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Angel: The Singles Collection, Vol. 2

Angel: The Singles Collection, Vol. 2

Release Date:2006

By George Smith | Posted 10/11/2006

Discovered by Gene Simmons in 1975, Angel was scripted to be the white to Kissí black. Coming out of the Washington, D.C., club scene, dressed in heavenly white vestments, the band looked absurdly delicate. Angelís í75 debut was a grandiose, murky mix of metal, Keith Emerson keyboards, and singer Frank Dimino chirping Dungeons and Dragons lyrics. If you were around then, you might have thought Casablanca Records had another hit arena band on its hands. People were hopelessly optimistic that way.

It didnít work. The American hard-rock sales went to thugs Aerosmith and Ted Nugent with Donna Summer winding up Casablancaís yang to Kiss ying. The members of Angel made good cover boys for Circus magazine, nurturing the illusion of grandeur just enough for the label kept throwing money and name producers at them, granting them a logo with perfect vertical symmetry. (You could turn their albums upside down and still read "Angel"; wow.) But the paymasters made the band go pop, which is where the new anthology The Singles Collection, Vol. 2 comes in. It samples from the latter part of Angelís career, with the ship sinking and the band progressively more driven to have a radio hit.

Out the window went the swirling pomp, replaced by a new flavor of bubblegum metal with a Kasenetz/Katz-like cover of the Young Rascalsí "Ainít Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore" and "Stick Like Glue," with the obvious but crazed chorus of "Stick, stick, stick like glue!" "Donít Leave Me Lonely" is more fun teenybop from around the time Frank Zappa drummer Terry Bozzio used a photo of Angel guitarist Punky Meadows--"The sight of which drove the helpless drummer mad with desire," according to Zappaís spoof, "Punkyís Whips"--as polishing material. (Meadows, much to his eternal credit, was a sport about it.) While most of Singles Collection is written for a wet-your-panties audience the band never quite found, the guitar rock is front and center on songs like the lunging "Can You Feel It." And then thereís the Giorgio Moroder-produced "20th Century Foxes," a disco-metal theme for a movie in which Jodie Foster was cute and Runaway Cherie Currie was offed.

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