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Jon Butcher Axis

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Album Review

Jon Butcher is a journeyman guitarist whose Johanna Wilde band was legendary in the New England region in the late '70s. While the "new wave" and "punk rock" scenes were exploding, Butcher kept to what he did best: mainstream hard rock. By the time this Polydor deal materialized, much of his better-known tunes had been in circulation for quite some time. "New Man" originally appeared on a 1980/1981 compilation from radio station WCOZ, it opens up side two here, but, like most of the album, is hampered by Pat Moran's pedestrian production."Cant Be the Only Fool" and "Send One Care Of" lack personality here, the producer and record label failing to polish Jon Butcher's consistent songwriting. Add to that mix the fact that his management company had a falling out with the major concert promoter in his hometown, and you have an act that had to move to Los Angeles in order to find an environment more conducive to the creative process. "Life Takes a Life" is haunting here, and may be the best track on the record; "It's Only Words," "Ocean in Motion" and "New Man" were popular live and remain highlights of this record, but the power trio never got to shape their own identity. The crunching chords made Jon Butcher more like Pete Townshend performing in the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Like Robin Trower, Butcher performed in the shadow of Jimi, good material but not as creative and memorable as the prototype, and without the production and promotion skills of a Chas Chandler. A decent album that could have been so much more if the people around this artist understood what the music was all about.

Customer Reviews

First one!

I've been waiting for this album to make it to iTunes for years. Like most of the fans of this artist, I literally wore out the vinyl LP, and bought the tape a couple times since I wore it out. Been following Mr. Butcher since his debut on Boston's WCOZ radio battle of the bands in the very early 80's. His other albums were on iTunes but not the first which I feel has the best guitar riffs, and soulful lyrics of them all. IMHO there is not a bad track in the whole composistion. I even wrote the artist through his web site asking when this would make it to here. He answered and said it was in the works. Thankfully it has arrived.

If your looking for fresh rock that holds it's own through the decades, try'll love it.

At Long Last

This has been one of my favorite albums since it was released in 1983. Why Polydor never saw fit to put it out on CD is as mysterious to me as why Jon Butcher remains so inexplicably overlooked. He still continues to record and perform, as well as running his own successful production house, Electric Factory.

Tinged with some country and blues influences, this is a solid hard-rock album. There isn't a bad song in the package.

Thank you to iTunes for making it available.

Where is the Wishes album?

Where is "Wishes"?


Born: Boston, MA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Jimi Hendrix disciple Jon Butcher achieved some moderate chart success in the mid-'80s as the singer/guitarist for the Jon Butcher Axis. Coming out of the Boston club scene in the early '80s, the Butcher Axis (which also included members Chris Mann on bass and Derek Blevins on drums), issued such albums as 1983's self-titled debut, 1984's Stare at the Sun, and 1985's Along the Axis (Butcher dropped the Axis for such releases as 1986's Wishes and 1989's Pictures From the Front), opened for local Boston...
Full Bio