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City Boy

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4 stars Now i have to admit that im an incurable popprog/artrock fan and especially dear to me are the sounds of City boy,10 cc,Charlie,Movies,Lake..etc..etc. This, City boys first album is brimming with wonderful arrangements and crazy musical (and lyrical) ideas..and fabulous vocal arrangements to boot. 10 cc, cant put a finger on these guys.....the album slides along with one wonderful song after the other (remeber im biased)and the lyrics...ahhh.. take track 3 :" Surgery hours (doctor doctor) with its rather naughty hints at what a doctor might be used need of a husband...ha..ha. Musically it is also GREAT stuff... these guys knows their musical moment pop, another hard rock..yet again flashy funky soul....and sofort. A great debut, a great popprog album,a wonderful artrock band.....try this one on for size...if it fits...go on the next "Dinner at the Ritz"..... then on to "Young men gone west" / "Book early" / "The day the earth caught fire". The last 2 are for hardcore fans only.....but i promise you...if you are but the slightest into artrock/popprog then these UK guys should give you the shiver!!! Also tracks " The Oddball dance" /" 5000 years" / "The greatest story ever told" are worth mentioning!! 4 stars indeed !!!!
Report this review (#29729)
Posted Wednesday, May 5, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Not a true prog band in my opinion, but very creative and original and fun, nonetheless. I love their first 6 albums, but this one, their first, probably shows their most progressive side. Very unusual vocal arrangements that take some getting used to, but Haymaking time will take you away with its dreamlike "pum-pum-pa" round. Check these guys out if you like pop/prog. Their 6th album, Heads Are Gonna Roll" is their least prog but their most rock, and is awesome if u lean that way. their third album "Young Men Gone West" is what introduced me to these guys, and I love it. Enjoy.
Report this review (#29730)
Posted Friday, November 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars I loved these guys ever since I saw them live in 1978 opening for Manfred Mann's Earth Band. Their self-titled debut album is a true masterpiece that combines great compositions and lyrics, heavy riffs and singalong tunes, instrumental passages and harmony vocals. A must have! Later albums are very good too, but this is the one that has that unconsumed freshness that makes it different and outstanding.
Report this review (#29731)
Posted Monday, April 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars CITY BOY were a Birmingham based art rock band who mixed funk, prog and pop into their music. It is hard band to exactly peg down this band but I would categorize them somewhere in the 10CC, STARCASTLE, early SPLITZ ENZ school of prog. My favourite track on the album is the 8 minute 5000 Years which is a timeless piece of prog rock. This album features the dual vocals of Lol Mason and Steve Broughton who collectively gave CITY BOY their unique sound. Overall a great album with some pretty cool moments and a couple of real prog gems tossed in. An excellent listen.
Report this review (#45858)
Posted Tuesday, September 6, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I was lucky enough to see the band at school -one of my first gigs -when they were touring this album in 76. Not really prog, more pop/art rock. Quite similar in ways to Supertramp especially the use of two distinctive vocalists to play characters in a song. For me, this is their best album. Not as sophisticated as Dinner and later albums but more fun and original. Hap-Kid-O is a great lost pop song, Oddball Dance quirky and fun-especially live, Sunset Boulevard conjures up the faded glamour and tragedy of the movie. Other songs just bop along, there are some lovely harmonies on 5000 miles. Surgery Hours would be an interesting MASH up with UFO's and the Thompson Twins' Doctors! Four stars as not realy true prog, though personally a five.
Report this review (#183970)
Posted Sunday, September 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
3 stars Let's talk about one of the unsung heroes of the '70s, a little band called City Boy. If you thought that Barclay James Harvest had a hard time finding an audience for their music, then hold on to your hats as I do the seven album retrospective of the band that definitely had everything in their repertoire to make them attractive to a wider audience and how their big break just never came. Still, isn't that one time opportunity the reason why so many young people are so attracted to the music business?

The self-titled debut from the sextet was where the band began their exploration of their sound and so the final product can both be considered good and bad. It's definitely a great introduction for any newcomer to City Boy since we get to hear so many sides of the band's repertoire. Unfortunately this is exactly the reason why the album just never managed to strike a definite cord with me. There are just too many different types of songs here that don't make the overall experience a consistent one.

The album is often referred to as one of the band's definite progressive rock moment with Sunset Boulevard and the 9 minute 5000 Years / Don't Know Can't Tell taking the young band's ambitions to the extreme. Personally I never considered this album to be more than a light Art Rock affair, hailed by the great versatility in style and quality between the compositions. The follow-up release Dinner At The Ritz was where City Boy actually tried out their progressive chops to a much greater effect, making that album somewhat of a conceptual piece as well.

If you're new to City Boy then this is definitely the album you should start with since it offers you the best retrospective of the band's sound and some great songwriting to go along with it. The band had a few better albums later on in their career but those releases usually concentrate on a certain aspect of the band's overall sound, showing us exactly why City Boy was such a great album-oriented band. Still, you haven't actually heard City Boy until you've heard this record!

***** star songs: (Moonlight) Shake My Head And Leave (4:25)

**** star songs: Deadly Delicious (4:37) Sunset Boulevard (6:17) 5000 Years / Don't Know Can't Tell (8:40) Haymaking Time (5:28)

*** star songs: Surgery Hours (Doctor Doctor) (3:04) Oddball Dance (5:04) The Hap-Ki-Do Kid (3:13) The Greatest Story Ever Told (4:46)

Report this review (#437231)
Posted Thursday, April 21, 2011 | Review Permalink

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