Jaugernaut - 1980 Jaugernaut

richardbrichardb Poole, Dorset


ARTIST: Jaugernaut
ALBUM: Jaugernaut
LABEL: Valentine
YEAR: 1980
CD REISSUE: 2007, Valentine Records (remaster)


LINEUP: Brad Hymas - bass, guitars, vocals * John DiBernardo - guitars, vocals * Jim Valentine - lead guitar, acoustics, keyboards, vocals * Geoff Woodhouse - keyboards, vocals * Dale Osmundson - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 She's A Teaser * 02 Lullaby Lady * 03 The Light Of Your Love * 04 Goodbye * 05 Celebration * 06 Sooner Or Later * 07 Together * 08 Too Much To Bear * 09 Dear Sunshine


Over the years this album has developed a burgeoning reputation amongst the AOR underground, and now having heard it myself it's easy to understand why.

It's often the case when it comes to private label releases, that the hype raises expectations, only for the reality to result in bitter disappointment.

Speaking as an England football supporter these emotions are all too familiar!

On this occasion though, the hyperbole is justified. Jaugernaut's particular brand of commercial pomp sits comfortably alongside such lofty peers as Styx (circa 'The Grand Illusion' era), and Trillion.

It also helps that lead singer John DiBernardo (at least I assume it is he) bears more than a passing resemblance to Dennis DeYoung.

Unsurprisingly then, this album has virtually taken up residence on my turntable rather than being placed in the pile of LP's marked 'For charity shop-ebay'.

The Songs

As soon as I heard the opening strains of the Hammond organ on the Stonebolt flavoured 'She's A Teaser' I knew that I was going to enjoy this album.

However it's on the next track 'Lullaby Lady' where I truly thought I'd died and gone to pomp heaven. The combination of twin guitars riffing, tasteful keyboards and delicate vocal harmonies in the midsection sounds positively Stygian!

The mood softens for 'The Light Of Your Love' which echoes Trillion's 'Tell It To The Wind'. It's largely acoustic in nature, and thus allows the vocal harmonies to shine.

'Goodbye' is slow burning and sombre from the onset, but by the time 'Celebration' arrives the guitar crunch and upbeat tempo have returned.

This theme is continued over on the flipside with 'Sooner Or Later' and the standout cut 'Together' - it has a soaring uplifting quality and memorable chorus you'll be humming for days afterwards.

Unfortunately Jaugernaut lose a brownie point with 'Too Much To Bear' (apt title huh?.. Ed), which despite the promise of Styx like synths at the beginning, can't save it from mediocrity.

Fortunately they redeem themselves with the epic 'Dear Sunshine' which is Jaugernaut's magnum opus weighing in at a respectable 6 minutes plus (phew!) for a closing track.

In Summary

As a postscript I understand moves are afoot to re-release the debut on CD. I for one consider it long overdue..

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    gdazegodgdazegod Lostralia
    Remember when moustaches were a thing back in 1980. Think Barry Goudreau and Buck Dharma. Among many others.
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