Thursday, December 23, 2010

CRUEL STORY OF YOUTH - 1989




Cruel Story of Youth is one of those bands that got signed and faded off into some obscure land where everything is covered in echo.
That's what you will hear when you listen to this band. This album was definitely recorded using plethora of effect. And not just distortion and some reverb, this is over-production. Plain and simple. A different producer could have taken the creativity displayed in this band and taken them much further. That's the truth, because even with the bad production this is a great album. And that's saying something.

The first two songs from the self-titled (I don't know of any other releases, but they could be out there) are both poppy, and catchy. What you really need to look out for in these songs is the guitar work, particularly the solo in "Love is a Vapor", which lays the groundwork for the phenomenal solo-work on this album. The third song (which could have possibly been a better open song than "You're what you want to be"), called "Out of Love", shows some of the best you will find on this album. The lyrics are emotional and poetic, and guitar and drum solo ties the song to an intense mid-point. "I Don't Know Anymore" is a song about a changed relationship. Here, the lyrics continue to shine and stick with you after the song is over, and the guitar work sprinkles the song with beautiful fills and riffs. The next song of interest would be "I'd Pay The Price". Slow ballad-rock comes in waves throughout the slow, melancholy verses and somewhat upbeat chorus. "The Strangest Word" is a fantastic song that marks the end of the "middle of the album". Cruel Story of Youth really pick up the tempo and bring the best elements of every song before it in this song. This is a must listen, even if you don't care about the rest of the album or this genre of music (so please, shift your attention to the bottom this post). "Violet" continues in this vein, distorted guitar gives the song punch while John Are wails the chorus.

I couldn't find much about this band. A Google search yielded the information that their bassist worked for Rolling Stone, so if you wanted to get in contact maybe start there. Another odd thing came from AllMusic; apparently "You're What You Want To Be" peaked at 29 on the Mainstream Rock charts in 1989. Sadly, not even this was enough to keep Cruel Story Of Youth in the public's mind.



Download the album:
Cruel Story of Youth - 1989

I WILL REMOVE ANY POST AT THE REQUEST OF THE ARTIST.

IF YOU HAVE ANY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, BOOTLEGS, STORIES, OR RELEASES OF THIS BAND PLEASE SHARE. FEEL FREE TO POST A LINK TO YOUR OWN BLOG IF IT RELATES TO THE ARTISTS IN THIS POST.

29 comments:

  1. A friend of mine was childhood friends with John Are (not his real last name, I don't remember his full name), the main guy from this band. I remember this album being good and getting a little AOR airplay on that "You're what you want to be" single. Thanks for posting, will download and hear again for the first time in a long time.

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  2. I saw them at the Cat Club I guess it was in '89. I was really into this album. I think it was a review in The New York Post that made me want to check them out..and I remember getting the cassette and playing the crap out of it! Good memories here. Thanks.

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  3. Aaurgh! I got so excited when I saw the download link for this album, but the file has been removed. I had it on cassette years ago. Is there nowhere to download it anymore?

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    1. I updated the download link in the article! Enjoy

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  4. I loved this band and I also played the sh*t out of the cassette! I'm currently on a vinyl search for the album so I can add it to my i-Tunes. Hope I can find it. Thanks for posting 'The Strangest Word' Peace ....

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    1. I have a copy of it on vinyl I'm certain I could be talked into parting with. If you are intersted send an e-mail to waltermitty40@hotmail.com.

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  5. Amazon has the vinyl.

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  6. I was able to find this in vinyl at a Goodwill store. I thought it was an amazing find.

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  7. Thank you for this; I searched for them years ago and found nothing. This was an important time in my life and I shared this album with my new wife in 1989. It quickly became one of a few we'd listen to time-and-again. Now, I'll be able to share with her again and it is really going to make her happy. One of my favorite "unknown" artists of all time... ~ Burt

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  8. I really like this record... found it in a $2 bin at a used record shop in Central Illinois...

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  9. No information on the band but there is a band that sounds similar mostly in the vocal style that people might be interested in the group is called Black Lab. They had a hit back in 97 called "Wash it away"

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  10. Some of the band were in The Rescue, who had a couple of singles in 1984, the best of which by far was Tell Me Now, produced by Tony Mansfield of 80s UK hit band New Musik. He also produced Captain Sensible, Bjork, A-Ha and others. Should have been a hit single...

