The sole record by this .-based supergroup is marvelous, and one can easily speculate on what success the band might have had if not doomed by the collapse of its record company. As might be expected of a band composed of seven crack studio musicians and one newcomer, the musicianship throughout is stellar. As might not be expected, the previously unknown band member steals the show. Though he was better known as an actor, Tim McIntire was an excellent singer with a marvelous bass voice, the latter unusual enough in the rock world. The other members of Funzone provided a carnival-like stew of New Orleans-influenced rock to back McIntire's lyrics, which were by turns comic, ironic, and deeply soulful. The highlight track, the one that got the band national attention thanks to frequent airplay on the Dr. Demento show, was "Big Amp in the Sky," a hilarious honky tonk tale of a debauched rock star's afterlife. There are other gems to be found here, though -- "Stinko the Nark" is a rare instance of intelligent druggie humor, and "For PJ" is as fine a piece of blue-eyed soul as anybody was laying down in 1977. The record was selling well up to the moment that the record company went bankrupt. The members of Funzone were shocked and demoralized by this turn of events, and the band broke up shortly afterward. McIntire did soundtrack work but released nothing else before his early death in 1983, so this album is the only document of a profoundly gifted talent paired with a stellar band.
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