STREETHEART – Drugstore Dancer [Rock Candy remaster]
Many of you have been asking for some old Rock Candy releases to complete collections, and here’s the delicious ”Drugstore Dancer” by STREETHEART, fully remastered from original tapes.
Whilst they’re probably one of the lesser known Canadian bands of the ’70s and ’80s, Winnipeg-based STREETHEART had a string of gold & platinum records in their homeland, charting with all six of their studio albums, a double live offering and a posthumous collection of outtakes, as well as numerous hit singles.
However, as far as most non-Canadians are concerned their claims to fame will be that founding guitarist Paul Dean and drummer Matt Frenette went on to form Loverboy and a later line-up originally wrote and recorded Hardline’s signature tune ‘Hot Cherie’ back in 1982, strangely opting not to include it on the album it was recorded for.
Originally issued in 1980, “Drugstore Dancer” was Streetheart’s fourth album and the first with the AORish sound that would made Canadian bands famous during the decade.
So as Streetheart’s records were so hard to track down on CD for many years, Rock Candy Records did a wonderful remaster treatment to this very good LP.
Featuring the Mk III line-up of guitarist John Hannah and drummer Herb Ego alongside mainstays Kenny Shields (vocals), Daryl Gutheil (keyboards) and Ken ‘Spider’ Sinnaeve (bass), “Drugstore Dancer” was a very upbeat rock album in reply to the more laid-back previous LP.
As a result songs like ‘Go To Hell’, ‘Trouble’, ‘You’re Gonna Crash’ and the title-track are some of the most direct, catchy melodic rockers the band ever recorded, built around gritty guitar parts, inventive keyboard fills, interesting rhythms and Shields’ trademark vocal tone.
In Canada Shields was a big star with a classy style, which fitted perfectly with Streetheart’s quirky direction on this album – if you can imagine Loverboy and The Babys jamming some Cheap Trick tunes then you wouldn’t be that far off.
There’s more catchy tunes like ‘Teenage Rage’, ‘Sold Out’ and their version of ‘Tin Soldier’ are positively infectious, each given extra dimensions by the amazing bass playing of ‘Spider’ Sinnaeve, a legend of the Canadian scene and the ‘go to’ guy used on many albums by artists like Helix and Lee Aaron.
Sinnaeve would later go on to join Red Rider and The Guess Who, and has been member of Loverboy since 2001 still in the band nowadays.
Rockier and more focussed than their previous outing, with “Drugstore Dancer” Streetheart’s switch from WEA to the Capitol label certainly paid dividends propelling the record to platinum status and securing their place in the Canadian rock and roll hall of fame.
This is the first time that “Drugstore Dancer” has been officially released on CD remastered from the original tapes. The Rock Candy 24-bit treatment is really warm, capturing the original vinyl-LP sound updated to modern equipment.
01 – Drugstore Dancer
02 – Teenage Rage
03 – Nobody Like You
04 – Go To Hell
05 – You’re Gonna Crash
06 – Tin Soldier
07 – Trouble
08 – Sold Out
09 – Let Me Go
Kenny Shields – lead vocals, percussion
John Hannah – guitars, backing vocals
Daryl Gutheil – keyboards, backing vocals
Ken ‘Spider’ Sinnaeve – bass, backing vocals
Herb Ego – drums
Also of note, bassist Spider has been in Loverboy for years, replacing their late bass player. Loverboy is 3/5 Streetheart!