After the release of First Thrills, the band constantly kept performing between Pittsburgh and New York picking up concert openings for Foreigner, Juice Newton, Nick Lowe featuring Paul Carrack, Arlen Roth, and Dr. John the Night Tripper before joining John Kay & Steppenwolf for a mini tour throughout the midwest. The road proved costly and unproductive. Everyone was itching to get back into the studio to record newly written material. Luckily, the label agreed.
Front Page News was the second album recorded on the G&P label. The band found its way back to Los Angeles only this time with more studio and recording experience. Due to budgetary restraints, and not wanting to compromise, studio time was negotiated with now friend, owner and engineer Doug Parry (who loved the band) at Smoketree Ranch Chatsworth CA. To facilitate this, the band began recording at 11pm finishing sometime around 8am daily. Certainly worth the compromise and it was a good thing the boys learned how to hit stop, rewind and record. Rick Romano also shared in the engineering duties.
Thrills developed a more mature sound and production. The song Tonight was released as the first single b/w Take A Bite and made it to # 2 and stayed in the Top 10 for about 13 weeks on radio station 96KX out of Pittsburgh PA a Parallel 1 radio station at the time. High Side of 55 was the station follow-up. 96KX adopted Thrills and promoted them in a major outdoor concert at Point State Park (downtown Pittsburgh) which had over 18,000 people in attendance. Other Pittsburgh bands on the bill were The Silencers on CBS/Precision and Norm Nardini on CBS. Thrills hung around Pittsburgh for a while playing to sold out houses and sharing the bill with the B.E Taylor band for several shows. Thrills also opened for Donnie Iris and had a highlight performance at Pittsburgh’s Stanley Theater with Quarterflash.
Back on Long Island, WLIR’s John DeBella’s station pick was You Don’t Remember Me which he faithfully played at 8:30am for many weeks.
All songs arranged by Thrills. Produced by Mike Frenchik in association with Tom Ingegno for IF Productions and mixed by Mike Frenchik, Tom Ingegno and Doug Parry. All songs mixed and recorded at Smoketree Ranch. This version and available CD was mastered by Bernie Becker in 2009.
The Band: Tony Monaco (keyboards/synthesizers/vocals); Dave “Peach” Fullerton (guitars/vocals); Rob Owens (drums/vocals); the late Bill Gilbert (bass/vocals)
Writers: You Don’t Remember Me (Ingegno), Don’t You Know (Ingegno/Frenchik), Tonight (Fullerton); Take A Bite (Ingegno), I’ll Be On My Way (Monaco), Teaser (Monaco), Explorer Time (Ingegno) not the same version as on Magical Hands, Front Page News (Ingegno), Follow Your Dream (Ingegno/Frenchik), Take Me Away (Fullerton), High Side Of 55 (Monaco), bonus track Smiling (Ingegno) not on the original album. It was the first original song played live and dedicated to the memory of the late Bill Gilbert.
All songs copyright and all songs published by Beautiful Day Music (BMI).
Lead vocals on You Don’t Remember Me, Don’t You Know, Take A Bite, I’ll Be On My Way, Teaser, Front Page News, Follow Your Dream, High Side Of 55 by Tony Monaco. Lead vocals on Tonight and Take Me Away by Dave Fullerton. Lead vocal on Explorer Time by Rob Owens not the same version as on Magical Hands/From Kingdom Come. Lead Vocals on Smiling (not found on the original album release by the late Bill Gilbert. Female voice on Tonight was recorded by Bonnie Hollis.
Acknowledgements: Lov Popov, Howie Stein, Rick Hawkey, Dallas Cupps, Andy Stromfeld, John Stamos, Randy Berry, vocal coach Perry Ames, Fr. Costa, agent Bill Hahn/Magna Artists Corp, Nick Cosmas, George Hornfeck, Tom Hession, Gary Hinston, Randy Meullier, Stephen B Allen, Eric Abrahamsen, Bruce Donachie/AOR-fm, Ryan Bitzer/800 Pound Gorilla Records, Jack Vaughn/The Slimstyle Recording Corp., Michael Epstein, our families and good friends.
Original album photos by Ebet Roberts and cover layout by Linda Venitelli.
Original 1981 album was mastered by Bernie Grundman at A&M Los Angeles CA.