The Dregs – Unsung Heroes
Vinyl | LP Cover (1:1) | FLAC + cue | 24bit/96kHz | 813mb
Mastered At Sterling Sound
Label: Arista/AL 9548 | Release: 1981 | Genre: Progressive-Fusion
In the early ’80s the blight of commercialitis had severely degraded the quality of progressive music being created. There are still many gems from that era. Unsung Heroes isn’t necessarily one of them yet a fine, and imperfect album all the same. The Dregs dropped the “Dixie” from their name in an attempt to reach a broader audience. I wonder how many of you out there haven’t checked this band out because of the “Dixie”? This was the first of two albums in that direction and under “The Dregs” band name, which was what we all around here referred to them as anyway. It unfortunately didn’t work as well as they’d hoped and after the second album as “The Dregs”, everyone moved on to other projects. (The original violinist Alan Sloane moved on after Unsung Heroes. )
Cruise Control kicks off the album and is probably the worst piece on the album, not to say it’s actually a bad piece of music, it’s just that the live versions are far superior. And as the song was mostly a vehicle for improvisation, it was just sad to see it reduced to this way too short piece for the sake of trying to get some airplay. Fer shame, fer shame. The older version on the album Freefall beats this version but also pales in comparison to any live version I’ve experienced.
Divided We Stand sees them back in finer form. This is what the Dregs were all about. It’s just progressive fusion, jazzy/rocky/a little bluegrassy/complexy, well, you’ll just have to hear it to appreciate it (dancing about architecture and what not.).
I’ll Just Pick has even a stronger bluegrass flavor to it. Trust me, this is bluegrass even a die hard prog zombie pod person could like. I know, I was one when I went nutzo for the Dregs.
Day 444 is a nice slow long piece dedicated to the release of the American embassy hostages from Iran. Post Rock fans should really dig this.
Rock and Roll Park another attempt at an instrumental AOR friendly hit. But dang it, just way too progressive to be successful. We’re talking 1981 here. Ok maybe it was just the title trying to sound AOR friendly rather than the music.
Attila the Hun is hard to really classify. High energy prog? Speed prog? Complexo prog? A fun little musical ride, for sure, Mr. Morse can really play rings around every guitarist out there, seriously.
Kat Food not to be confused as a cover for Crimson’s Cat Food, this one’s actually a much better song. A little funky/bluesy, I suppose. Killer complex musicianship again.
In Go for Baroque, the Dregs really did go for an excellent piece in the classical style, really not anything like the classical style pieces they did in the past, it could just about get a classical snob to appreciate prog.
Had to get the CD as a Japanese import. (I’m greatful for all the great import prog available only from Japan!) Really glad to have it back in my collection available to play after a hiatus due to the whole LP Cassette CD transitioning thing.
Review by Slartibartfast, progarchives.com
A1 Cruise Control
A2 Divided We Stand
A3 I’ll Just Pick
A4 Day 444
B1 Rock & Roll Park
B2 Attila The Hun
B3 Kat Food
B4 Go For Baroque
Manufactured By – Arista Records, Inc.
Mixed At – Axis Sound Studio
Recorded At – Axis Sound Studio
Mastered At – Sterling Sound
Acoustic Guitar [Guitars], Electric Guitar [Guitars], Producer, Written-By – Steve Morse
Bass [Fretted And Fretless] – Andy West
Design – James Flournoy Holmes, Wonder Graphics
Drums, Percussion – Rod Morgenstein
Engineer – George Pappas
Mastered By – George Marino
Photography By – Elizabeth Turk
Piano [Acoustic], Electric Piano, Organ, Synthesizer, Clavinet, Saxophone – T. Lavitz
Violin [Acoustic And Electric 5 String Violin] – Allen Sloan
Recorded and mixed at Axis Sound Studio, Atlanta, Ga. Dec 8, 1980-Feb 10, 1981
(P) & (C) 1981 Arista Records, Inc., 6 West 57th Street, New York, N.Y. 10019
Printed in the U.S.A.
Barcode 0 7822-19548-1 5
incl. printed inner sleeve
Barcode and Other Identifiers
Barcode: 0 7822-19548-1
Matrix / Runout (A Side Etched): AL-9548-SA-CS1
Matrix / Runout (B Side Etched): AL-9548-SB-CS1
Matrix / Runout (A Side Stamped): STERLING
Matrix / Runout (B Side Stamped): STERLING
Matrix / Runout (A Side Center Label): AL 9548 SA
Matrix / Runout (B Side Center Label): AL 9548 SB