Earth Quake

Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1970) as Purple Earthquake

- Greg Boykin --- drums

- Robbie Dunbar - - guitar, keyboards, backing vocals

- Michel Jones -- vocals

- Stan Miller -- bass, backing vocals

- John Sargent -- lead guiatr


  line up 2 (1970-73)

NEW - John Doukas (RIP 2011) -- vocals (replaced Michel Jones)

NEW - Robbie Dunbar -- guitar, keyboards, backing vocals

  (replaced  John Sargent)

- Stan Miller -- bass, backing vocals

NEW - Steve Nelson -- drums, percussion (replaced Greg Boykin)


  backing musicians:

- Chuck Findley -- trumpet

- Jim Horn -- sax

- Lenny Pickett -- sax

- Pete Sears -- keyboards


  line up 3 (1973-80)

- John Doukas (RIP 2011) - - vocals (replaced Michel Jones)

- Robbie Dunbar - - guitar, keyboards, backing vocals (replaced 

  John Sargent)

- Stan Miller -- bass, backing vocals

- Steve Nelson -- drums, percussion (replaced Greg Boykin)

NEW - Gary Phillips - guitar, keyboards, backing vocals



Copperhead (Greg Phillips)

- John Doukas (solo efforts)

- Hyts (Stan Miller)

- The Mob (John Doukas)





Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Why Don't You Try Me

Company: A&M

Catalog: SP 4337

Year: 1972

Country/State: California

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: original inner sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 396

Price: $20.00


Co-produced by Allan Mason and the band, 1972's  "Why Don't You Try Me"  was Earth Quake's second and final release for A&M.  Whereas the debut album essentially captured the band's longstanding live repertoire in a studio setting, the sophomore release found them playing around the edges with some new touches, including horns  ('Bright Lights) and some Young Rascals-styled blue-eyed soul moves ('I Get the Sweetest Feeling').   Musically the set showcased their impressive technical credentials and ability to handle a broad array genres (imagine a West Cost NRBQ), ranging from blue-eyed soul ('Why Don't You Try Me'), to Foghat-styled boogie rock ('Trainline').   While the entire line-up was talented, I've always been a big fan of John Doukas rugged voice which gave the band's pop edges a tougher, power-pop feeling.  Guitarist J. Robbie Dunbar also handled a couple of tracks, but wasn't nearly as good.


"Why Don't You Try Me" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Bright Lights   (J. Robbie Dunbar - John Doukas) - 3:24

'Bright Lights' started the album off with a wonderful slice of pop-rock - with an instantly catchy hook and showcasing Doukas' craggy voice, it actually sounded a bit like something Huey Lewis and the News would subsequent dominate late-'70s radio with.   Should have been a massive hit for the band.   rating: **** stars

2.) The Blindman's Eyes   (Rose Bimler - John Doukas) - 3:33

A San Francisco version of Bafinger ...   'The Blindman's Eyes' was easily the album's best all around track with a killer melody; some wonderful Dunbar lead guitar, and a taste of the band's overlooked harmony vocals.   rating: **** stars

3.) I Get the Sweetest Feeling   (Van McCoy - Alicia Evelyn) - 3:48

Jackie Wilson enjoyed a top-20 hit with the tune in 1968 and as good as Wilson's version was, I'll tell you that Earth Quake's cover had a wonderful Young Rascals blue-eyed soul feel to it.  Yeah it was probably already dated when released, but I'm a sucker for this sound.   Wonder why they didn't use the original song title ...     rating: ***** stars

4.) Trainline     (J. Robbie Dunb) - 6:26

The album's hardest rockin' number, 'Trainline' sounded a bit like Earth Quake doing Foghat ...   Okay, that might be a slight stretch, but the boogie rock feel that kicked the song along sure sounded like something Lonesome Dave Peverett and company would be milking for the next decade.   One of the album's highlights, even if it would have benefited from a bit of judicious editing.  rating: **** stars


(side 2)

1.) See What My Love Can Do   (J. Robbie Dunbar - John Doukas) - 4:02

'See What Me Love Can Do' was another track that had sort of a Young Rascals vibe to it; albeit Felix Cavaliere and company taking a stab at mid-'70s West Coast pop-rock.  Always loved the handclaps and the jamming close out section was surprisingly good.  rating: *** stars

2.) Why Don't You Try Me   (Billy Young) - 3:04

Originally 'Why Don't You Try Me' didn't make much of an impression on me, but over time it became one of my favorite performances with Dunbar turning in some of his best work on the tune.  rating: **** stars

3.) Riding High On Love    (Edwin Starr - Johnny Bristol) - 2:35

Jr. Walker and the All Stars version was the one I knew and while this one was okay, Walker's remains the definitive take.  Dunbar handled the lead vocal on this one - should have let Doukas sing it.    rating: ** stars

4.) Live and Let Live   (J. Robbie Dunbar - John Doukas) - 5:35   

A decent, if slightly anonymous hard rock tune, the main thing 'Live and Let Live' had going for it was some nice Dunbar lead guitar though most of his work was edited out with the song was tapped as the single.   rating: *** stars


As mentioned, the album spun off a single:




- 1972's 'Live and Let Live' b/w 'I Get the Sweetest Feeling' (A&M catalog number AM-1338)


Increasingly frustrated with what they saw as A&M's lack of support, the band threatened a lawsuit when they discovered the label had authorized the use of some of their music in the Sam Peckinpah film The Getaway.   With some of the resulting settlement, band manager Matthew King Kaufman subsequently formed Beserkley Records, signing Earth Quake to the label.






Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  8.5

Company: Beserkley

Catalog: JBZ-0047

Year: 1976

Country/State: California

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: original inner sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4719

Price: $8.00

Cost: $66.00


Most people seem to think that Greg Kihn was the mainstay of Matthew Kaufman's Beserkley Records.  Kihn may have become the label's chief money maker, but the label was originally formed and financed by the band Earth Quake.


Having recorded a pair of early-1970s albums for A&M, 1976's Kaufman and Glen Kolotkin produced "8.5" was the group's sophomore release for Beserkley.  The album gets off to a roaring start with the heavy metal 'Finders Keepers'.  Imagine Def Leppard had they come from California and you'll get a feel for this track.  Unfortunately, tracks such as 'Little Cindy' and '' offer up a more conventional set of rockers.  Powered by Doukas voice, most of the up tempo tracks are actually pretty good, but there isn't much in the way of originality or spark goin' on here.  As for ballads such as 'And He Likes To Hurt You' and 'Girl Named Jesse James' ... well at least there aren't too many of 'em.  Nice art noveau cover ...

"8.5" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Finders Keepers   (Johnson - Bowen) - 

2.) Little Cindy   (Gary Phillips) - 

3.) And He Likes To Hurt You   (D. Linde) - 

4.) Savin' My Love   (Robbie Dunbar - John Doukas - Gary Phillips) - 


(side 2)
1.) Girl Named Jesse James   (Robbie Dunbar - John Doukas) - 

2.) Motivate Me   (Robbie Dunbar - John Doukas - Gary Phillips - Bimier) - 

3.) Hit the Floor   (Robbie Dunbar - John Doukas - Stan Miller) - 

4.) Same Old Story   (Robbie Dunbar - John Doukas) - 

5.) Don't Want To Go Back   (Robbie Dunbar - John Doukas - Gary Phillips) -