DONNIE IRIS – The High And The Mighty +1 [Rock Candy remastered] (2021) *0dayrox Exclusive*
Rock Candy Records has just remastered & reloaded DONNIE IRIS‘ the most celebrated Eighties albums with a pristine sound quality, and among his best there’s 1982’s “The High And The Mighty“, in this reissue including a bonus track.
Squeezing out a sound somewhere between The Cars and Foreigner with a dash of radio-friendly AOR,
Iris and his kindred spirit; producer, keyboard player & songwriter Mark Avsec, the duo formed Donnie Iris And The Cruisers in the late Seventies, releasing two successful albums in 1980 / 1981, and the band’s rock steady, carefully crafted powerpop maintained a massive presence with 1982′s ”The High And The Mighty”.
Donnie Iris had served a lengthy apprenticeship with Jaggerz & Wild Cherry through the Sixties and Seventies, notching up the occasional one hit wonder. In between he met up Mark Avsec, and Donnie Iris And The Cruisers born.
Despite chalking up a bona fide hit single with ‘Ah Leah!’ and an exceptional debut album, Donnie Iris And The Cruisers career had not exactly exploded to superstar status. Their excellent follow-up album, King Cool, rammed with potential hit singles that were presented in a luscious style with hints of classic old school rock but blessed with a smooth AOR sheen.
Not shrinking from their duty, MCA gave Donnie And The Cruisers their blessing to advance to a third album, the aptly titled ”The High And The Mighty”, a record that brought Donnie and the band’s music more into focus than ever.
Recorded, once again, at a local studio in Pennsylvania, the album continued to mine their musical path with ease. But it wasn’t without hiccups as at one point they noticed that the master tape was beginning to shred in the tape machine. This was due to a manufacturing fault so confronted by the horror of losing their recorded work the band moved to a New York studio with the technology to fix the problem.
Thankfully, all was not lost and the record was completed without further issue. The bottom line was that the music and songwriting had not suffered. Indeed, the album remains another essential brick in the Cruisers wall of excellence.
While ”The High And The Mighty” didn’t sold as expected, discerning critics got it, recognising the irresistible familiarity of the hooky ‘I Wanna Tell Her’ and the ambition of post modern permutations, ‘Parallel Time’ and ‘Tough World’.
The remastering brings out subtleties lost in old CD pressings. Some of these harmonies now shine like a young star.
You’ve seen it first at 0dayrox
01 – Tough World
02 – I Wanna Tell Her
03 – Glad All Over
04 – Parallel Time
05 – The High And The Mighty
06 – This Time It Must Me Love
07 – Love Is Magic
08 – You’re Gonna Miss Me
09 – Agnes (Live in Boston, MA, 04/81)
Donnie Iris – lead and background vocals
Mark Avsec – keys, synthesizers, background vocals
Marty Lee Hoenes – guitars, background vocals
Albritton McClain – bass, background vocals
Kevin Valentine – drums, percussives