Ever get tired of one genre of music? Well, you are in luck: The Rave-Ups have you covered.
The Rave-Ups were formed in 1979 by Jimmer Podrasky on guitar and vocals, Michael Kaniecki on guitar and vocals, George Carter on bass and vocals and TJ Junco on drums during their stay at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. This initial group did not last long, as Junco left that winter. Richard Slevin replaced him on drums soon after he left.
In 1980, Slevin left the group. Victor McPoland joined the band to replace Slevin on drums, and the band made plans to move from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles. The band went back and forth a couple times, until the band split up. Later, in 1982, the band reformed with Podrasky, Tim Jimenez, Colleen Campbell and Danny Zippi.
Soon after this reformation, Campbell and Zippi were replaced by Chuck Wada and Douglas Leonard, and the band signed with Fun Stuff Records for a six-song EP. This deal led to the band separating, reforming and releasing an album in 1985 titled “Town + Country.” The lead single, “Positively Lost Me,” became a hit for the band.
“The song (‘Positively Lost Me’) wasn’t bad,” Matthew Levenson (freshman, accounting) said. “I didn’t really like the vocals too much, but the instrumental in the background was pretty cool to hear.”
Levenson expanded on his thoughts by saying that the lead vocalist’s style was odd. The way his voice sounded, Levenson said, was not necessarily bad, but he just did not like the sound.
The release of “Town + Country” allowed the band to get more acclaim, which would lead them to a small part in the movie “Pretty in Pink.”
Following the success the band saw after their movie appearance, as well as wrapping up a legal battle to switch record labels, a contract with Epic Records was signed in 1987. This allowed the band to release the album “The Book of Your Regrets” in 1987. The best-performing song from this album was
“Freedom Bound” with 1,691 streams on Spotify.
“I think the song (‘Freedom Bound’) was really fun,” Dylan Roberts McDonald (freshman, psychology) said. “It had a nice rocking feel that carried the song really well.”
McDonald went on to say that the song was a great listening experience, specifically sighting the instrumentation and lyrics as why he liked the song as much as he did. Despite the good quality, Epic
Records did not promote the album, so sales were minimal. This almost caused Epic to drop the band, but they were given one more chance to release another album.
In 1990, the band got to work on recording another album. The hope was that it would be enough to convince Epic Records to keep them signed to the label. The album was released in 1990 and called “Chance.” The lead single, “Respectfully King of Rain,” became a small hit, getting some airplay on MTV.
“I wasn’t sure about it (‘Respectfully King of Rain’) at first,” Olivia Wanat (freshman, history) said. “After, I got more into the song; I actually liked the feel of it.
Wanat went on to say that the song at the start was not good in her opinion, but that it got better as the song went on, citing that the chorus was really nice. Unfortunately for the band, Epic Records did not like the low sales numbers that “Chance” was pulling in. The low numbers were due too little to no promotion from the record label. Despite the label being at fault, the band was dropped from Epic Records based on the low sales of both “Chance” and “The Book of Regrets.”
The band struggled to stay together following being dropped by Epic. The band played some small concerts and appeared on one episode of “Beverly Hills, 90210.” Despite this, the band unofficially broke up in 1992.
Despite the breakup, members of The Rave-Ups remained in contact, even managing to get Omnivore Records to re-release “Town + Country” in 2016 as a 30th anniversary celebration of the album’s initial release.
So, why not give The Rave-Ups a listen for a great sound, as well as a mixed bag of musical styles and genres.