Sunday, February 16, 2014

Tony Carey - Some Tough City

In the late 70's, American born singer-songwriter Tony Carey was a keyboardist for Rainbow. In the early 80's, he began working on solo projects. This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of Some Tough City, the third of his solo studio albums. It spent twenty four weeks on the US Billboard Album chart, peaking at number 60.

Side one opens with "A Fine, Fine Day" which peaked at number 22 on the US Billboard Hot 100. This pleasant, mid-tempo rocker tells the tale of a con man named Sonny who enjoys his return to New York City and his freedom. I very much remember this one from back in the day, wafting out of radios and the video playing on MTV.

"A Lonely Life" picks up the tempo quite a bit as it tells about a pimp named Little John and the lonely people he provides a service to.

"Eddie Goes Underground" is the tale of an informant named Eddie who makes a deal with the authorities in hopes to get out of the business.

"The First Day of Summer", the second single, went to number 33 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and appeared in the 1985 movie Secret Admirer starring C. Thomas Howell. Keeping with the ongoing theme, this one tells of two young guys who travel across country, pulling jobs, on their way to California. Again, this was another one that got a good bit of airplay, especially during the summer of 1984. Of course, many people probably glossed over the verse lyrics and just took it as a song about fun in the sun at the beach.

"Reach Out" barrels along at a nice tempo; it gets my toes-a-tapping'. It is all about taking charge of your life and going for those things that you want.

Side two starts with "Tinseltown", a darker yet more realistic interpretation of the "I'm going to be a star in Hollywood" dream.

"Hungry" starts out with a synthesized voice that repeats the title over and over. It then shifts into a mid-tempo rock mode and pushes the voice to the background (a good call as far as I am concerned - it seems awkward amidst the rest).

"I Can Stop the World" offers another ray of hope.

The title track "Some Tough City" is next. It acknowledges that in life you often have to dig your heels in, stay focused and hopefully you will come out on top at some point.

The record closes with the positive and uplifting "She Can Bring Me Love".

The CD release included a sixth track on side one. "Say It's All Over" is a glitzy rocker about a couple who are fighting because of her late night escapades with another man. It was the non-album track B-side to the first single

Some Tough City is a good record with themes focused on both the darker and brighter aspects of life. You can check it out for yourself on Spotify if you're like me and have not heard the whole album before. Tony Carey is a solid musician with strong compositions and memorable hooks.

1 comment:

HERC said...

My love for the music of Tony Carey has been documented here.