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Dan Jefferies' Century - Dan Jefferies' Century Award winner

Dan Jefferies' Century
Dan Jefferies' Century
by Neil Cook at 22 September 2020, 7:38 AM

DAN JEFFRIES CENTURY is a bit of an enigma.  There isn’t a lot of info out there on the interweb, and what is there is confusing.  There is some info which points to this album originally being released in 1977, but, and for this I am grateful to the 2020 rerelease’ sleeve notes, is not the case.  Although listening to the music you can easily see why this could be the case. Sharing a lot of tropes and sounds of Pomp and AOR rock bands of the era, such as STYX, BOSTON, KANSAS even bits of early RUSH, the at times high pitched vocals and keyboard heavy songs fit this ear to a tee.

However the band from Ontario Canada date from the early 80s, with the album being released originally in 1985, and for its time was a musical throwback for another time. This 2020 release is a time capsule therefore from 35 years ago, and to music from 45 years ago at the same time. And the album is indeed a fun, cheesy, throwback.  It is unashamedly a throwback to days of loose long poodle perms, porn star mustaches, spandex worn by blokes who really shouldn’t! The album starts with “Die Hard Rock And Roller”, and it sounds exactly as you would expect, some OTT notes from the vocals, good soloing by guitars and keys, all played at a pace to make the music rock.

The next two songs follow the same formula, right up to the instrumental piece, “Mr Spock,” after a few bars of the original Trek theme it turns into a Prog-tastic workout for the guitars and keys, a real anomaly on one hand, but oddly fitting on the other. This leads into “The Fury”, probably the heaviest track on the album, in relative terms.  About as Metal as they get.  Some great guitar work. We then get to the next three tracks, the point on the album where the pace slows down, and takes a more AOR turn.  What we get is two decent ballads and an instrumental interlude.  These two songs are sung by Fabian Bortolotto, who’s voice is very much more suited to the material, than the main singer Colin Wilkinson.  And whilst teetering on that fine line, manage to not fall into the cheese, just.  Very enjoyable slabs of BOSTON-like balladry.

The final track “New Dream” is a mid-paced, upbeat tune, with a positive message. Big riffs, bigger keys, almost sounds like the final number in a 80’s inspired rock musical, just after the boy gets the girl and the day is saved and we can all rock and roll happily ever after. Dated, yes.  Over the top, yes.  Showing his age, yes. Fun, hell yes! I have to say I loved this, guiltily no doubt, but boy it was fun while it lasted.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Die Hard Rock n’ Roller
2. Terror Eyes
3. Bondage (Breaking Away)
4. Mister Spock
5. The Fury
6. Get Away
7. Day by Dayintro
8. Day by Day
9. New Dream
Lineup:
Dan Jefferies – Guitar, Bass
Colin Wilkinson – Lead/Backing Vocals
Fabian Bortolotto  – Vocals, “Get Away”& “Day By Day”
Kevin Dempey  – Drums
Phil Gregory  – Drums “Day By Day”
Joe Notorianni – Keyboards
Jim Starchuck -Additional Keyboards
Record Label: Heaven and Hell Records
     


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Edited 30 November 2020
 

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