Friday, June 1, 2012

Donna Everywhere by Too Much Joy

I'm losing my mind
But I don't care
I see Donna everywhere

If I were to describe the sound of Too Much Joy to someone then I would label them as "smart ass power pop with a good dash of rock". Too Much Joy has been a favorite of mine for over twenty years and I find it puzzling why this band from New York never went from cult favorite to mainstream success.

This quartet featured Tim Quirk on vocals, Sandy Smallens on bass, Tommy Vinton on drums, and Jay Blumenfield on guitar. Too Much Joy were on a creative roll during the late 80s and early 90s when they released three solid albums, Son of Sam I Am, Cereal Killers, and Mutiny. Son of Sam I Am (1988) was a step in the right direction creatively due to a wonderful cover of LL Cool J's 'That's A Lie' and a video featuring LL in a cameo role. Cereal Killers (1991) took the band to another level creatively with a fine collection of anthemic smart ass power pop hits like 'Good Kill', 'Crush Story', 'Long Haired Guy From England', and 'Thanksgiving in Reno'. Mutiny (1992) seemed to be the final step towards world domination for the band. It was their most polished album and featured the college rocker, 'Donna Everywhere'. The video for 'Donna Everywhere' was directed by Penn Jillette of Penn and Teller fame, with the duo making a cameo. 'Donna Everywhere' was one of many solid selections from that album. Their cover of The Records' 'Starry Eyes' took the 70s power pop Brit rocker from a holiday tale of woe to an American college drunken pub crawl of woe. Three fantastic albums of work featuring plenty of college rock favorites and Too Much Joy never jumped into the mainstream to take their rightful spot as megastars. This is where Fred Willard walks in to the room and does his 'Wha' happen?' from A Mighty Wind.

Too Much Joy did not completely fall off the face of the earth. They followed up Mutiny four years later with their final studio album, a very underrated and sadly overlooked album titled ...Finally. A few years later, the released some outtakes and rarities titled Gods and Sods. Too Much Joy never broke up and although they may never get back in the studio or release another album, they will still have a wonderful catalog of music and this Lost Soul of Rock and Roll will never forget and neither should you.

I've added the video for 'Donna Everywhere' so please enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. Never heard of these guys...thanks. You should check out Deadbeat Poets if you haven't already.

    Here's At Least It Worked Out For You.