Monday, March 31, 2008


While power pop singer-songwriter Dwight Twilley had previously scored chart hits with the singles I'm on Fire and Girls, his 1986 LP Wild Dogs came out so quietly that many fans didn't even know it was released. Another piece of a career plagued by record label woes, Wild Dogs stood little chance for promotion after the label it was recorded for folded, leading to a rushed release through Epic's CBS Associated Records.

The oversight was criminal because Wild Dogs is arguably one of Twilley's strongest albums. Some fans might be put off by the increased use of synthesizers throughout, but the high quality of the material is undeniable. The LP features lush, melodic gems in Sexual, You Don't Care, Ticket to My Dream and Secret Place, while the title track, Hold On, Baby Girl and Radio offer a good dose of fun rock and roll swagger. Shooting Stars (the final collaboration with Twilley's long-time musical partner, Phil Seymour) and Spider & the Fly are dreamy and passionate slow numbers.

Twilley is one of the most talented singers and songwriters in power pop, but has never gotten the credit he deserves. Wild Dogs - which still hasn't seen release on CD - is just a sliver of his essential material, most of which you can purchase here.

Dwight Twilley - Wild Dogs (1986)

Track listing:

1 - Sexual
2 - Wild Dogs
3 - You Don't Care
4 - Hold On
5 - Shooting Stars
6 - Baby Girl
7 - Ticket to My Dream
8 - Secret Place
9 - Radio
10 - Spider & the Fly


Uncle E said...

A friend of mine at work brought up Dwight Tilley at work today, saying that this was a guy I should look up.
So I sent him a link to your blog.

I will investigate.

Franko6677 said...

Cool, you definitely should. I'd suggest starting with the "best of" compilation, "XXI."

Holly A Hughes said...

I must confess, I'm still working on the Dwight Twilley thing. Some of his songs I liked on first listening and then got bored of -- others took a very long time to grow on me. Maybe if I'd first heard them in the 80s they wouldn't have sounded so over-produced to me -- after all, that was the sound of that era. I find his songwriting a little weak and conventional, but his vocals keep bringing me back.

Is it possible he's one of those rockers that only men really dig?

Franko6677 said...

Holly, what did you listen to of Dwight's? "Wild Dogs" is probably not a good start, especially if you don't like that overproduced 80s sound. I don't mind that sound and it was the last of the Twilley albums for me to discover so I liked it instantly.

If you haven't, I suggest trying out some of his earliest stuff. Songs such as "Sincerely," "Looking for the Magic," "Sky Blue" and "Out of My Hands." Check out the greatest hits, "XXI."

If that doesn't hit you, you're probably just not a Twilley fan.

Holly A Hughes said...

XXI is what I picked up a few months ago, on a friend's recommendation. The tracks I've got on my iPod are Sincerely, TV, 1,000 American Scuba Divers, Little Bit of Love, and That Thing You Do. I'm always happy when those come up on my shuffle, but then I forget about them.

It's kinda the same way I feel about Matthew Sweet; I can see why folks would like them, and I appreciate a few tracks. The just somehow haven't kicked in for me at the deeper level.

Guilherme said...

Kim Carnes provides background vocals on "Hold On".

LakerCrazy said...

Could you please re-up this gem. I've been looking for a copy since my vinyl copy got nicked. Thanks in advance. You have a very interesting blog.