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Ghost Canyon

Title - 'The Collection'
Artist - Roger C. Reale & Rue Morgue

This coming October 18th, 2019, Rave On Records will be releasing a most wondrous collection of tracks from Rhode Island native and Connecticut-based Roger C. Reale & Rue Morgue on the aptly named The Collection.

Included in this brilliant new package will be their debut 1978 album Radioactive along with their previously unreleased album - featuring guitar legend Mick Ronson - entitled Reptiles In Motion.

As history now informs us, Reptiles In Motion was meant to be Roger C. Reale & Rue Morgue’s second album, but the sophomore album to their debut just never saw the light of day.

During the studio group’s 1978-1979 existence, a stellar lineup of rock sidemen recorded as Rue Morgue, including guitarists G.E. Smith (Daryl Hall & John Oates, Bob Dylan, Saturday Night Live Band), Mick Ronson (David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Ian Hunter) and Jimmy McAllister (The Beckies, Mick Ronson Band, Sparks), alongside drummer Hilly Michaels (Mick Ronson Band, Sparks, Ian Hunter).

Basically put, The Collection features Roger C. Reale & Rue Morgue’s discography, with all 24 remastered tracks making their CD debut.

Tracks 1-12 comprise the band’s aforementioned 1978 debut album Radioactive - when the band lineup was Reale (lead vocals, bass), G.E Smith (guitar), Hilly Michaels (drums, vocals), and Jimmy McAllister (guitar, track 10) - whereas tracks 13-24 comprise the previously unreleased 1979 sophomore album Reptiles In Motion album (that added Mick Ronson to the lineup).

1. 'High Society'
2. 'Dear Dad'
3. 'Stop And Go'
4. 'Pain Killer'
5. 'Rescue Me'
6. 'Kill Me'
7. 'Reach For The Sky'
8. 'Madonna's Last Stand'
9. 'Please Believe Me'
10.' Close Inspection'
11. 'Inside Outside'
12. 'I Can't Control Myself'

Reptiles In Motion
13. 'She's Older Now'
14. 'Pros and Cons'
15. 'Radioactive'
16. 'One More Try'
17. 'No Secrets'
18. 'Debutante Ball'
19. 'Make It Be Over'
20. 'I'm In Distress'
21. 'Point Blank'
22. 'Back It Up'
23. 'Living In Anger'
24. 'Rock It To The Kremlin'

On an album that comes deeply infused with the big sound of retro vocals and jangling guitars combined with infectious melodies and clear-cut hooks, The Collection is, without a shadow of a doubt, now one of my top 5 albums of 2019.

I mean, there's just something so vibrant about this collection, so alive still after all these years. Showcasing their personalities perfectly, for me the track that sums them up the best off Radioactive is the pop-rock sensibilities of 'Stop And Go.'

Forging Reale's rough, tough vocal style together with the unmistakable sounds of an era long gone, the lyrics are clean, the guitars streamlined, and the finished product smooth and radio friendly.

With a drum beat that encourages them to burst forth most times, the band do just that in perfect harmony of every single track here. Coming across as a harder version of The Rubettes, Bay City Rollers, Mud and most definitely Sweet, Roger C. Reale & Rue Morgue are a breath of fresh air even today given all the programmed crap on the radio these days!

Funnily enough, one of my favorites off the second album here, Reptiles In Motion is the cut 'Radioactive,' which was, of course, the title of their debut album. That big sound of theirs combined with Reale's dusky, moody vocals just makes for one heck of a vocalized track; ensuring it is grounded and never too pop lite.

Reale, who also plays bass on the album, was part of the late-'70s talent pool that developed around Wallingford, Connecticut's Trod Nossel Studios (which led to the New York-based Big Sound label) and the man certainly had a knack for unearthing a righteous melody ala 'High Society' and 'Kill Me.'

Indeed, rounding out the debut album is a quite delicious cover of the Troggs' 'I Can't Control Myself,' but that's not to say that the sophomore album doesn't have it's own melodic gems ala 'Debutante Ball,' 'Point Blank,' and 'Rock It To The Kremlin.'

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