MAMAS BOYS: Turn It Up LP Cream labels. Excellent Hard Rock. MUST HAVE. Check audio. Highly RECOMMENDED.


In stock


Spartan Records Ltd
Catalog#:SPLP 001
Format: Vinyl, LP with Cream labels  

         Cream labels 
A1 Midnight Promises
A2 Loose Living
A3 Too Little Of You To Love
A4 Late Night Rendezvous
A5 Crazy Daisys House Of Dreams

B1 Face To Face
B2 Gentleman Rogues
B3 Lonely Soul
B4 Shake My Bones
B5 Freedom Fighters

Arranged By – Pat McManus
Bass, Vocals – John McManus
Drums – Tommy McManus
Guitar, Fiddle – Pat McManus
Harmonica – Don Baker (tracks: B3)
Organ – Jim Lockhart (tracks: A3)
Organ [Wurlitzer] – Philip Begley

Producer – Barry Devlin
Songwriter – Pat McManus

Recorded at Lombard Studios, Dublin.

Northern Ireland’s Mamas Boys had a very impressive debut album — 1982 Plug it In — under their belts, and were hungering for more with their second independently recorded opus, 1983 Turn It Up. Perhaps they were a little too hungry, though, given the new albums accelerated evolution toward a more polished commercial rock sound that was sure to gain the band more airplay, but wound up sacrificing some of their working-class purity along the way. This certainly explains the fundamentally good but mildly contrived and derivative qualities of predictable numbers like “Couldn’t Take Anymore” (which grooves a little too close to UFO for comfort), “Midnight Rendezvous” and “Face to Face” — as well as the lush ballad “Too Little of You to Love” (very reminiscent of Gary Moore’s singles from the same time period) — and even the tough-nut rocker “Gentleman Rogues” (a mixture of Montrose’ “Space Station No. 5” and Van Halen, with splashes of Hammond organ). Ironically, Mamas Boys managed to copy no one but themselves on the bluesy “Lonely Soul” (which is the spitting image of their debut albums “Belfast City Blues”), while irresistible highlights like “Loose Living” (slightly redolent of Journey, but excellent just the same) and “Freedom Fighters” (featuring a few folk-fiddle throwbacks and twin guitar harmony tributes to Thin Lizzy) offered only temporary respites from the oftentimes bland surroundings. But of course this sort of sound-sanitizing progression was anything but surprising during the ’80s, and therein lies the greatest distinction between the McManus brothers’ first two records: while Plug it In was undoubtedly a product of the 70s, Turn It Up was an 80s album through and through. That’s the way it goes, and of much greater concern was how quickly the child prodigies bought into rock & roll, then cashed into quasi-AOR here, and finally caved into hair metal concessions on future releases that would ultimately be the death of them.

Cover has similarities to the ‘Maineaxe’ shout it out LP. Worth it’s wait in gold for ‘Freedom Fighters’

Great album with melodic and commercial hard rock songs like MIDNIGHT PROMISES and heavy songs like GENTLEMEN ROGUES. Really love this record.

After the low-key Plug It In, The Mama’s Boys (they simply had to be Irish with a name like that!) continued to catch the eye with the follow-up Turn It Up. Their game-plan was admirably simple: no frills, no reaching too far, no worries, just elementary rock and roll with a contemporary hard edge. It had served many well before so why not them? There is something of the thoroughbred in a proper rock and roll band, witness the likes of The Ramones and Dr Feelgood, even Status Quo could lay claim to occasionally capturing that essence. They could cut loose when they wanted and Pat McManus’ guitar licks continued to impress particularly on “Face To Face”, “Gentlemen Rogues”, “Freedom Fighters” and “Loose Living”.

Avec “Plug It In” et son single ‘Needle In The Groove’, les Mama’s Boys ont pu commencer à percer dans les îles britanniques et particulièrement en Irlande. Souhaitant profiter de l’élan déclenché, le trio originaire d’Ulster s’empresse d’enregistrer un nouvel album en autoproduction, le troisième en autant d’années. Il faut dire que les portes commencent à s’ouvrir et qu’il serait dommage de leur laisser le temps de se refermer. C’est dans ces conditions mélangeant l’enthousiasme et la nécessité d’occuper un terrain plein de promesses que sort “Turn It Up” en 1983.

Creusant le sillon ouvert un an auparavant et ne souhaitant probablement pas prendre de risques excessifs, le nouvel opus reprend les affaires là où son prédécesseur les avait laissées. Pas de révolution dans la formule des frères McManus qui nous balancent toujours leur Hard-Rock direct et mélodique aux riffs efficaces dont les racines sont plantées dans un terreau mélangeant blues et tradition celte. Mené par la guitare incandescente de Pat et la voix nasillarde de John, les nouveaux titres se font toujours aussi accrocheurs avec ce groove si particulier que Mama’s Boys partage avec ses idoles de Thin Lizzy. Difficile de résister à l’énergie d’un ‘Midnight Promises’, au gros riff d’un ‘Crazy Daisy’s House Of Dream’ à l’excellent enchaînement break – solo, ou aux teigneux ‘Face To Face’ et ‘Gentleman Rogues’.

Il est vrai que l’originalité et les surprises se font rares lorsque l’on compare l’ensemble au précédent album et qu’un ‘Freedom Fighter’ ressemble à une tentative de réchauffer ‘Runaway Dreams’, ou que la ballade mid-tempo ‘Lonely Soul’ n’est pas sans rappeler le ‘Belfast City Blues’ présent sur “Plug It In”. Ce manque d’audace s’efface cependant derrière la qualité de titres dont transpirent la sincérité et le feeling. Enfin, il serait dommage de passer sous silence un ‘Too Little Of You To Love’ popisant qui n’est pas sans rappeler certains essais en la matière d’une autre légende irlandaise: Gary Moore.
“Turn It Up” n’en est pas moins une confirmation éclatante du talent et du potentiel de Mama’s Boys.

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