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Archive Series, Vol. 2

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Album Review

Phil Seymour may have been one of the true heroes of power pop in the 1970s and '80s, but he sure didn't have much in the way of good luck. Seymour first made a name for himself singing with the Dwight Twilley Band, but the frustrations that followed their initial success with the hit single "I'm On Fire" led him to strike out on his own, and while his first solo album (1980's cleverly titled Phil Seymour) was a modest success, Seymour wasn't entirely happy with the follow-up, 1982's Phil Seymour 2. To make matters worse, the second album received little promotion and all but disappeared a few months after its release when the company that released it went bankrupt. It proved to be Seymour's last album (he lost a long battle with lymphoma in 1993), and nearly 30 years after it came and went, Seymour's sophomore effort finally gets a relaunch on the compilation Archive Series, Vol. 2. This collection features nine of Phil Seymour 2's ten tracks (the missing tune, "Looking for the Magic," was actually cut during the sessions for the first album and appeared as a bonus track when the debut was reissued in 2005), with ten unreleased recordings rounding out the package. Seymour lacked Twilley's talent as a songwriter, and the quality of the material on Phil Seymour 2 isn't always consistent, but Seymour was an energetic and passionate rock & roll singer with the fire and heart to bring songs like "Talk to Me," "Suffering," and "Love Receiver" to life, and while the sound on the original album was a bit harsh and didn't flatter the music (especially the drums), this compilation includes different mixes that subtly buff out some of the rough spots. And the bonus tracks suggest Seymour could have had a great third album in him; they often sound like demos, but they capture him in good voice, the songs suit him well (especially a cover of the Plimsouls' "Now," and several numbers penned with Pat Robinson) and the simpler production suits Seymour better than the glossier approach of the second LP. Given how little music Seymour released in his lifetime, Archive Series, Vol. 2 is a more than welcome addition to his catalog, finally restoring most of his second album to print along with a fine set of rarities that should intrigue and please fans.


Born: 15 May 1952 in Tulsa, OK

Genre: Pop

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

Born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Phil Seymour is probably best remembered for his time with the Dwight Twilley Band, who turned out some of the finest pop songs of their era, including the classic "I'm on Fire." After two albums (1976's Sincerely and 1978's Twilley Don't Mind), Seymour left to pursue a solo career. While waiting for a recording deal, he began recording solo sessions, as well as contributing session work for Tom Petty, 20/20, and Moon Martin. In 1980, he signed to Boardwalk Records...
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Archive Series, Vol. 2, Phil Seymour
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