Band members Related acts
line up 1 ()
- Dick Domane (aka Richard P. DiDomenico) - vocals,
- Pete Anders -- melodica
- Comrad Cataland -- drums
- John Emma -- horns
- Bob Fiocco -- bass, horns
- John Vastano -- lead guitar
- The Blue Jays
- White Water
Rating: 3 stars ***
Title: Dick Domane
Company: Map City
Country/State: Rhode Island
Grade (cover/record): VG/VG+
Comments: minor ring wear; promo sticker on back cover
Catalog ID: SOLD 6039
Price: SOLD $45.00
I'll admit I bought this one without having a clue who Dick Domane was. In fact I bought it because the Map City label was a known quantity to me - the bands Purple Image and Yesterday's Children recorded for Map City. The amazingly ugly pea green vomit cover art also caught my eye, though not in a good way. Yes, it made my list of ugliest cover art ...
I don't claim to know a great deal about Dick Domane. He was born Richard P. DiDomenico and supposedly started singing professionally as a five year old, touring New England as part of the Celia Moreau Kiddie Review. As Dick Domane he made his recording debut as a young crooner with a 1959 single for the small New York-based Joy label
- 1959's 'Make Me Yours' b/w 'Dearest Lee' (Joy catalog 45-231)
That was followed by a one-shot releases for the Rhode Island based Wye label and the New York Almont labels:
- 1960's 'Alone' b/w 'You're So Conceited' (Wye catalog number 5-1006)
- 1964's 'Don't Pity Me' b/w 'This Is Goodbye' (Almont catalog number 312)
By the late 1960s he was a member of the Rhode Island based horn-rock band The Blue Jays who recorded a 1970 LP "Nascence" for Map City (Map City catalog number 3014).
That somehow led to a solo deal with Map City, resulting in the release of 1970's "Dick Domane". Working with producer Pete Anders and some of his Blue Jays band mates, the album showcased a largely original set of material with a heavy emphasis on late-1960s-styled pop. While some dealers have tried to label this as psych, with the exception of the opening track 'I'm Only Dreamin'' and 'Bad Dream' that really wasn't an apt description. True, tracks like 'Saturday Morning' and The Association-styled 'Hang On' had a modest rock edge and included tasty dollops of fuzz guitar, but this wasn't a psych or rock album. More typical was the heavily orchestrated 'Since You Left Me' and the top-40 friendly 'Hey Don't You Know' which were an obvious attempt to attract a top-40 audience. That certainly wasn't meant as a slam since I'm a big fan of the genre. Moreover, to his credit Domane had a nice and highly commercial voice that was easily as good as AM popsters like Tommy James, Gary Puckett, or Dennis Yost. Judging by tracks like the opening 'I'm Only Dreamin'', 'Such An Early Hour' and the sunshine pop flavored 'I Can't Imagine' he also had a clear talent for penning commercial melodies. Still, the results were too unfocused to make much of an impact ... No way to avoid the fact that this is one weird little album. Too poppy for psych fans and too psych for pop fans. Combined with the hideous cover it was no surprise that this one disappeared in an instant. Still it's worth checking out since you can still locate copies at a reasonable price.
Domane" track listing:
1.) I'm Only Dreamin' (Dick Domane) - 4:12 rating: **** stars
Easily one of the best songs on the album, 'I'm Only Dreamin'' managed to blend a great sunshine pop melody with heaps of psychedelic effects including John Vastano's fuzz guitar, backward tapes, lysergic-flavored orchestration. A fantastic song and sad that little else on the LP came close.
2.) Such An Early Hour (Dick Domane) - 2:48 rating: *** stars
'Such An Early Hour' was a surprisingly funky country-tinge pop number. Image a really good Kenny Rogers song and you'll have a feel for the tune. YouTube has a clip of Domane lip-synching the song: Dick Domane 1980 Such An Early Hour - YouTube
3.) Since You Left Me (Dick Domane) - 2:56 rating: ** stars
'Since You Left Me' showcased the AM radio side of Domane's repertoire. A heavily orchestrated mid-tempo pop song, this one could easily have been mistaken for a Gary Puckett and the Union Gap track. Great it you liked that genre, but probably had limited appeal for psych fans.
4.) I Can't Imagine (Dick Domane) - 3:10 rating: **** stars
Written and previously recorded by The Blue Jays, 'I Can't Imagine' was a glistening slice of harpsichord-propelled sunshine pop, The song would have made Curt Boetcher, or Brian Wilson quite proud. Super commercial and radio friendly it's surprising this one wasn't tapped as a single.
5.) Hang On (Dick Domane) - 2:50 rating: ** stars
Complete with Association-styled backing harmonies, 'Hang On' was another slice of AM top-40 pop. Probably too saccharine for most listeners, it was still better than much of the stuff you would have heard on the airwaves back in 1970.
6.) Bad Dream (Dick Domane) - 2:55 rating: **** stars
Psych for people that need a strong melody - Perhaps it is a reflection of the abuse my 60+ year old ears have endured, but on this one Domane sound uncannily like Jeff Lynne to me. Kicked along by a crunching John Vastano fuzz guitar, 'Bad Dream' was the album's most rock oriented performance and easily the standout track. You can only imagine what an album full of this stuff would have done.
Complete with a tasteful horn arrangement and some nice bass from Bob Fiocco, 'Sane One' found Domane taking a stab at a more soulful sound. With his Blue Jay compatriots on horns, Domane roughed up his voice a bit making for a surprisingly enjoyable solo debut.
2.) Fragmented People (Dick Domane) - 4:11 rating: **** stars
Starting out as a pretty ballad 'Fragmented People' quickly morphed into a fuzz-guitar powered pop song that also happened to sport the collection's weirdest lyric. I've listened to the song dozens of times and don't have a clue what this one was about (enforced conformity?), which probably helped explain why I like it so much. Bob Fiocco provided a nifty bass line while Domane turned in another great vocal on this one.
3.) Hey Don't You Know (Dick Domane - John Vastano) - 2:15 rating: **** stars
'Hey Don't You Know' returned to power-pop territory bearing a passing resemblance to something Tommy Roe might have recorded. Very commercial and radio-ready.
4.) Maybe (Richard Barrett) - 3:02 rating: *** stars
The lone cover tune, the ballad 'Maybe' had a distinctive early-1960s feel. Imagine a good Righteous Brothers track and you'll have a feel for the general sound. I will tell you that even though the song was rather pedestrian, Domane turned in a killer vocal.
6.) Sunday Morning (Dick Domane) - 3:49 rating: *** stars
This comparison will probably sound stupid, but to my ears the ballad 'Sunday Morning;' sounded like a cross between Procol Harum and a blue-eyed soul outfit like The Classics IV. Not sure why I liked this one so much, though Vastano's soulful guitar didn't hurt at all ...
4.) The Sun Never Shines (Dick Domane) - 2:59 rating: *** stars
The horns returned for 'The Sun Never Shines' which was another decent power pop number, this time with a bubble-gummy edge.
Domane was subsequently a member of the New York based horn-band White Water who recorded a 1973 set "Out of the Darkness" for RCA Victor (RCA Victor catalog number APL1-0091)
I've never heard them but Domane has also released a couple of private press albums:
- "A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That"
- "In the Clouds"
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