Thanks to the memory and music collection of Jim Benson, I have now been able to obtain and share all five of the Jim Clevo Presentations compilations released between 1987 and 1991. While I will eventually discuss/review each one, I want to give you the opportunity to “listen” (see what I did there) to these collections and refamiliarize yourselves with them. They are:
Listen: The CMJ Music Marathon #7 Cleveland Exhibit Compilation (only cassette release)
Join Rivers: Can We Listen? (first CD release)
Another Listen Is In Order (CD release)
The Killer Blow (CD release)
Clearing The Air Alpha Disque and Beta Disque (double CD release)
Jim Clevo would go on to co-produce compilation CDs with the Cleveland Music Group (more on those later). These five releases contain a LOT of great music from bands who appeared on multiple compilations and from those who were one-hit wonders, never to be heard from again. I hope you will take the time to listen to each compilation and share your memories, thoughts and impressions of these snapshots of the Cleveland music scene between 1987 and 1991. Post here or at the Listen Facebook page.
Jim Clevo was right. In 1989, another listen WAS in order. The third release in his “Listen” series for the College Music Journal Music Marathon, this is my favorite compilation from the era. There are just so many great songs featured, including tunes from Sosumi, Knifedance, The Walk-Ins (the only band to have two tracks on this compilation), In Fear of Roses, the Gypsy Moths, terrible parade, The Three-Legged Poets, Nick Riff and The Outcasts. Additionally, the variety in the Cleveland music scene is extremely evident when one listens to this disc. The release showcased the burgeoning diversity of genres emerging from Northeast Ohio, a trend that would continue through the next decade. I know that you will find at least five songs on this disc that you will listen to over and over again.
Another Listen…Is In Order
A Jim Clevo Presentation
Executive Producer – Jim Clevo
1. Sosumi – “Dr. Sosumi”
2. In Fear Of Roses – “The Mission”
3. Knifedance – “Driven (Programmer’s Preview Cut 3)
4. The Vivians – “Black Widow”
5. The Walk-Ins – “Turning Room”
6. The Gypsy Moths – “Run Away”
7. Indian Rope Burn – “Two Steps”
8. The Uninspired Five – “On Becoming Human”
9. Perfect Jewish Couple – “Voo Doo Dance”
10. Golgatha – “What’cha Gonna Do”
11. Death And Taxes – “Freaks In Love”
12. The Fourteenth Floor – “Wonderful Party”
13. terrible parade – “Rising Sun”
14. Nick Riff – “Tripping Over Clouds”
15. Lonesome Bones – “Betty Jean”
16. The Three-Legged Poets – “She Goes Down To The Lake”
17. The Outcasts – “Glory Bound”
18. Floyd Band – “Killed Myself Last Night”
19. The Walk-Ins – “Winter Still”
20. Mark Kmit – “The People Have Spoken”
Another Listen Is In Order Booklet
As I work my way through my ever growing pile of Northeast Ohio music from between 1985 and 2000, I am going to use the blog to highlight the releases. In order to share this music (most of which has been long out-of-print or hard to find), I’ve posted numerous albums from the era to my YouTube channel. I’m not intending on following a chronological order and there’s no significance to publication order. I grab a CD or album, listen to it and write. If you have ownership and/or copyright interest and want a video taken down, please email my at email@example.com and I will delete it. Hopefully, though, you will want to share your music with family, friends, fans and perhaps a brand new generation of listeners.
This first CD is significant to me personally because it was the first compilation of Cleveland music that I ever heard thanks to Chris Keffer. My cover band, Free For All had been recording a promo cassette at Magnetic North Studio when Chris’ band, Atomic Café, broke up and The Walk-Ins formed out of the ashes. We were in for a tracking session and during a break, Chris played us the two cuts from the Walk-Ins that were going to be featured on a brand new compilation CD called From The Eerie Shore. When I listened to the whole “Eerie Shore” for the first time, as a 19 year old musician and budding songwriter I was struck hard. Playing covers quickly became a thing of the past and I knew that writing and playing original music was not just where I wanted to be, but where I NEEDED to be.
Co-produced by Sosumi’s Malcom Ryder and John Walsh for Synthetic Records and Jim Clevo for Jim Clevo Presentations, this was Clevo’s first co-produced compilation not specifically targeting the College Music Journal’s (CMJ) Music Marathon. Earlier in 1988, Synthetic Records (Sosumi’s label) released “Crash Course in Cleveland Life” (Synthetic Records 001) as a vinyl LP and four of the six bands featured on that release, Sosumi, The 14th Floor, The Floyd Band and The Vivians, appear on “From The Eerie Shore” each with two cuts except for The Vivians who contributed only one track. The switch to the CD format allowed for 14 bands to showcase their talents and most of these new contributors were markedly different from the hardcore, punk sounds found on “Crash Course” including two synth driven cuts, “Greenland” from Home & Garden and “By Any Other Name” from Gunnblue; the jangle rock “Fear And Tenderness” from The Chimes; and Max Crucial & The Krushers’ tight punk/power pop number, “Color Of Your Eyes.” The CD also features two unique cuts from the embryonic Walk-Ins featuring their original lead vocalist, Bonnie Bowers: the ethereal “The Rain Came Down” and the guitar rocker “Comfort and Joy” featuring a blistering guitar solo. With a change in lead singers and the addition of violinist Ed Caner shortly after the release of “From The Eerie Shore,” The Walk-Ins would never release a song with a sound remotely close to these two tracks. This disk is significant to understanding the evolution of the Cleveland music scene as the 80s were drawing to a close. Take a listen!
Postscript: Can anyone name the models for the cover and the program? If so, leave a comment. I’m really interested to know who they are.