Thursday, October 23, 2008
DAVID WERNER: "Too Talented To Be So Obscure"
Here's what the All Music Guide has to say about David Werner's eponymously titled 3rd LP:
The crunchy guitars, outrageous hooks, and pop-metal sounds of archetypal glam albums, like David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust & the Spiders From Mars and T. Rex's Electric Warrior, have reappeared often since glam's glory days. In 1979, David Werner's third album offered some of the greatest glam sounds of the decade. On the brilliant single "What's Right" and the icy "Every New Romance," Werner does resemble Bowie vocally, with a more muscular rhythm section and even chunkier guitars, and both tracks stand up to the best of Bowie's early-'70s releases. Throughout the album, though, Werner's versatility as a vocalist, songwriter, and arranger demonstrate that he is much more than an American derivative of that other David. "Can't Imagine" delivers bristling power pop with supercharged, breakneck guitar hooks. He shows his emotional range with the mournful "She Sent Me Away." The melancholy "Melanie Cries" is a glistening pop confection with elegant harpsichord and cascading, Association-like vocals. Crisp production and a rock-solid rhythm section give David Werner more depth and punch than many of the often brittle-sounding classic glam records. The guitars, played by Werner and multi-instrumentalist Mark Doyle, in particular, shine. David Werner failed to make its namesake the star he should have been, and he has not issued a record since. As this album shows, Werner is far too talented to be so obscure.
My two cents:
Gems like this record make me yearn for the mom and pop record store most. Vinyl Mania in Greenwich Village, run by brothers Charlie & Richie, had this album on display. I knew nothing of David Werner or his two prior releases on RCA, but Charlie & Richie knew what I liked. They played the first track and at first I thought it was a new Joe Jackson record. I was sold already, but it was after they put on "Every New Romance" from Side 2 that I knew I was hooked for good. I was ready to buy everything David Werner put out. Unfortunately, I never got that opportunity.
I did find out from a friend and Burning Wood fan, that Werner is alive and well and living in Pennsylvania, I believe. Good news, that is.
Click HERE and listen to a few tracks from 1979's "David Werner," and cross your fingers that one of the remaining reissue labels--Hello? Wounded Bird?---puts this out ...for real!!