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June 07, 1979 - Image 10

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1979-06-07

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Page 10-Thursday, June 7, 1979-The Michigan Daily
Tuxedo-clad Glee Club coinquers the East

A torrent of rice during the "Wedding Song" littered
the stage like confetti in bleachers. The thuds of cham-
pagne corks let loose made the Alma Mater boom like
the 1812 Overture. Thus, the Men's Glee Club snapped
the lid on its East Coast tour with a stunt-filled concert
in Buffalo.
Traveling tightly in a bus and van from April 29 to
May 9, the 47-member troupe voiced it up for nine con-
certs in ten days. Accompanied by the director and his
wife, the Glee Club performed for such notables as
Miss New Jersey, Miss Ocean City, and the Skidmore
women. Every concert was followed by a party,
usually given by U. of M. Alumni.
The tour covered Pittsburgh, Penn State, Ocean
City, New York City, Wellesley College, Ludlow,
Massachusetts, Skidmore College, and Buffalo.

THE PACE may have been frantic, but senior Paul
Brown commented, "After singing 65 concerts in four
years, the tour was a fitting way to end my singing
Support for the tour came from a variety of sources.
These included record and concert sales, University
donations, alumni funds, and payment for tour per-
formances. Alumni usually put the Club up for the
night in their homes and provided dinner.
While romping about the East Coast, members found
themselves involved in some rather unmusical
situations. A few members inadvertently assisted in
the recognition and subsequent arrest of two dope ped-
dlers by undercover agents in Central Park. Others
helped to found a urinal in the streets of Pittsburgh
which was closed ina "pants down" raid by the police.
TREKKING arm in arm, decked out in their

glamourous tuxes, one member in stunning blue
glasses, several members attended Studio 54.
During a moment of educational redemption in
Atlantic City, the singers verified that Boardwalk is
the most expensive streeet, that Pennsylvania is
moderately expensive, and the not overwhelming fact
that Baltic and Mediterranian comprise the ghetto sec-
I'm proud to say that every concert was good, three
being exceptional," remarked Glee Clubber Paul
Jones. "In the beginning members are fired up for the
tour, but some tours lag in the middle because the
singers get worn down and a bit tired of each other,"
Jones explained.
Stunts pulled during the final, Buffalo, concert were
unexpected by the director. The tricks stimulated an
elder alumnus to compliment the Glee Club, tears in his
eyes, "You boys have a lot of class."

Life can sometimes be a pretty
desolate journey. The existentialists
bemoan its lack of meaning. Lonely
souls suffer the torment of alienation.
Impoverished, starving men turn
anguished eyes to the heavens for
relief. Owners of Cadillacs pray for
But there are methods for easing the
pain of our existence: aspiring to the
high ideals, turning to religion, sub-
scribing to computer dating services.
Or listening to rock and roll.
BAD COMPANY has always been the
saving-angel of FM radio, a sure thing
for station managers to program and
overplay. Before their debut album
even broke, they were called a
"supergroup" - a combination of two
of the best bands of the early Seventies,
Free and Mott The Hoople. As soon as
"Can't Get Enough" became a hit, Bad
Company was destined to head the top
of AOR (album-oriented rock) playlists
with their power chord riffs. Through
successive albums like Straight Shooter
and Run With The Pack, the group
cultivated a classic trademark sound
with Paul Rodgers upfront, his voice
strong and natural, Mick Ralphs
playing succinct and gritty guitar leads
in the tradition of Keith Richards-type
second generation British rockers, and
the Simon Kirke/Boz Burrell rhythm
machine holding down the heavy metal
Now, after allowing Foreigner to
utilize its patented riffs for the past two
years, Bad Company is back with its fif-
th ambum, Desolation Angels. It's
commercially successful; six of its ten
cuts are being played on the radio. But
while radio airplay may indicate the
success of an album, it is often
unrelated to quality. Desolation Angels
is all right, probably much better than'
the last one, Burning Sky, but it's not
great. I don't think it. unreasonable to
expect greatness from a supergroup.
Bad Company just does not deliver here
like it has in the past. .
"ROCK 'N' ROLL Fantasy," "Evil
Wind," and "Lonely For Your Love"
are some of the better rock songs on the
album, but they all lack the classic Bad
The game that
doesn't need
any help
at the UNION

Company punch. Only "Gone, Gone,
Gone" really displays the old excellen-
ce and verve. It is based on a simple
arrangement of two power chords
played in a shuffling rhythm, but
Ralphs sustains those chords to achieve
the right edge of distortion charac-
teristic of Bad Company's style. Then
he adds some fine slide guitar for the
finishing touch. In fact, Ralph's lead
playing shines throughout Desolation
Angels; his leads sound better than
ever. But hot solos cannot transform
average compositions into great rock
During the long layoff, Ralphs and
Rodgers seem to have directed their
energies to developing the acoustic side
of Bad Company's music; Almost half
the new songs were written for acoustic
guitar. Although Bad Company has
combined these stylings with power
chords on previous albums, they have
never been used in their pure form to
the extent they are here. Desolation
Angels represents the clearest
dichotomy of Bad Company's aproach:
a heavy metal band with acoustic
sophistication. These songs provide a
pleasant interlude and an appropriate
background for their lyrics of love.
MOST OF THE material on the
album deals with some extension of
love: passion for rock and roll and
places ("Oh, Atlanta"), a yearning for
love (the acoustic "Take The Time"),
and love that is lost. Other songs like
"Crazy Circles" and "Evil Wind" point
to an endless desolation in life.
Analyzing a Bad Comparny album for
conceptual unity may be as useless as
looking for the inner meaning in a
Chuck Berry lyric. The group has never
worked from such a framework before,
but Desolation Angels seems to revolve
around a basic theme. It may be that
Rodgers, Ralphs and Company are
suggesting that Love is the solution to a
mixed up, muddled, barren existence.
Not very profound, but practical at
The rock and roll on the album is not
very profound or substantial compared
to Bad Company's previous classics. It
has a trademarked sound that fits
easily into the structure of FM radio
playlists. But don't get the impression
that Bad Company is a "sell out,"
because its acoustic music refutes this
claim. It's just that all supergroups, by
right of their elite position, tend to
dominate the airwaves regardless of
the relative quality of any new albums.
And maybe that's where the desolation
of existence actually begins.

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