Band members Related acts
- Nanette Workman -- lead vocals
- Andy Brown -- bass
- Madeline Bell -- backing vocals
- Peter Frampton -- vocals, lead guitar
- Johnny Hallyday --
- Lee Hallyday --
- Mike Kelli (aka Mike Kellie) -- drums, percussion
- Bobby Keyes -- sax
- Kim Kimsey --
- Jim Price -- trumpet
- Lisa Strike -- backing vocals
- Doris Troy -- backing vocals
Rating: 3 stars ***
Title: Heavy Metal Boys
Country/State: US / UK
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Comments: still in shrink (opened)
catalog ID: 5879
Here's a tax scam release that doesn't even show on the most discographies ...
Released by the Album World family of imprints (this one was credited to Donnelly Records), 1978's "Pacific Freight" was credited to The Heavy Metal Kids. The album was actually a repackaged and abbreviated version of a Nanette Workman solo album. As part of an extended career Workman provided back up support to The Rolling Stones for their "Let It Bleed" album. The resulting publicity resulted in Workman recording some material at London's Olympic Studios with French singer Johnny Hallyday producing. Those sessions featured an all- star cast of US and UK rockers including Frampton, but the results were shelved until 1977 when the Canadian Telson label released them as "Cornbread and Grits" (Telson catalog number AF-2500).
In a clear attempt to take advantage of Frampton's recent world wide successes, Donnelly somehow acquired access to the tapes, dropping two tracks ('Billy' and 'P.S. Get Lost") and repackaging the results to highlight Frampton's participation.
So against this torturous background what did the material actually sound like? Well I have to admit to being surprised at how good Workman was. A real rock chick, she was easily as good as Nancy Wilson with a voice that could handle everything from country ballads ('Grits and Cornbread') to hard rock ('Love Taker'). Judging by the three originals, she was also a talented writer. On the other hand if you were looking for a Frampton fix, this wasn't the place to be looking. True the album included one Frampton-penned track 'All I Wanna Be' and he may have played on a couple of songs, but overall his contributions simply didn't jump out at you.
Metal Boys" track listing:
1.) There's a Man (Billy Workman) - 3:49 rating: *** stars
'There's a Man' opened the album with a nice bluesy-rocker with Workman turning in her best Madeline Bell impersonation. The lead guitar was pleasant and quite melodic so it might well have been Frampton. Only complaint on this one as the fact it sounded like the lead vocal was recorded in a bathroom stall.
2.) Going Home (Nanette Workman) - 3:27 rating: **** stars
'Going Home' was a surprisingly subtle and commercial country-rock song. While it could have been Bell toning down her rough edges, my guess it that the song actually featured Nanette Workman (who also wrote the track). Pretty melody with some nice backing harmonies.
3.) Loving Cup (Keith Richards) - 5:00 rating: *** stars
Workman's cover of The Stones 'Loving Cup' was a return to a blues-rock sound. Not the most original song on the album, but still quite enjoyable with a nice guitar solo.
4.) Grits and Cornbread (Nanette Workman) - 2:26 rating: **** stars
As you probably guessed from the title, 'Grits and Cornbread' was an out-and-out country number. The surprising thing is that the feel good acoustic arrangement was actually really nice, with a pretty vocal. Imagine a much more outgoing Jeanie Greene. Again, the country-edge didn't sound like Madeline Bell, so my guess was that this was another Workman performance (once again she was credited with writing the song).
Penned by Gary Wright, 'Love Taker' was the best song on the album. Though I don't know who the male singer was, it sounded like Workman handled the female lead section. Regardless, the result was a crushing Spooky Tooth-styled rocker, complete with Wright-styled organ and some tasty fuzz guitar.
2.) All I Wanna Be (Peter Frampton) - 4:11 rating: **** stars
Nice cover of Frampton's 'All I Wanna Be' (the song was actually entitled All I Want To Be (Is By Your Side)'. One of Workman's best vocals, this time out she displayed a deep and honey coated voice. The song also sported the album's best lead guitar which may well have been Frampton. Shame the song faded out just as it was really starting to rip.
3.) Madame (Nanette Workman) - 6:40 rating: *** stars
Another Workman number, 'Madame' was a likeable country-rocker. It if was Workman on lead vocal, this time out she sounded like a countrified Dusty Springfield. Very nice acoustic guitar throughout ...
Someone out there must have some insight into this one ... (By the way, the band name might actually be Pacific Freight and the album title "Heavy Metal Kids" ...) For a throwaway taxscam release this one as actually far better than most of the better known competition. Well worth looking for.
For what it's worth, this set's been repacked as a Frampton efforts at least a couple of times:
2002's Peter Frampton and Friends "Pacific Freight" (ZYX catalog number 10105)
Peter Frampton and Friends "Love Taker" (Bianc catalog number
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