Today’s POP RESCUE from a fate unknown, is the 1988 album To Whom It May Concern by five-piece group, The Pasadenas.
The Pasadenas themselves have co-writing credits on all songs here, including the cover version – although I’m not sure what they brought to it.
The album opens with Funny Feeling, which vocally reminds me a bit of Alexander O’Neal, and a musically a bit like Jamiroquai. It’s a fairly good indication of what you can expect from this album.
We’re then into a cover of a Chi-Lites track – Living In The Footsteps Of Another Man which, going by the music alone, is unmistakably an 80s track.
Hit single Enchanted Lady is up next, complete with wonderfully warm harmonies, finger-snaps, and a great bass line. This is followed by New Love, which is great too – a nice up-beat number, complete with a disgruntled lover with a door slammed at the start, and a phone call. This track really should have been released as a single. I think that it really stands out amongst most of the tracks here.
The hit Riding On A Train is signalled in with a train whistle sound. This track is catchy, and very radio friendly – it’s no surprise that it was released as the second single. I remember this song, although hadn’t realised it was The Pasadenas.
Next up is Give A Little Peace which is quite a nice track too, and nestling perfectly here between the two singles. This track particularly reminds me of The Brand New Heavies – musically, lyrically, and vocally.
Now we’re into the big debut hit Tribute (Right On) which feels quite reminiscent of disco and Motown, and name-checks many influential artists. There’s a great musical break towards the end, it lasts just for a moment, but it fits in perfectly.
I Really Miss You follows, and it’s a much slower track. Again we’re fed some great vocal harmonies, with some incidental brass, and another great bass line.
‘If you want peace and justice for the world, say Yo!’ begins Justice For The World – instantly dated by that opening line. There are a few more statements like that before the 80s synth and beat kicks in. This feels like a dated track about morale issues – including a nuclear bomb drop sound. It jars with the rest of the album, musically and lyrically.
The album closes with track Something Else which gives vocals to different group members, and also allows the band behind The Pasadenas to each take some solos. It’s funky, and something I’d imagine James Brown recording.
Where are The Pasadenas now?
After this album, they released three more albums, the most successful being Yours Sincerely on the back of their I’m Doing Fine Now cover, which charted at #6 on the UK album chart.
They continued to perform until disbanding in 2005.
POP RESCUE rating:
The whole album reminds me of The Brand New Heavies, Alexander O’Neal, and a mixture of many different 50s/60s motown groups like The Foundations and Four Tops, and a dose of Jamiroquai album tracks.
It’s obviously 80s, but is flooded with references to previous great eras of music. The Pasadenas are clearly very talented vocalists, and pretty slick with the dance moves too, they just needed a slightly better choice of songs.
- POP RESCUE 2014 RATING: 3 / 5
- 1988 UK CHART POSITION: #3
- POP RESCUE COST: £1.00 from a Poundland store.