John Eddie - The Hard Cold Truth

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited December 2022 in Year-1989

Originally pitched at the heartland rock sub-genre, John Eddie's songs ended up with smooth production values which papered over the stripped down sound often found in this style, this is apparent on both his Columbia records including this 1989 effort.

John Eddie - The Hard Cold Truth
ARTIST: John Eddie
ALBUM: The Hard Cold Truth
LABEL: Columbia
YEAR: 1989
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List

LINEUP: John Eddie - vocals, guitars * Joe Sweeney, P.K. Lavengood - guitars * Rich Janice - keyboards * Mike Stanzilis - bass * Shawn Pelton - drums * Everett Bradley - percussion, backing vocals * K.B Nicholas - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Shake My Faith * 02 Baby's Gone Wild * 03 Swear * 04 When Love Turns Mean * 05 Pourin' Rain * 06 Payday * 07 Tough Luck * 08 Daddy Said * 09 Run & Hide * 10 In Private

WEBLINK: Site Link


John Edward Cummings is John Eddie's real name, and he's a transplanted Virginia native who became a long-term New Jersey resident after the family moved there during his childhood. He wasn't a professional musician until later, though his music love affair started early.

Initially joining the Navy upon leaving high school, John formed his first band at age 20 (circa 1979) and was a regular fixture on the New Jersey club scene during the early 80's, and had an association with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.

This resulted in attention from the record labels, eventually hooking a two album deal with Columbia in 1985, the debut 'John Eddie' album appearing the following year with a stellar cast, and a minor hit with the rumbling rock 'n roll of 'Jungle Boy'. However, it took three years for the second effort to appear; being this album 'The Hard Cold Truth'.

The Songs

Originally pitched at the heartland rock sub-genre, Eddie's songs ended up with smooth production values which papered over the stripped-down sound often found in this style. This is apparent on both his Columbia records.

Probably the best known song is 'Swear' which has quite a polished sound, so too the keyboard dominated opener 'Shake My Faith' though the repetition of the song title in the lyrics was slightly overbearing. 'Baby's Gone Wild' was a surprise, a hi-tech affair resembling Canadians Glass Tiger.

'When Love Turns Mean' isn't some soppy ballad, no it's surprisingly upbeat, given a boost by some well placed gang-chants. However the first point of respite is the mellow 'Pourin' Rain', which kinda flies in the face of the aggressive weather pattern the song title describes. 'Payday' is a better representation of Eddie's musical persona, very bluesy with slide guitar to the fore.

'Tough Luck' is a fusion of styles, commercial with brass parts giving it a point of difference. 'Daddy Said' returns to Eddie's stock and trade, a sassy rocker with more brass added for effect while 'Run & Hide' transitions back to a commercial form of pop rock. The album concludes with 'In Private' which unfortunately is the weakest track on offer, last but not least doesn't apply in this case.

In Summary

John wasn't able to build upon the momentum of the 1986 debut with this album, it didn't have any impact in the 1989 market and consequently Columbia threw in the towel. Into the 90's he signed with Elektra Records and recorded a third album 'Still In The Same Cage' during 1991 but it was never officially released despite lengthy legal action.

John disappeared from the recording scene, reappearing a decade later, now under the banner of his own record label - Lost American Thrill Show. He's since released a few albums (1999-2012) which is more in the country meets heartland style for which he is better known. John hasn't put out a studio album since 2012, but has released the odd digital single in 2013 and in 2020, so he's still out there doing his thing. By the way, he has a load of live video on YouTube should you wish to check it out.

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  • I really enjoy Eddie’s Hi-Tech take on the Heartland genre with this release. Not as consistent as his first album but the the highs in my opinion soar higher. Worth the price of admission for Swear, When Love Turns Mean & Shake My Faith. I’d love to hear his shelved Elektra follow up.

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