Monday, April 18, 2011

LITTLE CAESAR: "Little Caesar & Influences"

Rating: Re-Issue

Label: Ironbird 2011

Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

Why the three-piece suites (record company folks) are trying to sell us these fine re-releases as something in the vein of "Guns N Roses" is beyond me, since the two acts had very little in common. Don't get me wrong, I've always sort of enjoyed the 1990 Little Caesar debut, but I just don't see the connection somehow??? Oh, of course, they were both formed on the West Coast of America, but that's pretty much it really. This is basic R&B rock 'ala the seventies and even sixties (Humble Pie) and acts such as Quireboys and The Black Crowes did something similar to the Lil' C's.

IronBird (Cherry Red's sub-label) continues on the same path as their Europe, Britny Fox, etc. with re-releasing two original albums on two CDs. Linernotes and short band history by famed UK journo Malcolm Dome and the band mostly complains about Bob Rock producing the debut. "All we wanted to do was make a lo fi, 1970s style rock record and Bob convinced us that he wanted the same as us. Motley Crue's Dr.Feelgood suddenly went top of the charts and almost overnight everything changed. It went from Bob Rock making a Little Caesar record to us making a Bob Rock album. It all got so out of hand", end quote. Gee, in other words, they had the best producer at the time, lots of money from the label, John Kalodner guiding them through and yet they never managed to make it big???

Sure, they didn't have the old seventies production they wanted, but in the end... it's always down to the actual song material to make or break a band. I've always hated their Aretha Franklin cover (Chains Of Fools) since it's not really meant to be done in a "hard rock" version? The Temptations "I Wish It Could Rain" added extra texture and quality to their record though. Little Caesar's own handed material such as "Down-N-Dirty", "In Your Arms", Stand Up", etc. are nice but hardly the stuff that hits are/were made of. The ballads are actually the best ones and "From The Start" will have lighters in the air at no time.

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