Band members Related acts
- none known
Rating: 2 stars **
Grade (cover/record): NM/NM
Comments: still in shrink
Catalog ID: 5694
1977's "Fever" is another one of those tax loss mysteries ... Not that anything on the Dellwood label is particularly easy to find, but this is one of the rarer releases on the label. That rarity factor drives a big chunk in the asking price.
In terms of biographical information there's nothing to be found out there ... in fact good luck even finding a review on this one. About all I can add comes from the barebones liner notes say the album was produced by Robert Simpson and all seven tracks were credited to a Jackie LaBaron. So what's it actually sound like? Unlike a lot of tax loss LPs which simply repackaged earlier material, this one was clearly written and recorded in the mid-1970s. Tracks like 'How Could You Leave' and 'Sunshine' just had that unique era feel and vibe - hard to accurate describe, but imagine something that was one part art and two parts marketing. That said, it was hard to tell if this was a true band enterprise, or not. Given the complete absence of anything even remotely original, my guess was studio entity, but who knows. Speaking of which, I could swear I'd heard the anonymous male lead singer's voice before, though I've never been able to place him. Regardless, whoever the singer was, he was actually quite good, effortlessly transitioning from dance material ('How Could You Leave') to more conventional rock ('Sin-Dee').
Wish I could tell you this was a lost tax scam classic, but it ain't ...
"Fever" track listing:
1.) How Could You Leave (Jackie LaBaron) - rating: *** stars
With a pseudo-disco beat and insidiously catchy groove, 'How Could You Leave' certainly had commercial appeal and would have sounded pretty good surrounded by other anonymous mid-1970s top-40 performers.
2.) Virginia (Jackie LaBaron) - rating: *** stars
'Virginia' was a pretty electric keyboard propelled ballad. It would have been even stronger without the irritating female backing vocals, though it included a couplet that always makes me laugh - "Virginia I can't wait to get back in ya' ..."
3.) Sunshine (Jackie LaBaron) - rating: ** stars
Another highly catchy slice of disco-tinged pop, it wouldn't be difficult to picture 'Sunshine' getting airplay had it been given some exposure and promotion. Mindless fun that was no worse than the other stuff you would have heard on mid-1970s top-40 radio ... Think Pablo Cruise (with an adult contemporary sax solo) and you'd be in the right aural ballpark.
4.) We Can Work It Out (Jackie LaBaron) - rating: ** stars
"We Can Work It Out' started out as a lame ballad before exploding into an up tempo rocker, slowing down for the chorus, and the revving up again. Unfortunately the song was wrecked by the strident and shrill female back chorus which put it firmly in the Jim Steinman/Meatloaf school. Not a good thing.
The hyper-urgent 'Sin-Dee' is another one that's always reminded me of a Jim Steinman/Meatloaf epic. Buried somewhere in this aural mess there was actually a nice hook, but the thing was simply buried and bludgeoned to death under a wall-of-sound arrangement.
2.) Fairy Tales (Jackie LaBaron) - rating: *** stars
Kind of a jarring change in direction, 'Fairy Tales' was a mid-tempo ballad that sported a different lead singer - this time out an anonymous female. She certainly had a powerful voice, tough it was a bit on the shrill side, making the mid-section guitar solo the highlight.
3.) Ain't No Use (Jackie LaBaron) - rating: * star
'AIn't No Use' ended the album on a too-cute throwaway number that sounded like something the later Peter Allen might have released. Yech.
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