Saturday, November 13, 2010

Diamond Reo - Ruff Cuts (1978)

Diamond Reo's third and final album marked another stylistic shift in the band's sound. Where their debut was soulful and their sophomore release raucous, "Ruff Cuts" brings in elements of powerpop to the sound, while still retaining some of the edge found on "Dirty Diamonds". The album was their first locally pressed effort as well, being issued by Pittsburgh based Mad Dog Records. The band enjoyed continued regional success, but Nardini's departure in 1979 would prompt a full blown breakup. Members would go on to work as session men as well as involvement in acts like Norman Nardini and the Tigers, The Silencers and numerous local outfits.

"Ruff Cuts" unfortunately suffers from atrocious production, which makes this affair a mixed bag. There are several strong cuts that recall some of the better moments from "Dirty Diamonds", but the muted and muffled sound makes them come across amateurish and clumsy. Quite disappointing. On the upside, there's some real passion in these grooves and tracks like "Electricity" and "Party Girl" are proof. Overall, "Ruff Cuts" may be somewhat low on classic hooks, but the album holds historical importance.

A note about this vinyl transfer. I took a lot of time trying to get this LP to sound great without disrupting the integrity of the original recording. I EQ'd quite a bit, with the intention of bringing out the highs which were sorely absent on the original vinyl. I think it sounds a little better, but you can only 'polish a turd' so much. Your feedback is welcome, as always. Enjoy!

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks J, i have the other 2 albums, but didn't even know of the existence of a third LP until now.
Looking forward to giving it a listen.
Best wishes,
Bigfootkit

brian said...

..Thanks J..for no particular reason i was just searching for this album and there it is : )..psychic i guess

Anonymous said...

thanks a lot for your work, I was searching for this lp for a while

Masterofsparks said...

Thank you so much for posting all 3 of these true rock gems! I had them all and sadly they were stolen. Appreciate being able to listen to them again. This band was amazing, from the ashes of REO came Norman Nardini and the Eastside Tigers, The Silencers (not the Irish band, these guys do a ripping version of Peter Gun theme, check you tube for one of Mtv's first videos from these guys.)I highly recommend Rock'n'Roll Enforcers and Sidewalk Romeo from Silencers and the Tigers CBS Associated release w/If You DOn't Want Me & High TImes, along w/the live Eat'n'Live

beaug said...

Hey Ronnie did you get my comment please respond

Anonymous said...

This album is the template for Pittsburgh's golden age of ROCK 'N ROLL! You had to be there, but if you weren't, this record more than compensates. P.S. - 'ROCK YOU' is as close to a perfect rock n roll song as anyone has EVER come!

Anonymous said...

Did you ever find mp3 for Butch's "The Bitch of Rock and Roll?" If so, please email me at hesske@msun.edu Thanks.

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