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Mike Rutherford - Maxine CD (album) cover


Mike Rutherford


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2.12 | 7 ratings

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2 stars MIKE RUTHERFORD's second solo album ("Acting Very Strange" from 1982) was a disappointment for me in many ways when I bought it in 1983. Anyway, the song which was played sometimes in one FM Radio station in my city was "Maxine", and at that time I was buying any new album related to GENESIS, being it a new album from the band or a new solo album from any of the members or former members of the band. And it was a bit of a surprise for me that some songs from those new solo albums were in fact played in that FM Radio station (called "Rock 101"). Songs from solo albums by PHIL COLLINS ("You Can't Hurry Love"), PETER GABRIEL ("Shock the Monkey") and this, MIKE RUTHERFORD's "Maxine", songs which made me buy the LPs which coincidentally all were released in my country in the LP and cassette formats by Mexican record companies in 1982. So, it was even easier to buy those LPs between late 1982 and mid 1983, during another hard time for my country due to another "economical crisis" which made very hard for some record shops (which in fact disappeared from the market) to sell imported copies of all these albums. I think that some FM Radio stations like "Rock 101" in my city really helped artists like MIKE RUTHERFORD to be listened in the Radio in my country and to release his second solo album in my country. Another thing that helped that album to be released here and to have "Maxine" played in the Radio was the fact that all the albums from GENESIS from 1978 to 1982 were previously released here by Mexican record companies, maybe due to their more accessible music to be played in the Radio.

"Maxine" has some similarities to RUTHERFORD's previous work in the early eighties with GENESIS. It sounds a bit like being influenced by "Abacab", a simple song from the album of the same name by GENESIS. It has distorted guitars, a bass part which sounds like being played with bass pedals, and a simple Rock Music beat. It also has RUTHERFORD singing lead vocals like in all the other songs from his "Acting Very Strange" album (from which "Maxine" was selected to be released as a single), and backing vocals by Noel McCalla and other singers which really sound better than the lead vocal parts. The song is good, heavy in parts, and also has some very good lead guitar parts at the end of the song, maybe played by RUTHERFORD and Daryl Stuermer together. "Maxine" is one of the best songs from the "Acting Very Strange" album. An obvious choice to be released as a single. I don't know if it was a Hit Single in any country, but at least I listened to it being played by "Rock 101" several times. It is not a Prog Rock song in any way. It sounds more like a Pop Rock / Hard Rock song from the early eighties.

"A Day to Remember" is a more "quiet" song, with drum machine, some synthesisers, and lead and backing vocals. A Pop Rock song, too. Not very interesting for my taste.

I think that one of the problems of the "Acting Very Strange" album was that MIKE RUTHERFORD decided to sing the lead vocals. He is not a very good lead singer, as he also said in interviews years later. In fact, the album was released in the early nineties on CD, and was later put out of print. During the early 2000s there were plans to release it again on CD, but it seems that RUTHERFORD finally decided to not release the album again, considering it more like an "experiment" on which he sang lead vocals. In fact, when he decided to try again as a solo artist in the mid eighties, he decided to form a band called MIKE AND THE MECHANICS with two very good lead singers (Paul Carrack and Paul Young). But the "Acting Very Strange" album and the "Maxine" single were (in my opinion) the first steps of RUTHERFORD's Pop Rock music objectives as a soloist. Unfortunately, despite having two very good lead singers I even liked less the music from that band. In fact I only like some of their songs ("All I Need is a Miracle", "The Living Years", for example) and I never bought one of their albums (too much Pop Rock Music for my taste).

Guillermo | 2/5 |


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