VITO ALBANO drms
PEPE CARDONA vcls
JOHN PARISIO gtr
BRUCE SUDANO keyb’ds
SANDY TODLER vcls
THOMAS WILSON bs
ALIVE ‘N’ KICKIN’ (Roulette SR-45052) 1970
Tighter, Tighter/Sunday Morning (Roulette 7078) 1970
Just Let It Come/ ? (Roulette) 1970
As a New York City based sextet, Alive ‘n Kickin’ started their careers playing the city’s club circuit. Their initial break came when they attracted the attention of Tommy James of Shondells fame. Impressed by the band he offered to help them record a song he’d recently written. In true indian giver form, before they could record Crystal Blue Persuasion James withdrew the offer (James and the Shondells releasing it themselves). Redeeming himself, in its place James offered the band another track titled Tighter And Tighter.
Feeling that the song was overly commercial, the band was initially reluctant to record the track. They ultimately relented recording it as a single for Roulette (James’ label). With the song generating considerable attention, Roulette Records rushed the band into the studio to record a supporting album. Produced by James and Bob King, the Alive ‘n Kickin’ proved a minor surprise. Anyone hearing Tighter And Tighter (let along looking at the fun-in-the-sun album cover), would have justifiably concluded these guys were little more than a top-40 pop band. Wrong conclusion. Powered by Todler’s tough voice (her bluesy delivery occasionally bore a startling resemblance to Joplin - check out Kentucky Fire), the set of largely original material rocked with impressive energy. While it may not have made for the year’s most original set, tracks such as Junction Creek and Mississippi Mud saw the group displaying a penchant for above average blues-rock.
In 1976 Cardona, Albano and Wilson briefly reformed the band and began playing New York clubs doing top 40 covers. Sudano reappeared as a member of Brooklyn Dreams and married disco diva Donna Summers.
Tommy James and Bob King also produced Neon.