Radio City


Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1977)

- Bob Carapezza -- drums, percussion

- Gary Feldman -- bass, backing vocals

- Marc Silvert -- guitar, backing vocals

- Steve Unger -- vocals, guitar, backing vocals

 

  line up 2 (1977-78)

NEW - Gene Butta -- vocals

- Bob Carapezza -- drums, percussion

- Gary Feldman -- bass, backing vocals

- Marc Silvert -- guitar, backing vocals

 

  supporting musicians

- Steve Unger -- vocals, guitar, backing vocals

 

  line up 3 (1977-78)

- Gene Butta -- vocals

- Bob Carapezza -- drums, percussion

- Gary Feldman -- bass, backing vocals

NEW  - Charlie Kulis -- guitar

- Marc Silvert -- guitar, backing vocals

 

  line up 4 (1977-78)

- Gene Butta -- vocals

- Bob Carapezza -- drums, percussion

- Gary Feldman -- bass, backing vocals

NEW - Dave Harvey -- guitar (replaced Charlie Kulis)

- Marc Silvert -- guitar, backing vocals

 

  line up 5 (1980)

- Gary Feldman -- bass, backing vocals

NEW- Steve Unger -- vocals, guitar, backing vocals

NEW-  Mike Guba -- drums, percussion

 

 

 

Gene Butta (solo efforts)

- The Helen Wheels band (Dave Harley)

- Charlie Kulis (solo efforts)

- The Alan Milman Sect (Marc Silvert)

- RC Flyer (Gary Feldman)

- The Revelons (Marc Silvert)

- Marc Silvert (solo efforts)

 

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: 4 stars ****

Title:  Class of 77

Company: Radio Heartbeat

Catalog: RH 106
Year:
 2009

Country/State: Long Island, NY

Grade (cover/record): NM/NM

Comments: sealed copy

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 1646

Price: $40.00

 

I'm a massive power-pop fan and have to admit to be completely dumbfounded by Long Island's radio City.   Listing to this archival set, you simply had to wonder how these guys got lost when so many less talented outfits at least got to make records for major labels.

 

Singer/bassist Gary Feldman was the mainstay behind Radio City.  A newly minted college drop out (American University), he poached buddy/guitarist Marc Silvert and drummer Bob Carapezza from the band Boystown, forming Radio City in 1977.   Band rehearsals also included guitarist/keyboardist Steve Unger.  Even though he'd never sung in a band, Gene Butta was subsequently recruited as lead singer.  And from there on the story sounded like a cross between Spinal Tap and a Hallmark movie.  Going through a stream of personnel changes, including a string of second guitarists, the group made a couple of appearances at CGBGs and Max's, but struggled to find a steady stream of paying dates.  They found some support in the form of producers Ritchie Cordell and Kenny Laguna who helped them record some demos, but by 1978 the band had called it quits.   Feldman tried a brief 1980 reunion, but that quickly ran out of steam..  

 

Released in 2009, "Class of 77" (by coincidence the year I graduated high school), pulled together a series of thirteen tracks recorded over the 1977 - 80 timeframe.  Their sound was heavily influenced by Beatles-styled Merseybeat ('Bleecker Street'), with plenty of nods to Beatles-inspired acts like Badfinger, Big Star, Emitt Rhodes, and Eric Carmen and The Raspberries.  That meant plenty of shimmering melodies powered by guitarists Marc Silvert and Steve Unger (the latter frequently on 12 string Rickenbacker), sweet harmony vocals, and even an occasional  touch of punk angst thrown in for good measure.  This was one of those album where the wasn't a single crappy tune.  That was an even more impressive feat given these tunes were recorded live, in one take.   True, recorded on a TEAC cassette and reflecting incomplete demos, 'So Easy',' Get You In the Picture' and 'Younger Than Yesterday' were a bit raw and rough, though still enjoyable.  Still, the album's high caliber made it hard to come up with favorites.  If pushed into a corner I'd go with: 1.) the blazing rocker 'I Don't Mistake Love', 2.) the shimmering ballad 'Little Runaway' (appearing in two variations), and  3.) the wonderfully melodic 'Play It Like a Man'.   

