APRIL FOOL – Playin’ To Win (first time on CD)
APRIL FOOL was formed in early 1988 around the Philadelphia area by drummer Walt Kaye. The band suffered several lineup changes including some BATON ROUGE ex / future musicians, until 1989 when APRIL FOOL secured a stable foundation and recorded their debut “Playin’ To Win“. The album was released by themselves only on cassette, fortunately this ‘lost recording’ has been reissued for the first time on CD, remastered from the original master tapes and with 2 bonus tracks.
APRIL FOOL then hit the club circuit hard, while the song “Bad Boy Willie” was receiving a strong radio airplay, resulting in the band’s live concert following starting to grow.
“Playin’ to Win” was released in the fall of 1989, sold out, and a second pressing followed. Opening shows for bands like Heaven, Britny Fox, TT Quick, the very first Bang Tango and Heaven’s Edge, plus headlining their own shows at venues from New York to Baltimore, pushed sales even further.
Videos for the singles “Cover Girls” & “Next Time Around” were produced and the band appeared on New York City cable television with the two videos/singles gaining airplay on mainstream & indie radio alike.
There were conversations with many recording labels for a national album release, but good luck eluded APRIL FOOL.
Why this band wasn’t signed and became massive is beyond me.
Listening “Playin’ To Win” you find a highly professional recording full of catchy, hook ridden ’80s American hard rock that is at least as good, and most times better, than many bands who made it big back in the day.
There isn’t a bad song here, all very well arranged and performed with passion, with a singer sporting all the needed pipes & swagger for this style and a flashy, talented guitarist dropping hot solos and sharp riffs.
There are crowd pleasers in “Bad Boy Willie”, “Steppin’ Out”, “Take Away The Heartache” and “Bahama Mama”, all ready for big arenas.
This remastered reissue of “Playin’ To Win” is more than welcomed, because APRIL FOOL was a band that ‘got it’.
It’s pure late ’80s American Hard Rock plenty of hooks, and the quality of the original recording is above the bar for an indie.
Really, really cool stuff not only for collectors, but fans of the glorious 80s US Hard Rock scene.
01 – Cover Girls
02 – Playin’ To Win
03 – Take Away The Heartache
04 – Bahama Mama
05 – Help Me Understand
06 – Next Time Around
07 – Steppin’ Out
08 – Borderline
09 – Sleepless Nights
10 – Bad Boy Willie
11 – Can’t Stop Rockin’
12 – Hey Molly (bonus track)
13 – Chain Of Love (bonus track)
Dave Stradling: Lead Vocals, Keyboards
Roberto Lombardi: Bass, Background Vocals, Percussion
George Smith: Guitar, Background Vocals
Walt “Wiggy” Kaye: Drums, Percussion
BUY IT !