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An Anthology by Angel (Metal)
Feel Angel In The Air... An Angelic Rock Choir!
Published by kinzz
Author review
Replay value
Average 20%

5 most read reviews
An Anthology by Angel (Metal)

While Punk Rock was still in its infancy during the mid 70's with the likes of bands such as Kiss and Sweet at the forefront, there were other groups that [while not dominant in the record buying public's eye] still managed to leave their mark on the history of rock n' roll. The group up for review here...Angel was such a band. Between 1975 and 1980 this particular punk rock band racked up several albums and left us with some more than memorable great music! The best of these albums is well reflected in the CD for review here...Angel-An Anthology.

1. Angel (theme)*****
2. Tower *****+++++
3. On And On *****
4. Rock And Rollers *****
5. Feelin' Right ****
6. Anyway You Want It ****
7. Can You Feel It ****
8. White Lightning ****
9. Don't Leave Me Lonely *****
10. Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore *****
11. Got Love If You Want It *****
12. Flying With Broken Wings (Without You) *****
13. The Winter Song *****+++++!!!!!
14. Don't Take Your Love *****
15. Bad Time *****+++++
16. Walk Away Renee *****
17. I'll Never Fall In Love Again *****
18. Wild And Hot *****
19. 20th Century Foxes ****
20. The Christmas Song *****+++++!!!!!

First of all, as you can see by my subjective ratings, there is nothing less than a four star grade for each song which is rare! I usually find something that borders mediocrity but in this case...well, it's just not possible. Don't think for one second that I am a dedicated follower of the art of punk. I most certainly am not! For the longest time I really did not care for Kiss but was floored when I heard their version of the Dave Clark Five's hit..."Anyway You Want It"!

Angel was simply one of the most underrated, under played and overlooked rock bands of all time that somehow managed an occult following through it all. Their driving rhythms, great harmony, more than adequate lyrics, super arrangements, the ability to sound tender at times and a very respectable lead vocalist gave this diverse ensemble a unique sound and an exemplary style. I would be remiss not to mention the band's talented keyboard player...Greg Giuffria who knew exactly when to dominate!

From The Horse's Own Mouth:
"Angel was formed in the early 1970's by singer Frank DiMino, guitarist Punky Meadows, and keyboard player Greg Giuffria. After their third album, Mickie Jones was replaced with Felix Robinson. Punky Meadows and Mickie Jones had previously recorded an album with the band BUX in the early '70's. This band also featured vocalist Ralph Morman who went on to record with the Joe Perry Project. Angel began as a progressive glam-rock band and progressed into a more melodic pop rock band by the early 1980's. In 1982 the band fell apart with not much heard from most of the members. Keyboardist Gregg Giuffria went on to form Giuffria then House of Lords. The band, while never officially 'breaking up' came together in 1999 and put out a new studio album titled "In the Beginning." The disc featured most of the original members, but did not include Greg. I use to own ALL their albums on vinyl but traded them in for a premium price before records became worthless. The bands entire catalogue was released on cd, but in limited quantities making them all hard to find collector's items with the band's "Live Without a Net" consistently selling for close to $50 on eBay. CDNow still lists several Angel discs on their site despite the fact that they have been backordered for years."

This quotation was taken from a researcher for a website that is dedicated to the history of Punk Rock. Although I have not provided a link to the site itself, suffice it to say that it offers detailed band and album info. I'm not sure I agree with the remark about vinyl being 'worthless' but do understand his reasoning behind the statement itself.

My reason for not providing the link is simply that for those of you who like myself are a bit old fashioned and still use a 56k modem, this site will take forever to download as it features [non-popup] advertising along with detailed pictures and discography. Just punch "Angel-Rock Band" into your pc's "search engine" and you will probably stumble upon it as I did.

Although Angel certainly remains a somewhat obscure rock band, the name Punky Meadows somehow became almost [but not quite] a household word among the masses. Though the band was influenced and guided by Gene Simmons of Kiss fame, I'm quite sure that most of you would not hesitate to answer a "trivia" question about Mr. Simmons while balking at good ole Punky. Suffice it to say that Meadows's unique lead guitar sound left at least a scratch on Rock N' Roll's main core body of legendary musicians.

Angel-An Anthology opens up with their outstanding instrumental theme followed by one of their earlier but monumental compositions..."Tower" which takes you as my friend Brian says "on a rocket ship ride into outer space" and entertains you for the entire six minute plus trip like few songs can!

Without going into detail about every single track on this 78 minute plus CD, It is interesting to note that the group's cover of The Young Rascals' "I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore" does the classic rocker great justice while "Walk Away Renee" sounds just fine but still is not quite the equal to either The Left Banke's or The Four Tops' first rate renditions.

Just as a special note: "Anyway You Want It", "On And On" and "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" are not cover versions of other hits but are instead...the group's own compositions. Most noteworthy is "On And On" featuring Frank DiMino's excellent somewhat high-pitched vocals that certainly fit the "punk" mentality.

Songs like "Bad Time" and "Wild And Hot" showcase the band's "Progressive" side at its best but the tip of the iceberg [at least for me] is Track #'s 13 and 20..."The Winter Song" and "The Christmas Song" respectfully. These two memorable moments are actually one and the same with slightly different lyrics. They are "the bomb"!!!

The Winter Song...
"There's a feeling in the air.
Feel the spirit everywhere.
Winter winds on heaven and earth!

Hear the angels join the choir.
Let them take the music higher.
Winter winds on heaven and earth!"

The Christmas Song...
"Feel Christmas in the air.
Feel the spirit everywhere.
Christmas time is heaven on earth!

Hear the angels join the choir.
Let them take the music higher.
It's Christmas time on heaven and earth!"

Here, Angel gives just a hint of Moody Blues flavoring while sounding like a choir [instead of a quintet] of angels! You'll notice that the song itself does not fit the "punk rock" label at all and definitely shows the group's progression. However, it came too late and the band vanished into the sunset afterward. I guess it must have been around 1982 that they went back into the studio to dub the new vocals for the "Christmas" version as the original was off of the Casablanca [same label as Kiss-ha ha!!] album..."White Hot" which I could have sworn I purchased in either '77 or '78.

The discography says that the album was released in '79. This kinda threw me as I usually am damn good at remembering hit records and dates although admittedly I cannot remember to get that quart of milk my wife asked me to purchase yesterday!

The other songs on the disc range from very good to excellent and I believe I will just end my personal description of Angel's sound as exemplary...meaning like no other. Unlike many other rock groups over the course of history, they simply do not sound like anyone else you can think of. There may very well be a hint of "Kiss" flavor on one or two songs and a touch of "Yes" or "Styxx" on another but by enlarge...they are quite their own beasts.

The CD itself is nicely engineered by Mercury Records and warrants your personal attention. At its ridiculously generous asking price of under $10, the recording is not just a "best buy" but also has the added benefit of supplying you with a wonderful Christmas classic to boot! Rock on all you rollers and enjoy!!

Thanks again for your valuable time and please leave a comment about this obscure band or the review itself or anything else you wish to say.

The Bottom Line
Here's early "Punk Rock" at its best! This is just great entertaining rock n' roll during its finest hour...the mid 70's!

All comments are welcome!
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  #1 (permalink)  
By peyton999 on 30-06-2007
Really well compiled review

Shud goto Wikipedia ....... hehe !!!!
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