Treasure


Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1977-79)

- Vinnie Cusano (aka Vinnie Vincen, aka Vinny Vincent) -- vocals,

  lead guitar

- Felix Cavaliere - vocals, keyboards

- Jack Scarangella -- drums, percussion

 

  supporting musicians:

- Rick Laird -- bass

 

 

 

Felix Cavaliere (solo efforts)

- Joey Dee and His Starlighters (Felix Cavaliere)

- The Fabulous Rhinestones (Jack Scarangella)

- Heat (Vinnie Cusano)

- Hitchhikers (Vinnie Cusano)

- Hunter (Vinnie Cusano)

- Kiss (Vinnie Cusano (aka Vinnie Vincent))

- The Rascals (solo efforts)

- Vinnie Vincent (solo efforts)

- Vinnie Vincent Invasion

- Warrior (Vinnie Cusano)

- The Young Rascals  (solo efforts)

 

 

 


 

Genre: pop

Rating: 2 stars **

Title:  Treasure

Company: Epic 

Catalog: KC 34890
Year:
 1977

Country/State: New York

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: timing strip on front cover (not shown in photo)

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD 1039

Price: SOLD $25.00

 

You'd think this album would attract attention for ex-Rascals front man Felix Cavaliere's participation in the project.   Ironically that's not the case. The big draw is apparently among hardcore Kiss fans who are seemingly curious to hear Vinnie Vincent's (aka Vinnie Cusano); contributions to the album.  For anyone not a Kiss fan, Vincent's probably best known as Ace Frehley's replacement.  And for anyone who admires Vincent's lead guitar moves in Kiss, or the Vinnie Vincent Invasion, these top-40 pop and AOR moves are liable to leave them disappointed, if not broken hearted.   Hey, as an added bonus, you get to hear Vincent sing a couple of tunes !

 

LP back cover: left to right Cusano - Cavaliere - Scarangella

 

After The Rascals' 1972 break-up singer/keyboardist Cavaliere recorded a pair of decent, but mediocre selling 1974 solo efforts.   Apparently interested in returning to a group environment, he formed Treasure with guitarist Cusano and former Fabulous Rhinestones drummer Jack Scarangella.   The trio had little trouble scoring a recording contract with Epic, resulting in the release of 1977's Cavaliere produced "Treasure".   So here's where it turns ugly.   I'm a big Cavaliere fan so it pains me to slam the album, but it simply wasn't very good.  With Cavaliere and Cusano both contributing material, most of the nine songs were mediocre, or worse.   Anyone expecting to hear Rascals styled blue-eyed soul was bound to be disappointed by these slabs of flat and lifeless pop like the single 'I Wanna Love You' and anonymous AOR tracks like 'Love Me Tonight'.  To be blunt, I've seldom heard a collection with as little energy and enthusiasm.   In fact, with the possible exception of 'Jubilation', 'Think It's Love' (which was the most Rascals-styled tune on the album), and 'When the Sun Shines', it sounded like these guys were basically on automatic pilot, phoning in their material.  As for Cusano, he had a surprisingly pop-oriented voice which might explain why his two contributions ('Innocent Eyes' and 'Turn Yourself Around') were surprisingly pop-ish and lightweight.  Giving credit where due, Cusano's guitar provided a big part of the album's far and few between highlights.

 

"Treasure" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) I Wanna Love You    (Felix Cavaliere) - 4:20   rating: ** stars 

Well, Cavaliere's voice clearly drew comparisons to The Rascals, and while Cusano's squealing guitar  tried to give the song some rock umph, the results were ultimately a little bit too close to MOR for their own good.  Commercial, but kind of anonymous.  Epic half-heartedly tapped it as a single.    

  

 

 

 

- 1977's 'I Wanna Love You' b/w 'I Wanna Love You' (Epic catalog number 8-50519)

 


 

 

 

 

 

2.) Innocent Eyes   (Vinnie Cusano) - 2:58   rating: ** stars 

I imagine Kiss fans would be surprised, if not horrified to hear Vinnie singing lead on this mushy slice of top-40 fluff.   To my ears this sounded like something a teen idol like Shaun Cassidy could have pawned off on the buying public.   With the exception of a nice guitar solo, this was pretty awful.   Who knows why, but the song was released as a single in South Africa.

 

 

 

- 1977's 'Innocent Eyes' b/w 'When the Sun Shines' (Epic catalog number EN 1678)

 

 

3.) Love Me Tonight    (Felix Cavaliere - D. Clapp) - 3:18   rating: ** stars 

Hum, 'Love Me Tonight ' seemingly found Cavaliere and company take a stab at AOR ...   Bad decision on their part as the results were completely anonymous and forgettable.   
4.) Jubilation  (Felix Cavaliere - D. Clapp) - 4:35  
rating: *** stars

Side one's best track, 'Jubilation' at least showed hints of inspiration and energy.  Cavaliere actually turned in a memorable melody and sang this one as if he liked the tune.  

 

(side 2)
1.) When the Sun Shines   (Felix Cavaliere) - 3:44   rating: **** stars

Opening up with some electric piano and Cusano shreds, 'When the Sun Shines' sounded promising and while it wasn't great, the combination of Cavliere's blue-eyed soul vocals and Cusano's hard rock moves actually worked out.  Imagine Cavaliere fronting Foreigner.   Easily the album's standout track, you had to wonder why they didn't come up with more stuff along these lines.
2.) My Lady Once Told Me   (Felix Cavaliere - D. Clapp) - 2:56
  rating: *** stars

Decent up-tempo rocker that allowed Cusano to showcase some of his hyperactive shredding techniques.  
3.) Turn Yourself Around   (Vinnie Cusano) - 3:18
    rating: *** stars

'Turn Yourself Around' was another Cusano penned track.  He also handled lead vocals, displaying a surprisingly pop-ready voice that might make Kiss fans shudder.   Shame the backing vocals on the refrain were a bit unstable.   A lot of folks probably don't realize Cusano went on to write much of the music for the television sitcom Happy Days, but anyone hearing this tune would understand the connection.   Quality, but mindless top-40 pop.  
4.) Think It's Love   (Felix Cavaliere - 3:52
   rating: **** stars

Perhaps Cavaliere's best performance, 'Think It's Love' was another tune that managed to blend Rascals-styled charm with a slightly tougher rock sound (wish the tape had kept going since Cusano turned in some of his best work at the end of the song).   Again, you were left to wonder what might have been if they'd pursued this track with more energy. 
5.) Treasure  (Felix Cavaliere) - 3:28
  rating: *** stars

The title track was a pretty, breezy ballad with some nice Cusano moves that was best described as a guilty pleasure.

As mentioned, the album spun off a promo single in the form of:

One LP and one promo 45 was apparently all the band released before calling it quits.

 

Cavaliere returned to a solo career, while the enigmatic Cusano went into sessions (including playing on some of Cavaliere's solo material), before briefly hooking up with Kiss and then moving on to a solo career.

 

No idea why, but in 2010 the Wounded Bird label reissued the collection with a bonus track - the single version of 'I Wanna Love You' (Wounded Bird catalog number WOU 4890).

 

 

 

 

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