July 03, 2009

You can be a senator, or you can be a fool

I thought I'd finish off the last four weeks of 80s nostalgia not with a bang, but a - well, not exactly a whimper, but nothing spectacular. Just a catchy, upbeat, solid hit.

Paul Hyde and Bob Rock got together in B.C. in the late 70s and formed a band called Payola$. Their first chart hit was 1982's "Eyes of a Stranger." Wanting to break into the U.S. market, they later revamped their style to a more mainstream rock format and changed their name to Paul Hyde and the Payolas, perhaps fearing that the "Payola$" name alone would prejudice radio stations against playing their singles, thanks to the 1950s' payola scandals, in which deejays and radio stations accepted bribes to increase airplay of certain music and generate popularity for it. But after disappointing sales caused their label, A&M, to drop them, they resumed recording with Capitol/EMI records under the new name Rock & Hyde. The lead single from their new album, 1987's Under the Volcano, charted respectably in the States - better than in Canada, in fact. But in my opinion, the better song is the followup "I Will":

Unfortunately, Rock & Hyde never achieved the commercial success they hoped for, and by the end of the 1980s they had split amicably. Paul Hyde pursued a solo career, though with little success. Bob Rock, on the other hand, became a major hard-rock producer, most notably working with Metallica, starting with the Black Album until St. Anger, on which he also played bass. More recently, he has reunited with Hyde and the Rock & Hyde lineup of the band, again under the name Payola$.

Thanks to all of you for your attention, especially my "friends" on Facebook for your many comments. I hope the last four weeks have been as much fun for you as it has been for me. I have no immediate plans to do this again, though I would love to and there is no shortage of music to choose from. (If anyone wants to suggest a theme for a week, I'm all ears!)