Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Jo Jo Gunne - s/t 1972 / "Bite Down Hard" 1973 / "Jumpin' the Gun" 1974 / "So...Where's the Show?" 1974

Borrowing their name from a Chuck Berry song about a meddlesome monkey, Jo Jo Gunne were signed to David Geffen's Asylum records, as an antidote to the 'singer-songwriter' trend of the early 70's. The band had a top 10 hit in the U.K. charts with "Run Run Run" from their self titled debut L.P. (1972). The album peaked at #27 in the U.S. charts and received airplay in heavy rotation on the FM album oriented stations. They soon dispensed with any of the esoteric directions favored by Jay Ferguson and Mark Andes in their previous life as members of Spirit. Taking brother Matt Andes and drummer Curly Smith along for company, Jo Jo stared out of a hot-rod looking every inch like golden California stoner Gods on their '72 debut, a brisk affair, kicked into gear by the catchy "Run Run Run."
The group did not maintain the commercial
momentum of their first release. "Bite Down Hard" struggled to retain similar momentum; frequent lineup changes and "Jumpin' the Gun's" tasteless album cover backfired on the band, are contributing factors that can be blamed for drastically falling sales, the band broke up in 1975. Their 1974 swansong depicted them as late-comers to the glam rock ball, and lazy tracks like "S&M Blvd." didn't suit them. Jo Jo ran out of gas. A case of too much too fast.
The original lineup temporarily reformed around 1992, but not much more happened of it. All four L.P.'s have been reissued in 2000 by Rhino titled "The Asylum Years Vol.1 & Vol.2" along with five bonus tracks. It rapidly sold out, and was issued again by Wounded Bird, minus the booklet that came with the Rhino release. And again on British Edsel records minus the bonus tracks.

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