David + David - 1986 Boomtown

EricEric USA
edited August 2 in year-1986


ARTIST: David + David
ALBUM: Boomtown
SERIAL: SP 65134
YEAR: 1986
CD REISSUE: 1990, A&M, CD5134


LINEUP: David Baerwald, David Ricketts - vocals, all instruments

Additional Musicians: Ed Greene - drums * Paulinho Da Costa - percussion * Toni Childs, Noland Void, Camille Henry - background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Welcome To The Boomtown * 02 Swallowed By The Cracks * 03 Ain't So Easy * 04 Being Alone Together * 05 A Rock For The Forgotten * 06 River's Gonna Rise * 07 Swimming In The Ocean * 08 All Alone In The Big City * 09 Heroes


Critics raved; their music was all over the radio and 'Boomtown' sold certified Gold but David Baerwald and David Ricketts as David + David never put out another album which is a crying shame as 'Boomtown' is in my mind one of the best pop debuts of 1980's.

Meeting in Los Angeles a couple years prior to the LP; demos were recorded in their living rooms and through a friend's sister, who temped at A&M at the time, landed a contract with the label.

A tour followed to much praise but it wasn't enough to hold the relationship together and the split has never been fully explained.

The Songs

The appeal of 'Boomtown' is two-fold; a peanut butter and chocolate mix of dark, seedy, less than optimistic lyrics and pure high gloss 80's pop rock.

This was the same kind of stuff Bruce Springsteen and John Cougar Mellencamp were cranking out; songs for and about the blue collar working man with an AOR sheen, but there's artiness to David + David's approach that had more in common with late in the game Roxy Music than Asbury Park and Farm Aid.

Opener 'Welcome To The Boomtown' was the perfect made for radio single with chunky and oddly meandering guitar soloing over ethnic atmospheres recalling Peter Gabriel.

Hooky and hard to resist 'Swallowed By The Cracks' and 'Ain't So Easy' were also picked as singles and should have been hits but in a year of great pop, it's not a wonder they were overlooked.

The sinister 'River's Gonna Rise 'gets my thumbs up as the albums key track and overall 'Boomtown' never fails to impress, holding up from a production standpoint, avoiding the 'dated' sound that befalls so much music from the period and a wellspring of fantastic material laced with social commentary as relevant today as it was in the greed is good 'trickledown' Regan era.

In Summary

David Baerwald released at least two solo albums as well as co-writing Sheryl Crow's 1993 Grammy award winning smash 'All I Wanna Do'.

Ricketts also collaborated on Crow's 'Tuesday Night Music Club' album as well as producing the lauded 1988 'Union' album from former Berlin vocalist and then wife Toni Childs.

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