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PhotobucketNewcity Rockers caught the ear of the music industry and fans around the world with their 1988 remake of Led Zep’s Black Dog. At a time when the mere thought of a Led Zep remake was considered sacreligious by some, the band produced a powerful updated version that quickly shot up the Billboard charts. MTV quickly followed suit and added the band’s video in regular rotation. Phone lines were lighting up at radio stations across the US, Europe, and Japan, with listeners both outraged and excited about the song. It has been said by some music critics, that this release broke down the barrier and paved the way for many other Zep-like sounding bands such as The Cult and Ratt that ultimately went on to receive more recognition.

Originally released on Atlantic Records, the band consisted of a group of seasoned studio musician’s including many members of the Joe Cocker band assembled behind newcomer, and powerful vocalist, Ken Kozdra. Searing guitar solos were provided by Cliff Goodwin, whose previous work included hits with both Robert Palmer and Joe Cocker. Keys and orchestration by Brian Silva gave the album considerable depth for a debut LP. Radio personality Bob Rivers, who was already enjoying considerable success with his Twisted Christmas album series, became the overseer of the project. The band released two additional singles from the album, both of which also made the Billboard Charts, Rev It Up, and Brother Louie, also remakes. While critics praised the band’s original material, the release of these three covers in a row (the only three on the album) led radio programmers to question the viability of the band maintaining longevity.

The band never recorded a follow-up LP, but a brief reunion in 2006, brought 2 bonus tracks to the collection, now re-released in CD form on Retrospect Records. To sweeten the pot for the fans, on the bonus tracks, the band brought in drummers Jeff Kathan (Paul Rodger’s Band) and Alan White (drummer for the band YES and the Plastic Ono Band) and bassist Wolf Ginandes (Mohegan Sun All-Stars). This record is a must have for all hard rock lovers. Great vocals, great playing and songwriting, and flawless production, this is a powerful collection from a band that left the fans wanting more.


– New City Rockers [1987]

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NEWCITY ROCKERS, 9.2 out of 10 based on 6 ratings
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