Jim Peterik - Don't Fight The Feeling

EricEric USA
edited August 1 in year-1976

Not the most consistent album released in 1976, apart from a couple of tracks there is a considerable amount of filler onboard, as well as braying funk, which doesn't sound very palatable.

Jim Peterik - Don
ARTIST: Jim Peterik
ALBUM: Don't Fight The Feeling
SERIAL: PE 34196
YEAR: 1976

LINEUP: Jim Peterik - lead vocals, electric & acoustic guitars, piano, bell * Terry Fryer - keyboards, grand piano, rhodes, poly-moog, flute, clavinet * Dennis Johnson - bass, moog, taurus pedals * Gary Smith - drums, percussion, moog drums * Bruce Gaitsch - lead guitar, electric sitar, six & twelve string acoustic guitars

Additional Musicians: James Young, Tommy Shaw, Russ Daughtry, Dave Bickler, Larry Millas - backing vocals * Toxey French - percussion * Dick Marcu - tambourine * Jim Horn, Jackie Kelso - sax * Chuck Findley - slide trumpet * Bob Findley - trumpet * Lew McCrary - bone

TRACK LISTING: 01 Don't Fight The Feeling * 02 Daphne With The Laughing Eyes * 03 Last Tango * 04 Naugahyde Heart * 05 Let There Be Song * 06 Chicago Blues * 07 Lazy Susan * 08 Hard Day At The World * 09 Vendetta * 10 Lay Back



Dressed in what looks like groovy neon double-knit polyester offset by thick-piled shag carpet devouring his white strides, the bespectacled James Michael Peterik on his solo debut 'Don't Fight The Feeling' looks like a bored extra on the set of a cheap 1970's porn movie. Not a great look even in the leisure-suited Carter years and the back sleeve 'hey ladies' photo hardly does him any favors although pasted next to his randy mug is one of those four paragraph love letter bio's Epic/CBS was so fond of back in the day.

Quoting the opening sentence: 'Jim Peterik is a survivor' which in hindsight was an amazingly prophetic statement considering Survivor, 'Rocky III' and AOR god status were just around the bend.

The Songs

With ex-members of doomed fusion outfit Chase and guitarist/future producer - the renowned Bruce Gaitsch making up the Jim Peterik Band; a few local friends lent their lubricated pipes to the project. This included James Young and Tommy Shaw (credited as Tom Shaw) from Styx as well as future beret wearing front man Dave Bickler on the sappy orchestral ballad 'Let There Be Song' although doubtful you'd even notice the latter's input but I'm getting ahead of myself.

Back to the top, the title track and in particular the Styx-ish 'Daphne With The Laughing Eyes' hit the spot with Shaw and Young's roaring harmonies giving both tunes a big pompy arena rock sound. Problem is there's a confounding amount of filler on the album as well as braying funk which has never been my forte. I'll take a stab and say its a carry over from big Jim's horn charting Ides Of March days but you'd be wise to lift the needle for 'Last Tango' and the messy boogie-woogie of 'Chicago Blues' if you know what's good for you.

'Hard Day At The World' sounds like cow cover REO Speedwagon which is just alright, nothing to write home about and coupled with 'Vendetta' and the drowsy Toby Beau/Eagles California rock of 'Lay Back', this is an uneven, at times frustrating record and few if any hints of the melodic rock wonder boy Peterik would later become.

In Summary

A long line of club gigs followed as well as the oddball opening act slot with Boston and Heart although none of it helped record sales and I'm not even sure if any singles were released. With nowhere to go but up, Peterik formed Survivor with Dennis Johnson and Gary Smith in 1977 and we all know how that rags to riches story turned out.

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