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  11. I worked at Rolling Stone with the bassist, David Pennick. After Cruel Story broke up I was in a band with David (he switched to guitar) and the drummer Bobby Seims. The band was named BeautyFeast. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwHjZvFkwJw&list=LLxlklNgAyXCJrInSwblCMKg&index=40&ab_channel=VJ#1

    David and Bobby are solid musicians. They rocked.

    Cruel Story used to rehearse across the hall from another band I was in at the Music Building on 8th ave in NYC. The band I was in was The Backsliders. Fun times back then...

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    1. Richie! Where are you living now? Good to see you here.

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  12. Michael Gross, the guitarist, lived in My uncle's guest house near Woodstock before the album call me out, and I think for a while after. When the band didn't make it Michael started working with my uncle. I think they became partners doing real estate and stock broker stuff. When the bottom fell out of that they started opening bounce/trampoline houses around the NYC area. My Uncle is a partner in some of them. I hear Michael and his brother are doing quite well in the trampoline world. The places are called Bounce.

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  13. I was the bass player in Cruel Story of Youth. It's great to see this review and to read the positive comments. Our producer ruined us. We were much more garage-y before he decided it had to be a big MAJOR LABEL album. That's just my opinion, of course. Layers and layers of guitar tracks. Way too many layers. John Are is now a lawyer, Bobby Siems, the drummer, is still rocking in NYC, and I'm in Austin working remotely for a New York magazine website. And of course, it appears that Michael Gross has his company. Kenny Cummings was our keyboard player. He's building Nortons in NYC and racing motorcycles. And still rocking a bit.

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    1. I was going through my old CDs and Brought up memories and was curious what happened. I was Martin Kunitz girlfriend during that time.

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    2. Greetings from Ireland. I found the album in a store in Dublin for a couple of bucks and my jaw hit the floor when the needle dropped. Great songs - yeah, overproduced for sure but you can’t diminish the potential of such great tracks. Fate is no respecter of ability or fairness. Great to read more about your band.

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    3. Thanks for the update, David. I always wondered what happened to you guys. One of those albums that still finds it's way through my speakers now & then.

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    4. I've been a HUGE fan of Cruel Story Of Youth ever since the album was released!..those tunes were AWESOME!..still listen to the CD just as much as I did back in 1989 ..just GREAT stuff!..Thank You for posting about this GREAT band!, also cool to hear from the bassist - David Pennick !!.. If you read this David, just want you to know that your music with Cruel Story Of Youth STILL has an impact on alot of us fans!!!..you guys were GREAT!.. and don't forget, " Your'e What You Want To Be,..Above These Pressures, And Proud !"...Thanks for listening!( Randy from Connecticut)

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    5. Still have the CD I bought in 1989...played the heck out of it. Love the disc.

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  14. Please, Please. Anybody send me John Are contact at bronx167@gmail.com.
    Thanks....It's sooo Great hearing from you guys!

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  15. I just spent all day in depositions with one of the guitar players who is now an important lawyer. I wont share his name, but funny stuff, to see where people end up later in life

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  16. I just spent all day in depositions with one of the guitar players who is now an important lawyer. I wont share his name, but funny stuff, to see where people end up later in life

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  17. David, please please how can I get access to any video of the band? Can you load something to YouTube?

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  18. So this is John Are. . . After a long absence, I've been doing some recording with Kenny Cummings, CSOY's keyboardist (after Martin) and a few other friends. Having some good fun. Got a little anti-Trump song for yur musical enjoyment: "In re DJT (Their Liberties Be Damned), plus a few more songs. I'm recording now as "The Kaytonsville 8." Catch it on Bandcamp and the usual streaming services (Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, Youtube, etc.). Here's a couple of links:
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9cocWH_eXIxAqrVMYlQQoQ
    https://thekaytonsville8.bandcamp.com
    Thanks for your interest!

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    1. Thanks for this update. I played the heck out of Cruel Story of Youth. Really sad there was no opportunity to see live or get a second album.

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  19. The band had a lengthy history before it was finally signed to Columbia. It began in late '82 or early'83 with Robert Mullins on drums [Regina and The Red Hot], Brian Hess on bass and Mark Suall on guitar [The Revelons, Alda Reserve,etc] . That lineup played on their first, self produced 7" single. That's posted on youtube.

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  20. All the Cruel Atory of Youth recordings from 83' - '84 are now posted on youtube along with photos and a bio.

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