From the Vault...


The Kings

© Griffin Records

Year of Release: 1995

track listing
  • The Beat Goes On/
    Switchin' To Glide
  • Lesson To Learn
  • Should Been Me
  • If We Don't
    Belong Together
  • Unstoppable
  • To Be In Love
  • Tonight I Got You
  • Parting Of The Ways
  • As If I Cared
  • Cosmic Groove
  • Shook Me Loose
  • I Got The Lovin'

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    The Kings related sites:
    The Kings Website
    Previous Review: #1280
    Atlanta Rhythm Section--A Rock And Roll Alternative
    Next Review: #1282
    Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble--Live Alive
    The Kings

    The Kings were most popular by a two-song hit (most popular in the Chicago area) -- "The Beat Goes On/Switchin' To Glide." The year was 1980, and Chicago stations such as WCKG, WXRT, WLUP and WLS-AM were playing this song continuously. I always thought The Kings were a local band, with all the exposure for this song. The Kings were originally from Canada, formed in the late 1970s. David Diamond and Mister Zero were the key songwriters of the band.

    "The Beat Goes On/Switchin' To Glide" was from their debut album, The Kings Are Here. Their original albums were not released on CD until later decades. 1995 was the year Griffin Records released Unstoppable. The Kings' biggest hit of their career would debut on CD, and remastered on this album. As for the remaining songs on this album, they were new tracks at the time. Most of them were hits in Canada -- "Lesson To Learn," "Shoulda Been Me," "Tonight I Got You," "Parting Of The Ways" and the title track. In 1999, the band was given permission to reissue their original albums on CD.

    As for this album, it is definitely a 1980s Pop/Rock album. Many bands come to mind, as I listen to the 12 tracks -- The Kind (a local Chicago band), The Romantics, and (having the most similarities), the Greg Kihn Band.

    Speaking of Greg Kihn, his sound is a similarity on tracks such as "Lesson To Learn," "Unstoppable," and "Parting Of The Ways." The last song just mentioned here, starts out sounding a bit like another band from the 1980s, Survivor. Yet it's a cheezy tune, (just as the Pop ballad-like "If We Don't Belong Together"), it also has a Greg Kihn-dish sound.

    "Shoulda Been Me" is almost (just almost), like John Hiatt, yet it's more Pop. The Traveling Wilburys would surface many years later, yet "Tonight I Got You" has some melody parts sound like the Wilbury's hit, "Handle With Care."

    Some of the better tunes are the rockin' "To Be In Love." Likewise, there's some cool, rockin' tunes, such as "Shook Me Loose," and even "I Got The Lovin'" is a pretty good rocker.

    Probably considered my "least favorite" tunes here are "As If I Cared," and the command bland "Cosmic Groove."

    Without a doubt, "The Beat Goes On/Switchin' To Glide" medley is the best track here. "To Be In Love," "Shook Me Loose," and "I Got The Lovin'" are runner ups. Music fans from Chicago radio who were around back in 1980 will easily remember the song, and maybe not the name of the group who performed it. The Kings maybe considered a "one-hit wonder" (just as The Kind, with "Loved By You"). The other songs on Unstoppable are good, some better than others. All in all, The Kings were just another 1980s rock band, trying to make it big, in both Canada and the United States at the time. Now, with the popularity of the Internet, The Kings' "The Beat Goes On/Switchin' To Glide" is getting thousands of airplays on Youtube. In 2005, The Kings released a DVD of their reunion. An anthology was released, featuring songs from when they were first formed as the band Whistleking. As of 2008, the band continues to play live shows in Canada, and sometimes in the United States. They are finishing new tracks for an upcoming new studio album.

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    Previous Review: #1280
    Atlanta Rhythm Section--A Rock And Roll Alternative
    Next Review: #1282
    Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble--Live Alive