9 Songs, 33 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The L.A. rock band Jo Jo Gunne formed after singer/guitarist/keyboardist Jay Ferguson (future solo star of “Thunder Island” fame) and bassist Mark Andes (later of Firefall and Heart) had split from the much-lauded band Spirit (who’d just released the trailblazing Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus) for greener pastures. So, yes, this 1972 debut is littered with the era’s FM-radio signposts. There’s Little Feat–style boogie (“Babylon,” “99 Days,” “Academy Award”), shirts-off, beer-drinking anthems (“I Make Love,” “Barstow Blue Eyes”), a motor speedway rock ballad (“Flying Home”), and the same kind of melodious stoner angst that made Spirit songs great (“Shake That Fat” and “Run Run Run,” the band’s sole Top 40 hit). But what makes this album is the spare, every-note-carries-weight arrangements of guitar, bass, and drums (and occasional piano), as well as the big choruses and unexpected wry cultural references that see Ferguson delivering lines like “With her hair like Hedy Lamarr … she’s a stone-cold diver” with all the swagger of Jim Dandy or David Lee Roth.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The L.A. rock band Jo Jo Gunne formed after singer/guitarist/keyboardist Jay Ferguson (future solo star of “Thunder Island” fame) and bassist Mark Andes (later of Firefall and Heart) had split from the much-lauded band Spirit (who’d just released the trailblazing Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus) for greener pastures. So, yes, this 1972 debut is littered with the era’s FM-radio signposts. There’s Little Feat–style boogie (“Babylon,” “99 Days,” “Academy Award”), shirts-off, beer-drinking anthems (“I Make Love,” “Barstow Blue Eyes”), a motor speedway rock ballad (“Flying Home”), and the same kind of melodious stoner angst that made Spirit songs great (“Shake That Fat” and “Run Run Run,” the band’s sole Top 40 hit). But what makes this album is the spare, every-note-carries-weight arrangements of guitar, bass, and drums (and occasional piano), as well as the big choruses and unexpected wry cultural references that see Ferguson delivering lines like “With her hair like Hedy Lamarr … she’s a stone-cold diver” with all the swagger of Jim Dandy or David Lee Roth.

TITLE TIME
2:35
3:47
4:04
2:58
3:19
3:24
5:00
4:48
3:14

About Jo Jo Gunne

Jo Jo Gunne was a rock group formed in Los Angeles in 1971 by Jay Ferguson (b. May 10, 1947; Burbank, CA) (keyboards, vocals) and Mark Andes (b. February 19, 1948; Philadelphia) (bass, vocals) after they left Spirit. They added Mark's brother Matt Andes (b. California) (guitar, vocals) and Curley Smith (b. January 31, 1952; Wolf Point, MT) (drums) to complete the lineup, signed to Asylum Records, and made a self-titled debut album containing the Top 40 hit "Run, Run, Run," after which Mark Andes left the band and was replaced by Jimmy Randall (b. February 14, 1949, Dallas). (Andes went on to be a member of Firefall and Heart.) The group continued for three more albums with more personnel changes, but did not maintain the commercial momentum of its debut and broke up in 1975. Ferguson has made solo albums and scored movies. ~ William Ruhlmann

  • ORIGIN
    Los Angeles, CA
  • FORMED
    1971

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