This is a classic old school eighties power pop group for you. Doug Khazzam and his group Buddy Love are true veterans of the skinny tie era. With a local single hit “Sheila/Party Girl” as a springboard they played the local clubs. At some point leader singer Joey, left the band and they carried on with 2 albums. With different band members over the years, it has managed to keep it’s signature sound. 26 years later, Joey returned and the band is playing live once again and released “Now and Then”. Best described as a mix of The Knack meets early Elvis Costello, I listened to all three Buddy Love albums and each one has something to offer it’s listeners.
“Buddy Love” starts out with Gary Glitter’s “Rock & Roll” and rolls off some adequate guitar pop, but things improve by mid album with “Ticket to your Heart.” Out of nowhere, a rockabilly tune “Who slapped John (Lennon)?” is next and it really belongs on a Stray Cats album. Another standout track here is the mid-tempo “I Just Want to Hold You” which has some of that classic Elvis Costello vibe. “Wild Angel” ends the album with some nice chord progressions and guitar work.
“More! Buddy Love” opens with a great single “Something in My Eye” and the rest of the album has a similar sound, but much improved guitar acrobatics and song writing. There is a hint of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons in the vocal structures of songs like “He’s Back in Town” and “Love is a Martial Art.” Most of the songs are on par with groups of the era, 20/20 and The Records. Things here are all kicked up a notch with the energetic “Teaser” and “Liar” and they manage to cover The Knickerbockers’ “Lies” without evoking The Beatles at all!
A future post will review “Now and Then” – but keep in mind this album contains the original singles “Sheila” and “Party Girl” plus the latest tunes from the group. Each CD is handcrafted by Rockville Records and you can get it from The Buddy Love website. Lovers of eighties power pop Buddy Love has arrived!
Here’s a bit of a documentary on Buddy Love
Listen to “Party Girl” circa 1980