Fronted by multi-talented singer / songwriter Franke Previte, FRANKE & THE KNOCKOUTS achieved a top ten single in 1981 with the infectious song "Sweetheart". Prestigious label Friday Music has re-released the band's old Best Of album under the title "The Best Of ; Sweetheart Anniversary Edition", including extra tracks. Franke himself has specially remastered all tracks from the original master tapes.
Franke & The Knockouts had several Top 40 hits in the USA, but in Europe only the die-hard AOR fans are familiar with the three excellent records of this New Brunswick, New Jersey based '80s band.
"The Best Of Franke & The Knockouts" includes indeed the best of their catalog. From start to finish, this is a marvelous compendium of Classic early '80s AOR / Melodic Rock with a little Westcoast here and there.
The band was well known for their incredible catchy hooklines, memorable choruses and the outstanding picture-perfect vocals of Franke, while instrumentally they were the typical pure radio-ready AOR band from the States.
Without any doubts, this kind of AOR is almost impossible to create nowadays, because the level is really from another planet when listening to classics such as "Sweetheart" (a Westcoast-AOR Classic shuffle), the uptempo AOR rocker "You're My Girl" with its infectious chorus, or the terrific ballad "Without You (Not Another Lonely Night)".
"You Don’t Want Me (Like I Want You)" is pure AOR heaven, "Come Rain Or Shine" exudes quality all over (TOTO didn’t sound this good in the early Eighties) and the stunning melodic rock mid-tempo "You're All That Really Matters" (also recorded by Tycoon in a slightly different version) is a 24K gem.
Franke could really rock too, such as can be heard for example in "Outrageous", their most Melodic Rock orientated song, or on "Never Had It Better" where late '70s Foreigner meets early 80's Survivor, including the dut-dut piano / keyboard work ala TOTO’s 'Hold The Line'.
This stunning newly remastered Greatest Hits features 19 hit tracks including all the Knockouts classic songs, plus the original rockin' version of "Hungry Eyes" (which would become a Top 5 smash hit in 1987 performed by Eric Carmen for the Dirty Dancing soundtrack), and as extra special interest for fans and collectors, the previously unreleased tune "Beat Of A Broken Heart" originally written for Dirty Dancing 2, but never released until now.
The new remastering update by Franke Previte is excellent and makes the songs sound massive and vital, with a sound true to the original vinyl warmness.
This is how AOR should sound like. Franke & The Knockouts are the definition of the true, pure first half of the '80s AOR.
A MUST HAVE
01 - Sweetheart
02 - She's A Runner
03 - Running Into The Night
04 - Come Back
05 - You're My Girl
06 - One For All
07 - Annie Goes Hollywood
08 - Never Had It Better
09 - Without You (Not Another Lonely Night)
10 - Just What I Want
11 - Morning Sun
12 - You Don't Want Me (Like I Want You)
13 - Outrageous
14 - Come Rain Or Shine
15 - You're All That Really Matters
16 - One Good Reason
17 - Blame It On My Heart
18 - Hungry Eyes [Original Version - Bonus Track]
19 - Beat Of A Broken Heart [Previously Unreleased]
Franke Previte - lead vocals
Billy Elworthy - guitars
Bobby Messano - guitars, backing vocals
Blake Levinsohn - keyboards
Tommy Ayers - keyboards, backing vocals
Leigh Foxx - bass
Claude LeHenaff - drums
Tico Torres (Bon Jovi) - drums
BUY IT !