LISTENER REQUEST LINE, PART 4
SECRET SAVIOR “FIRST LOVE / SOMETHING’s MISSING” 7″
(NORTH TONAWANDA, NY– SELECT SOUND, 1980)
Here is a semi-crappy scan of the rare generic white sleeve with black lettering.
The plain look of it reminds me of that generic food you can buy at the grocery
store that just says “rice” or “cereal” on it instead of having some name brand
with multi-colored logos and fancy packaging. Not having the band name on the
front of the sleeve might have hurt sale numbers for this 45, I am guessing.
On the labels we see that this song was written by a “K. Orgel”,
whose full name is actually Kenneth D. Orgel, and that is was
recorded at some place called Select Sound Studio (more on the
label later!) and produced by Dick Bauerie and the band.
I’ve been meaning to post this one for a while, and then I got a request to post it, so here it is finally. “First Love” was included on the last big KBD comp on vinyl before blogs took over, 2005’s Staring Down The Barrel. This was the first place I (and I am guessing many others who are not in the inner-circle of collectors) first heard this great tune.
The guitars on “First Love” are so damn LOUD and in your face that it is almost begging you to turn it up as high as you can. This guitar noodling is the highlight of the song for me- the vocals are very teen punk sounding, and the singer sounds like he’s about 15 years old or something. The length of the song is like 3:30, almost a full minute past the usual 2:36 we punk fans are accustomed to but it moves along quickly and I really don’t even notice the longer length, to be honest. What also appeals to me is how, at certain points, the loud guitars come out of nowhere all of the sudden and even get all “gunka gunka” at times which is always a good thing. With a song title like “First Love”, the lyrics and the young-sounding singer perhaps the band meant it to be a more toned-down affair but- thankfully- it came out as a nice ripper. Perhaps this was a good old “happy accident”.
The B-side is another story altogether, though- it’s not a punk song at all. It’s very traditional rock; too long (5:10, anyone?!); and actually made me get a painful, gnashed-teeth expression on my face when I tried re-listening to the whole tune the other day. But for the sake of completion I had to include it in this posting.
Somethings Missing.mp3 *
* Yes, the word something has an apostrophe “s” in it but my file server doesn’t like apostrophes for some reason
THANKS TO BLOG COMMENTER BRAD C. FOR THESE RIPS!
In case you were wondering, Secret Savior’s hometown of North Tonawanda is sandwiched halfway between Buffalo and the good ol’ tourist destination of Niagara Falls.
Here is what the Staring Down The Barrel liner notes had to say about Secret Savior:
Short-lived Buffalo group that must have operated on the fringes of the local scene as no one remembers them. Press clippings indicate they played out and included some punk covers in their set, ruling this out as a “punk-by-accident” release by some AOR rock band
Well, the interwebs have come a long way since that was written in 2005 in terms of finding out band info very quickly but online info about Secret Savior is still rather scant unfortunately. I found a MySpace page that mentioned an old 70’s Buffalo-area band called- get ready for this- “Ballzy” (LOL! Love that total hard rock spelling). Apparently, one of their members (was it that Ken Orgel guy?) went on to Secret Savior a few years later.
Another blurb on the same page also makes it sound like Secret Savior had bigger commercial ambitions in the early 80’s but that didn’t pan out that way. They were included on some 1981 comp LP called “Buffalo Rocks” (anyone ever heard this thing cuz I haven’t) along with what sounds like a bunch of hard rock bands: Raven, Teaser, Mike Mazur and the Blue Collar Band, etc. The comp was related to some local Buffalo station called “97 Rock WGRQ”. I can just hear a cheesy, macho station ID done all dramatically for them by some deep-voiced announcer- ah, the early 80s’s. Anyway, the comp was put out by this label called “Big America Music Contest” who released a slew of- I am guessing- similarly bad regional comps from other cities like Milwaukee, Denver, Houston, etc.
In digging around a little more, it turns out that the Select Sound label which put out the Secret Savior 7″ also released some other records, including some non-rock stuff, and probably nothing else even remotely punk-related. Makes sense because the Secret Savior 7″ was label #SS-1015 and not a very low label number like SS-1000 or something. The studio itself was located at 1585 Kenmore Avenue in Kenmore, New York near Buffalo. When I did a Google Map search of that address, it looks like there is a drab, tiny strip mall at that location with a Curves in it and that the Select Studio is long gone.
**Any info on Secret Savior, better scans of the sleeve, scans of the press clipping alluded to in the Staring Down The Barrel liner notes would be greatly appreciated**