 

Thirty years after the fact, but it remains a wonderful timepiece and a great addition to anyone's power pop collection.

 

"Class of 77" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) I Don't Mistake Love   (Gary Feldman - Steven Unger) - 3:06

Geez, with it's shimmering power pop melody and Steven Unger's shimmering 12 string guitar you simply had to wonder how these guys got lost in the shuffle.  Imagine a less whiney version of Tom Petty deciding to write and record a true power pop tune and you'd get a feel for this treasure.   rating: **** stars

2.) Little Runaway   (Gary Feldman) - 2:47

Nice, breezy mid-tempo ballad with the kind of harmonies that Eric Carmen and The Raspberries would have killed to have penned   rating: **** stars

3.) It's OK   (Al Milman - Marc Silvert ) - 2:57

'It's OK' found the band ratcheting up the rock quotient on their sound, turning in something that would have  made Matthew King Kaufman and the entire Beserkley Records roster proud.   rating: **** stars 

4.) She's a Heartbreaker   (Gary Feldman - Marc Silvert) - 2:15

'She's a Heartbreaker' was a nifty up-tempo rocker that had radio airplay written all over it.   The other thing that made this such a great tune were Silvert's punkish lead guitar moves.   rating: **** stars 

5.) Play It Like a Man   (Marc Silvert) - 4:29

'Play It Like a Man' sported one of the album's best melodies and powered by a nifty Silvert guitar riff, gave Dwight Twilley a run for his money.   rating: **** stars 

6.) Bleecker Street   (Al Milman - Marc Silvert ) - 3:28

How did a Long Island band nail Merseybeat-meets The Byrds with such accuracy?  'Bleecker Street' had everything going for it, including a glistening melody and some more of Steve Unger's wonderful twelve string.   rating: **** stars

 

(side 2)
1.)
Tomorrow   (Marc Silvert) - 2:26

While Feldman wrote the majority of material, Silvert was responsible for many of the album's most melodic tunes - witness 'Tomorrow'.   rating: **** stars

2.) Downtown   (Gary Feldman - Marc Silvert) - 2:50

Another one of the album's standout melodies (and one that stuck around in your head long after you'd move on), the other highlight on 'Downtown' came in the form of Feldman's melodic bass line.  Add in a tasteful Silvert lead solo and this one was simply great.  rating: **** stars

3.) Fallen Angels   (Gary Feldman) - 3:59

Always loved 'Fallen Angels' for the raunchy guitar that powered this one.  Imagine Bon Jovi taking a power pop stance and you'll get a feel for this one.

4.) Little Runaway    (Gary Feldman) - 

5.) So Easy   (Gary Feldman) - 2:15

One of three tunes recorded live on a TEAC cassette, 'So Easy' was a bit raw, but with a nice Badfinger vibe and a killer guitar solo,, it wasn't a bad effort.   rating: *** stars

6.) Get You in the Picture   (Gary Feldman) - 1:58

Another in-progress demo, 'Get You In the Picture' found the band letting a touch of new wave creep in to their sound.  It could have been a dandy performance had they ever finished it.   rating: *** stars

7.) Younger Than Yesterday   (Gary Feldman) - 2:19

Another tune that was far better than the raw demo recording would have you believe.    rating: *** stars

 

 

Carapezza is still playing in cover and wedding bands: http://www.greenliteentertainment.com/BobCarapezza.html

 

 

 

Silvert also remains active in music, having played in The Revelons and recorded at least one solo album - 2010's mesmerizing "Sunrise Highway".  YouTube also has a series interesting interview with him discussing his '70s and '80s experiences in New York.

 

 

 

 

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