Band members Related acts
line up as Skurow
- H. Calter --
- Gary Kato -- drums, percussion
- Ronnie Skurow --
- Philip Kachaturian (RIP 2013) --
- Bullet (Gary Kato)
- Derek (Gary Kato)
- The Merry Go Round (Gary Kato)
- Pinkiny Canady (Gary Kato)
- Viva (Philip Katchaturian)
Rating: 4 stars ****
Title: Makes My Day
Country/State: Las Vegas, Nevada
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Catalog ID: 1567
Tax scam labels like those falling under the Album World conglomerate were renown for all sorts of dirty tricks including simply appropriating demo tapes, miscrediting material to non-existent groups in order to keep the actual writers in the dark and cobbling albums together from various acts under a made-up name. All of those tricks seem to have taken place on 1977's "Makes My Day".
Though the brief liner notes make no mention of it, about two thirds of the tracks appear to have been recorded by the mid-'70s Las Vegas-based band Skurow. Featuring Ronnie Skurow and former Merry-Go-Round drummer Gary Kato, the band signed with London, releasing at least two 45s in the States and the UK, before collapsing. Those singles ('Keep Your Funky Side Out', 'Makes My Day', and 'Crimson Lady' all appeared on the Sunshine LP.
- 1974's 'Keep Your Funky Side Out ' b/w 'Crimson Lady' (London catalog number 45-409)
- 1974's 'Makes My Day' b/w 'Makes My Day' (London catalog number 5N-214-DJ)
Musically the Skurow tunes were uniformly good with the band demonstrating a knack for clean, crisp melodies, nice harmony vocals, and an impressive versatility that included country-rock ('Just a Pretty Face '), white-boy funk ('Keep Your Funky Side Out'), and FM-ready rock ('Crimson Lady'). Shame they didn't get to record an album on their own.
The other tracks appear to be the work of the late composer Philip Kachaturian. Kachaturian had already seen some of his work grabbed by the Album World affiliated Mark Holly label under the name Viva. The Viva album entitled "Automobile Downstairs" seems to have re-purposed the incidental music composed for the late H.B. Halicki's 1974 archetype car chase film "Gone In 60 Seconds". (Look under my write-up for Viva for additional information.) The funny thing was that even though 'Everything's Gonna Be Alright', 'Tell Me Now', and 'Space Flying" were credited to Kachaturian (the second tune was shown as a Kato - Kachaturian collaboration), these tunes sounded nothing like his "Gone In 60 Seconds" work. Instead two of the three were enjoyable slices of country-rock, top-40 pop, while the latter track was reportedly a slice of Latin-rock.
Day" track listing:
1.) Makes My Day (Ronnie Skurow) - rating: **** stars
The 'A" side from the second Skurow 45, 'Makes My Day' was a very commercial slice of top-40ish rock with tasty lead guitar, nice Latin-tinged percussion, and sweet harmony vocals. Would have made a nice FM single.
2.) Keep Your Funky Side Out (Gary Kato) - rating: *** stars
'Keep Your Funky Side Out' had previously see daylight as the 'A' side from the first Skurow single. Musically it was an okay slice of white boy funk that might remind you a bit of Wild Cherry. Nice squealing guitars, though the lyrics left something to be desired.
3.) Just a Pretty Face (Gary Kato) - rating: **** stars
Sporting what was probably the album's pettiest melody, 'Just a Pretty Face' found the band aptly slipping into country-rock territory. Imagine Poco at their most pop-commercial and you'd have a feel for what this one sounded like.
4.) Crimson Lady (Gary Kato - H. Colter - Ronnie Skurow) - rating: **** stars
Another Skurow tune, 'Crimson Lady' was a surprisingly melodic slice of hard rock ... better than 95% of what you'd find on a tax scam
Nice, driving country-rocker with a sparkling melody and uplifting lyrics that would have made a dandy mid-'70s single. Another album highlight.
2.) Tell Me Now (Gary. Kato - Philip Katchaturian) - rating: **** stars
Another catchy slice of mid-'70s country rock, with a nice commercial edge.
3.) You'll Be Mine (Gary. Kato) - rating: **** stars
Credited to Kato, 'You'll Be Mine' sounded like a Surkow effort. Another highly commercial pop-rock tune that sounded a bit like an American version of Badfinger. Nice.
4.) When a Man Loves a Woman (Percy Sledge) (instrumental) - ???
One of the two tunes listed on the liner notes, but not found on the actual album. The song was apparently included on some pressings of the LP. This remake of the Percy Sledge hit, is supposedly a direct cop of a Wes Montgomery performance.
5.) Space Flying (Philip. Katchaturian) - ???
The second MIA tune also seemingly available on some copies of the album. I've seen it described as a decent slice of Latin rock. I read it's actually a cover of Bahamanian studio musician King Errison's song 'Life'.
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