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minimum wage rock & roll LP

4.7 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Minimum Wage Rock 'n Roll
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Product Details

  • Vinyl
  • Label: ARISTA
  • ASIN: B00413I7PW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Steven M. Koning on June 11, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Another reviewer wrote " From the first chord to the last, 'Minimum Wage...' rocks like few recordings have since it's release then OR now." I can't agree more. I was stuck driving on two modestly long road trips the past two weekends. The only tape I had was this album. Listened to it at least 10 times and marvelled every time... wondering how come these guys never made it to the top.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Two brothers (Kevin & Brian O'Neal) from Gardena CA and there friends, listen to KHJ and KGFJ (L.A. radio reference) started to play a Rock & Soul that had very smart edges that demands you have a scene of humor and be honest, that says we are different because we are people, and that's what we do. If you want danceable rock, with a tongue in cheek the Bus Boys run the table. This is why they got a song in Ghostbuster and a spot (the band at Vromans') in 48hrs. Once was them open for the Beach Boys in Orange County CA, they did "KKK," and got the crowd dancing by the end of the set. That was the 80's. I do miss the Bus Boys!
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Format: Audio CD
Bill Maher would love the non-PC humor that defined Minimum Wage Rock 'n Roll, the first Bus Boys release. Post-Chuck Berry, post-Jimi Hendrix, pre-Living Colour, Bus Boys arrived as the only black rock-n-roll band that you saw on TV in 1980.
On "Minimum Wage", the "Boys" had great fun exploiting their race. The Bus Boys sung and danced away, while mocking the lack of diversity in both "rock'n roll" and the "black music scene".
Lyrics out of the mouths of these men made their point in your favorite genre: There Goes the Neighboorhood. The Whites are moving in, they're going to bring their next of kin (soul)...I want to join the Klu Klux Klan and play in a rock and roll band (hard rock)... And you thought it was light in the shade, I bet you never heard music like this by spades (new wave).
I recall hearing of them for the first time, when they performed on a late-night network weekend music show. The live Bus Boys shows that I caught in Ames, IA and St. Paul, MN were also tremendously fun and energetic.
The later records kept the unique combination of "rock" and "soul", but dropped the race humor. These later records prove that the Bus Boys were/are excellent musicians, as you don't miss the humor.
In 1999, the HHH Dome sound system demonstrated unusual taste by playing Bus Boys at the beginning of each Minnesota Twins series, whenever "The Boys are Back in Town". I, of course, find myself searching for new Bus Boys releases, even today. Come back, O'Neal brothers!!
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Format: Audio CD
If you've wondered what music sounded like in the early 80's, this CD will pretty much tell you everything. These guys try their hand at a bunch of different styles, and succeed handily at most of them. "Minimum Wage" defines, if any song can, the Busboys "sound" - sort of a soulful rock with a new wave twist, if that makes any sense. "Did You See Me" could almost be the B-52's (I'd like to hear Fred Schneider take a stab at it), while other songs sound more poppy, rocky, soulful, or what have you. The lyrics are very well written and sung, with topics like nuclear war ("D-Day"), respect for the working guys ("Minimum Wage", "Respect") and a funny take at racism ("There Goes the Neighborhood"). The only criticism I can offer is the occasional song ("D-Day"), lyrics ("Tell the Coach") or bit of music (the opening riff of "Johnny Soul'd Out")that just doesn't work. But the good moments far outnumber the bad - pick it up and remember why you liked pop-rock in the first place.
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Format: Audio CD
My father had this album on vinyl back during the early-80s and would often play it for me and my fraternal twin (we were barely toddlers then, lol). The one thing that stood out for me upon listening to the record was how catchy and fun the songs were. By the time 'Did You See Me' started to play, I was already hooked on the groove! Funny what you remember as you naturally get older and start recalling your younger days. Now hearing the whole thing again through the audio samples I also noticed just how clever their lyrics were, tongue-in-cheekish on the outside yet betraying a not-so-subtle hint of social awareness that did not totally escape my ear. This was a band that may have initially sounded like a tribute act to the rock and roll artists/sounds of the 50s and early-60s spiced up with a healthy dose of New Wave flavor that was pretty commonplace around the time of this album's release, but they were really a top-notch group of seasoned pros who were just BARELY scratching the surface with their collective talents. Their guitar player Victor Johnson in particular is certainly one of the truly great unsung guitar heroes who's still going strong today, albeit in legendary rock frontman Sammy Hagar's band at the moment. At a time when the only black guitar player that was seriously rocking out whom most people knew of was Prince, Vic was/still is pretty much right up there with him talent-wise.

It's kind of tragic that the BusBoys only managed to crank out two albums (as was the contract they signed with Arista back then; well done Clive Davis you shady S.O.B:::sigh:::) because they were definitely onto something much bigger than the sound they originally came out with.
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