Friday, April 13, 2007

The Rollers - Voxx

I can think of dozens of bands/artists who made their fortune playing fluff only to later shed their image and shoot for legitimacy. More often than not, it failed miserably. Such is the case of The Rollers. After Les McKeown's unfortunate bust in Japan in 1978, BCR left him in the dust to search for a new voice for the band. Enter one Duncan Faure, South African poster boy and former member of Trevor Rabin's Rabbitt. In retrospect, some question whether this was a bad career move. While sales figures would certainly indicate so, Faure's writing and vocal talent DID lend a bit of credibility to the band. His first outing with the band, "Elevator", turned out to be an incredible collection of finely tuned power pop. At the time, audiences failed to take notice. Realizing that they needed to move quickly on another album, outtakes from the "Elevator" sessions were salvaged, embellished and eventually used for the bulk of their follow up, "Voxx".

To their credit, despite the hurried manner in which the album was assembled, there is much to love about this record. Overall, perhaps it's just an average record but there are enough gems here worth noting. If anything, the biggest mistake about the album was that Arista chose not to release it in the states or in the UK. Presuming that since BCR's biggest fanbase was in Japan, the Asian market was their natural target. As a result, many years later, this album was only ever reissued in Japan as part of an exhaustive box set anthology. Due to the pricey cost and waning demand for the box set, it quickly went out-of-print.

Easily considered the most elusive of the band's releases, it is posted here for the curious fans who missed their opportunity to hear it in 1980. There will be more obscurities coming from The Rollers in the coming days. For now, dig into this and hear an interesting chapter in the band's history.


Anonymous said...

A million thanks for posting this elusive ROLLERS record which I thought I'd never find...
I agree that 'Elevator' is a GREAT RECORD too. So is, to a lesser extent, 'Ricochet'.
Your blog is really amazing and I have only just discovered it. It seems that we share a passion for anything related to MILLLARD POWERS whose CD on I personally own and cherish !
Keep on the great work.
Philippe, from Madrid, Spain.

Ronnie (aka J) said...

Thanks, Philippe. I appreciate the kind words. I intend to continue the focus on the "missing links" until I either run out of ideas or just come up with a better one :) Incidentally, "Ricochet" will be posted here in the next 24hrs.

Millard Powers is too great a talent to ignore, having enjoyed his work with Ben Folds, Owsley & Semantics. It took me forever to track down his CD, so naturally I had to share it with others who might be as frustrated as I one was.

Thanks again!

Alex said...

Hi, I'm new to this blog, keep up the good work... you have the Elevator album too?


John Sposato said...

I guess they changed the name to just Rollers to distance themselves from their teenybopper bubblegum image. They were still making girls swoon in 16 Magazine as late as 1978. Some of the Rollers (including Faure) now live in Vegas and have become cabaret with two rival touring lineups.