Wednesday, July 25, 2007

All-Sports Band - All-Sports Band (1981)

Anyone who was alive in the 80's will either remember this band firsthand or if anything, heard of the ludicrous concept behind the All-Sports Band. This often maligned gimmick, based in Cleveland, were the creation of Tracy Coats. Mr. Coats, watching the Village People peak during the tail end of the 70's, took it upon himself to create a similarly themed "band" who would inherit the throne of the then faltering Village People. In fact, it was he who drafted two former Village People backing musicians into the lineup, also adding three other players to complete his vision. His vision came to life in 1981, in the form of a sports themed band complete with appropriately costumed members who could utilize various props to bring the concept to fruition.

Well, honestly put, it just never happened. Though the band managed to chart twice in the Top 100 and landed a lauded appearance on American Bandstand, audiences just weren't buying into the whole idea. While the Village People were at least using their concept to push sexual innuendo and double entendre further into the mainstream, the All-Sports Band were merely a cheesy idea that never truly came off as campy or self-deprecating. Had it been, well, who knows where they'd be now? In truth, the band were so widely reviled at the time, that no tour was ever booked and no followup was ever planned. The story basically ended by early 1982 and that was the end of the band.

So what about the music? Well, contrary to popular opinion, there are some excellent tracks here and several of them would've been great candidates for the Billboard Top 40 at least. Sure, some of the songs here are drippy and lightweight synth heavy pop numbers, but there's no denying the potency of tracks like the strutting "Jet Set", the jerky "I'm Hurt" or the arena rock of "Run Away" and "Hit 'n Run". "Jet Set" easily wins top honors with a hooky melody and bouncy rhythm. It surprises me that this one didn't have a better showing as a single. Instead, "Opposites Do Attract" gets honors for being the closest thing to a breakout hit for the band...and that's putting it modestly.

In any case, love them or hate them, here it is in full digital glory. I can almost assure you that this one will never see re-release, so enjoy the next best thing like this clean vinyl rip. You have been warned!

5 comments:

Alex said...

Little request here...

Iguana - The Winds of Alamar (1977)

Reviewed here...
http://www.glory-daze.com/readarticle.php?article_id=1595

Thanks for everything so far!!

kingpossum said...

Hand it to you, Ronnie. I've never seen anyone write about the All Sports Band with the strength you do to stand up and note some actual musical accomplishment here. Hats off to you.

Taking potshots at this ridiculous concept is easy. Finding something worthy to note is insightful.

Well done as always,

Steamhammer said...

This was issued in Japan on CD, but it's rarer than hens teeth. A shame I'd love a digital copy!

Anonymous said...

believe it or not, I heard it as a new music selection on KIQQ in Los Angeles in late 81. I "taped" it. Then converted it to mp3.

Anonymous said...

The All Sports Band was seen by over 50 million people worldwide, they even opened for Don King's boxing match and broadcast live all over the world at Madison Square Gardens during the event. The world news covered television clips of the All Sports Band being the first band ever to open a boxing match and successfully. The media was a blaze with the story of the All Sports Band opening for a major sports boxing match with Don King. Later Don King began using live entertainment prior to his major fights in Vegas, and in other parts of the world. The All Sports band hit the charts two top 100 hits on Billboard Magazine and were voted the 3rd most popular band in America by Dick Clark's American Bandstand Viewers. The first position winner was recording artist Rick Springfield and second was the all girl band, The Go Go's. The All Sports Band were top 20 in Germany where many of their fans followed their songs on pop radio and were also very popular in Japan as well. The All Sport Band turned down a distribution deal in Europe & Japan, but their album was distributed anyway through record bootleggers throughout Europe without their consent, so that the bootleggers would avoid paying the band their rightful royalties. The All Sports Band actually did do smaller tours mostly in the East Coast and turned down a tour with Shena Easton at the height of her musical career success on the charts. In 2011-2012 The band was offered a record deal to re-release their debut album with a fresh digital remix version and new cover graphic design from photos taken for their second unreleased album with a new harder look, but complications in pulling together the master recordings and other red tape prevented it's release. The All Sports Band was told by a popular rock n roll label that they had multitudes of fans still to this day all over the world that would love to hear more music from the All Sports Band and were asked if their were any new songs the band had not released that the record company could release now. The second album was being prepared before they disbanded, but the songs were not released, but are still held in the vaults of management. This history & legend lives on with their fans and the great music they released while they were together in the 80's. Cheers to the All Sports Band. Rock on!