Wednesday, July 23, 2008

King Cool

Donnie IrisKing Cool is the second solo album by American rock singer Donnie Iris, released in 1981. This was the follow up to his solo debut, Back on the Streets, and proved to be the commercial and critical peak for Iris and his band the Cruisers. For you really oldsters you may remember Iris from a group called The Jaggerz where he was responsible for writing the #2 Billboard hit "The Rapper" which came out in 1970 and sold over 5 million copies. After the Jaggerz broke up, Iris toured with Wild Cherry, whose 1976 hit "Play That Funky Music" had made them a hot property into the end of the decade. It was during this period that he became acquainted with his future partner Mark Avsec, now playing keyboards for Wild Cherry. When Wild Cherry called it quits Iris began his solo career.

On this album Iris concentrated more on a classic rock sound which helped propel three charting singles from this album. King Cool managed to break no new ground, but served as a loving homage to crunchy, singalong rock. Boy does it ever, from the melodic "Sweet Merilee," which features some lovely harmonies, to the percussion-driven "Love Is Like a Rock" and let's not forget "My Girl", which opted for a doo wop feel and became their biggest hit reaching number 25 on the charts. If that wasn't enough, believe it or not, these aren't the best songs on the album. Infectious tracks like "The Promise," the punchy "Pretender," and the mid-tempo ballad "The Last to Know" are even better than the three songs released as singles. In fact every song on this album should have been a top 40 hit. A truly lost classic masterpiece that more people should become acquainted with and own. I make no bones about listing this album as one of my Top 100 Albums of All Time.

Broken Promises
The Promise
Buy It

Funny Toon