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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
Concrete Blonde
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:$35.00+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on June 30, 2008
Evolving from Dream Six, CB 's first album is short, loud, and sweet. Slower, soulful songs like "Beware of Darkness" and "Make me Cry" with its awesome harmony vocal, are mixed with full speed ahead hard rock monsters like "Over Your Shoulder", "Still in Hollywood", and "Your Haunted Head".

In between are mid tempo rockers like "True" and "Cold Part of Town". There is not a bad song on the album, and most are memorable. "Little Sister" (only half a heart away) and "Song For Kim" are superb.

The band at this early stage is solid. Harry Rushakoff is not flashy on drums, but solid as a rock, his bass pedal mixed up front, working with Johnette Napolitano's bass guitar to lay down a very effective rhythm. Jim Mankey is outstanding on the rhythm guitar parts, but has not evolved into the blazing fast, agonizingly tortured demon he would become. He sounds more like The Edge than Jimi Hendrix on this album, but is effective enough.

Johnette's voice and songwriting are the attraction, however. The songs always mean something, are never just words to sing for the song. But, the true attraction with Concrete Blonde was Johnette's voice.

She has a low voice compared to most female singers, and it is soulful and powerful. She hits the notes, and does it with great control and volume. It is as good a female rock and roll voice as there has ever been. If you are looking for a high pitched, cutesy little voice, popping along with peppy tunes, and a massive backbeat for dancing being the only memorable part of the instrumentation, pass this one by. If you are thinking Avril Lavigne, or Madonna, forget it. Think Janis Joplin with power and even more attitude, with great lyrics, and you are close.

What you have is exactly how most of us would put together a Chick fronted Rock band. Powerful drumming, blistering guitar, and a Chick with attitude, thrashing the bass while she belts out songs with a set of pipes you won't believe.
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Friends tell me they feel this was not only Concrete Blonde's first, but best album. I'm not so sure I agree, mainly as I love just about everything they did. This album is, of course, a great one, containing the first couple singles by the group (two versions of "Still in Hollywood") and other outstanding numbers. To be honest, I think Napolitano's releases as Pretty & Twisted and her breath-taking solo album, "Scarred" are contenders for the best albums by segments of the group. Your collection isn't complete without this CD if you're a fan of the group. The "best of" CD isn't enough.
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on December 11, 2004
I'm amazed that this album is so hard to find. My ancient vinyl version was bookended by the two versions of "True." This album came out at a time in the late eighties when rock music had pretty much ceased to respirate.

"Beware of Darkness" is a great cover of an old George Harrison song, "Little Sister" features some of the personal and vibrant lyrics on the album. The vocals and playing are excellent throughout the album.

Found some change in my pocket, thought I'd take a chance and dial...

This album came out during a dark period in my life and the music has intense personal value and meaning. It's more than worth the money. You ought to buy a copy while it's available. You never know when you're going to need it. Music has kept more than one lost soul off the rocks. This isn't music for idiots. You'll need to bring a little something to the table.

A feeling of urban grit but delivered with a clear, sober exactitude that feels much more like poetry. From what I can recollect the band instantly fell into the standard L.A. black hole of one-album-success-and-a-lifetime-of-heroin-use. But I'm surprised to have to dig to find this album again, this truly is one of the best rock albums ever recorded.
11 people found this helpful
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on May 2, 2018
Another one I had on cassette
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on November 28, 2016
The album is great. My CD was trashed years ago. I'm glad I found this in MP3.
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on September 11, 2015
I'm not sure how I missed this album. I could have been enjoying it for the last umpteen years. Life is not fair!!!
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on May 24, 2014
I like it. It's a great representation of there early work. Buy it if you can. A very good sounding album.
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on August 8, 2010
Great debut album by a great band! Lotsa good tracks on this one. "Over Your Shoulder","Haunted Head",and "Still in Hollywood" are fantastic. The cover of George Harrisons' "Beware of Darkness" is haunting.
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on February 21, 2013
So glad I found this...lost my og cd in a break up. This was a great value and in good shape. Love CB!
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on January 15, 2007
I purchased this because I had (and liked) the LP back when this was the medium. Still like the group.
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