of ‘Guess Life Always Works That Way’.
Walking the razors edge are the sharpened rockers ‘Let It Go’ (not unlike The B’zz or The Godz) and ‘Love Comes Easy’ where the tinkly keys on the chorus could give it an AOR pass-mark, just! Of course we must mention the Franke pairing of ‘Tell Me Why’ (which ended up being ‘Carrie Why’) and ‘Secret Dreams (It Doesn’t Really Matter)’, which of course ended up as ‘You’re All That Really Matters’, both tunes on the aforementioned ‘Makin’ The Point’ album.
Understandably, the production is not as glossy as a full-blown studio affair, but if they are considered as nothing more than a bunch of professional sounding demos, then the impact has obviously worked. Still, an interesting progression across their first two albums to this; an album of tunes that would get lapped up by the trainspotters among you out there. It’s unclear what happened with Messrs Mershon and Kreider. I’m sure someone here will know.
You can buy this album online as a series of downloadable mp3 tunes from itsaboutmusic.net. it ws previously available as a download from mp3.com, hence the acknowledgement of their involvement as a source. ‘Opportunity Knocks’ is a must if you are into Tycoon, Franke And The Knockouts, or are a complete and utter diehard for period AOR.
Tell Me Why