Jules and the Polar Bears
Band members Related acts
- David Beebe - drums, percussion
- Richard Bredice - lead guitar
- Stephen Hague - keyboards
- Jules Shear - vocals, guitar
- David White -
- The Funky Kings
- Restless Sleepers
- Jules Shear (solo efforts)
Rating: *** (3 stars)
Title: Got No Breeding
Country/State: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Grade (cover/record): VG/VG
Comments: original inner sleeve
GEMM catalog ID: 4664
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Jules Shear was bitten by the rock and roll bug early in life. Graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in the early 1970s, he headed for Southern California.
A series of local bands including Southpaw (with future musical partner Stephen Hague) eventually led Shear to The Funky Kings. One of the first bands signed to Clive Davis' newly formed Arista Records, the group recorded two albums, but collapsed when Arista shelved the second set.
Following The Funky Kings' collapse, Shear turned his attention to writing. In 1977 some of his demos attracted the attention of Columbia Records. Columbia's interest in Shear was tempered by the fact they were interested in signing a band so he quickly recruited an exceptionally talented supporting group in drummer David Beebe, lead guitarist Richard Bredice, keyboardist (and future super producer) Stephen Hague and bassist David White. Even though they'd never played together as a unit (Hague had previously played with Shear in the band Southpaw), Jules and the Polar Bears were promptly signed by Columbia.
Co-produced by Larry Hirsch. Shear and Hague, 1978's "Got No Breeding" generated positive reviews with the critics, but Columbia's inability to formulate a coherent marketing plan probably doomed the album to commercial failure. I distinctly recall the company trying to paint these guys as being pseudo-new wavers which left me somewhat disappointed when I went out and bought the LP. Sure, a couple of tracks sported a jerky new wave-ish feel ('Driftwood from Disaster'), but the fact of the matter was that as the chief songwriter, Shear's background was in pop - occasionally quirky pop, but still pop. Shear may not have had the world's most impressive voice, but he had a true knack for crafting strong melodies and interesting (if occasionally overly clever) lyrics. Exemplified by tracks like 'You Just Don't Wanna Know', 'Shadows Break' and 'Soul of Many Places' this is nothing less than strong conventional rock and roll. It's not a great comparison, but imagine an American 10 CC with an urge to rock out and you'll be in the write neck of the neighborhood.
1.) You Just Don't Wanna Know (Jules Shear) -
2.) Black Fever Sleep (Jules Shear) -
3.) Lovers By Rote (Jules Shear) -
4.) Shadows Break (Jules Shear) -
5.) Convict (Jules Shear) -
2.) Soul of Many Places (Jules Shear) -
3.) Love It Again (Jules Shear) -
4.) Home Somewhere (Jules Shear) -
5.) Following Every Finger (Jules Shear) -
6.) Driftwood from Disaster (Jules Shear) -
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