Tycoon - Turn Out The Lights

geoviangeovian Earth Orbit
edited September 30 in year-1981

ARTIST: Tycoon
ALBUM: Turn Out The Lights
LABEL: Arista
YEAR: 1981

LINEUP: Norman Mershon - vocals * Mark Kreider - bass, vocals * Jon Gordon - guitars, vocals * Bobby Messano - guitars, vocals * Mark Rivera - sax, vocals * Keith Taylor - keyboards * Mike Braun - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 This Island Earth * 02 One More Try * 03 Turn Out The Lights * 04 Walkin' The Line * 05 Let It Down * 06 Hang On In * 07 Can't Take That Away * 08 Love You Till It Hurts * 09 C'mon Over * 10 Call The Police


Tycoon were a band primarily made up of New York session musicians during the late 70's. An accumulation of musicians (some listed above) joined forces, and under the guiding hand of Mutt Lange produced their debut album in 1979.

This one was not particularly memorable, so it was surprising to see two years later an album which was completely different, and held by many scribes as being an absolute AOR gem!

Yes, TOTL is a very special album of great songs, and features a superb vocal performance by Norman Mershon, the guitar slinger antics of Bobby Messano (previously with Starz) and a top notch production by Vini Poncia (Adrenalin).

The Songs

Tycoon open up with the reggae flavoured 'This Island Earth'. A unique way to start an album for sure. I quite liked the funkiness of 'One More Try', with Rivera's sax working overtime on this one.

The title track 'Turn Out The Lights' has a punchy piano arrangement, and is similar to John O'Banion's material. The purest form of AOR is the sensational 'Walkin' The Line', where you see an integration of debut era Balance mixed in with Toto.

'Let It Down' is a ballad with a foot in the REO Speedwagon camp. Then we get a pair of uptempo 80's AOR tracks, 'Hang On In' and 'Can't Take That Away'. Without doubt one of my favourite tracks is 'Love You Till It Hurts', a track that should've been on Toto's songlist.

The last pair of tracks are as energetic as they are inviting. 'Cmon Over' is great while 'Call The Police' is a hilarious workout, which I'm sure the boys from The Tubes would've had fun playing.

In Summary

The band split not long after, but years after the event, I think the album had a CD release somewhere. Mershon and Kreider, the two leading lights kept Tycoon going up until 1983 at least, despite losing their deal with Arista.

An unreleased set of tunes appeared years later under the title 'Opportunity Knocks', reportedly released as a series of demos in 1983. We've reviewed that one too, click the tag below. For what it's worth, 'Turn Out The Lights' is a pretty good effort, and one that is well respected by the AOR community at large.

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