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Plug It In

Mama's Boys

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Album Review

The McManus boys — Mama's Boys to you — forsook their traditional Irish folk music upbringing forever with the release of 1982's aptly named first album, Plug It In. Just a few years earlier, the band's precocious three brothers — vocalist/bassist John, guitarist Pat (aka "The Professor"), and drummer Tommy — had still been crisscrossing the Emerald Isle as part of an award-winning family ensemble, but after supporting legendary prog rock folkies Horslips in 1979, and then subsequently discovering the inimitable Thin Lizzy, they promptly sold their souls to rock & roll, as the saying goes. And now here they were, worshiping the mighty riff themselves with a throng of tough, uncomplicated, but imminently lovable hard rockers like "In the Heat of the Night," "Burnin' Up," and "Getting Out," which often stood toe to toe with contemporary efforts by UFO, Rainbow, and yes, Thin Lizzy. Amid all of this blue-collar rocking, there was also a clever turn toward AOR in the album's memorable single, "Needle in the Groove" (a smash hit in Ireland), a convincingly earthy ballad in "Belfast City Blues" (preempting Irish guitar hero Gary Moore's bluesy rebirth ten years later), and even an opportunity for virtuoso Pat to swap out his six-string for a fiddle before whipping off (or bowing off, as it were) the solo for another excellent heavy rocker, "Runaway Dreams." All in all, this was a highly entertaining set that, while far from reinventing the rock & roll wheel (and in no way associable with the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, as suggested by the Iron Maiden-copyrighted typeset used on its cover), left most fans and critics in agreement that Mama's Boys had done County Fermanagh proud.

Customer Reviews

Quality Rock

A very underrated band, good live act, as usual bands like Mamas Boys don't get any support from radio stations and labels and they get lost, sometimes for good,

plug it in

Bought the original LP back in 1982,great band, just had to get "belfast city blues" on my ipod, buy it, buy it, buy it

Top choice

Really good album I own it on 12" vinyl which sounds even better not very portable though hence the mp3

Biography

Formed: 1978

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

In the wake of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal explosion of the early '80s, several bands attempted to blend in with the movement even though they formed long after such bands as Iron Maiden and Def Leppard began to enjoy success, one such band being a hard rockin' trio of brothers, the Mama's Boys. The trio hailed from Northern Ireland and was comprised of Pat McManus (guitar, vocals), John McManus (bass), and Tommy McManus (drums). The band issued several albums during the early to mid-'80s,...
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Plug It In, Mama's Boys
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