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It's Personal

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Album Review

The seventh City Boy album — which is not a bad achievement for a group that most folks remember for just the first one or two — was also their last. It's not difficult to see why, not because they'd run out of either ideas or energy — as always with this most remarkable of late-'70s pop combos, the album bristles with hooks and barbs, even when they are so patently aping the Police ("The Blind Leading the Blind") that they could be a Men at Work tribute group. But how long can anyone keep making tightly coiled pop confections before they tire of being told that they peaked with their very first hit record? It's an unmistakably early-'80s album, all jagged edges and sharp little rhythms, but shot through with electric lyrics and licks, and dancing around some oddly satisfying ideas as well — "La Guerra de Mondo" could be a Boomtown Rats number; "Who Killed Delores" is a deeply funky piece that predicts a lot of the later new romantic era; and the closing "Exit the Heavyweight" — now there's an epitaph, if any band wrote one — is a tinkling keyboard piece fed through a heartbroken vocal and you know it's going to explode into action long before it does. A great way for any band to go out, then, and a musical high point in a career that was littered with the things, It's Personal might not be City Boy's best album, but it's up there with the best of them.


Formed: England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s

At a time when punk rock and new wave were sweeping the music charts, Birmingham, England-based quintet, City Boy, produced melodic, hook-laden, progressive rock tunes. Despite placing two songs, "5--7--0--5," and "The Day the Earth Caught Fire," the title track of their 1979 album, in the British Top Ten, the band failed to capitalize on their commercial success and disbanded in 1981. According to The Gibraltar Encyclopedia of Progressive Rock, City Boy is remembered for their "strong identification...
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It's Personal, City Boy
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