Monday, December 20, 2010
AccuRadio Song Of The Day-The James Gang
With the popularity of power rock trios like Cream in the late 60s, The James Gang had the potential to be huge. They weren't as big as they could have been because of constant personnel changes. Today they're probably best known for launching the career of guitarist Joe Walsh. Walk Away was their biggest hit single but they were more of an album band anyway. The James Gang started out in Cleveland in 1966 with drummer Jim Fox, bassist Tom Kriss and guitarist Glen Schwartz. When Schwartz left to join Pacific Gas & Electric, Joe Walsh replaced him. At one point, they were a five piece band. But when two left just before a big gig opening for Cream in Detroit, they continued as a trio. They were signed to ABC Records by house producer Bill Szymczyk. He was a recording engineer looking to become a producer and and took the job at ABC to do just that. He also produced Walsh and Eagles when Walsh joined them. Their first two albums did reasonably well on FM radio but there were no hit singles. The also recorded music for the 1969 film Zachariah which was supposed to be a rock western. By the time Thirds was released in 1971, Kriss left and was replaced by Dale Peters. Walk Away was their most successful chart single but it only hit the mid-50s of the Billboard Hot 100. The album reached #27 on the Billboard Hot 200 and went Gold. But Joe Walsh was getting restless and left for a solo career in 1971. He was replaced by singer Roy Kenner and guitarist Domenic Troiano. They recorded two albums with The James Gang including their first album with new label Atco. But Troiano left to join The Guess Who in 1974 and was replaced by Tommy Bolin of Zephyr. Bolin helped revitalize the band but then he left to join Deep Purple in 1975. Fox and Peters attempted to keep the band alive but they split up in 1976. This budget comp is a good intro to their music. The James Gang have reunited a couple of times and of course Joe Walsh has been with Eagles for years. As I said, The James Gang had success but had the potential to be much bigger. Here's the video for Walk Away by The James Gang.