Friday, 29 April 2016

I'll Hoff and I'll Puff

 Released in the US in January 1985, Night Rocker was the debut studio album by American actor and infamous burger muncher David Hasselhoff. Produced by the Grammy-nominated Joel Diamond (Gloria Gaynor, Engelbert Humperdinck and dozens of others), the album bombed in his home country, but went to Number One in the Austrian charts and was a number 30 hit in Germany. Suddenly David had a new career: he would continue to trouble the Euro charts for many years to come. Lucky for him, as the year after Night Rocker was released his hit TV show Knight Rider was canned.

Three songs from the album were featured in the Knight Rider episode Let It Be Me; a fourth was featured in the third season episode The Rotten Apples”. To drive home the message, the front cover shows the Hoff standing on the bonnet of a Kitt-alike Pontiac. The vomit-inducing homily on the back cover - ‘believe in yourself. Keep a positive attitude and never, never give up. Dreams do come true’ - tells you everything you need to know.

A thick, thick slice of synth-driven cheese, Night Rocker is an appalling album: it’s everything you hate about mid-80s music rolled up in one awful, ego-fuelled audio abortion. As one reviewer put it: ‘think of the absolute worst 80s pop song you ever heard, cross it with enough adult pop contemporary clichés to make Barry Manilow throw back his head in unadulterated, mocking laughter, sprinkle in vocals that sound something like Neil Diamond after having his throat ripped out, throw in lyrics that make Chad Kroeger resemble a young Bob Dylan, and you might have a small inkling of the rotting, pungent stench this album leaves in its wake’. There’s not much I can add to that.

Have a listen to a brace of tracks and decide for yourself: here's the opener Night Rocker and the thoroughly nasty Our First Night Together, delivered by a voice that Time magazine once described as 'as smooth as silk but twice as thin'.


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