The American Dream

Review by Scott Sheppard (Switch to

The American Dream consisted of Nick Jameson, Don Lee Van Winkle, Nicky Indelicato, Don Ferris, and Mickey Brook. I am not familiar with these names, so I assume they did not disband and rise to stardom through some other vehicle.

Although Roger Linder's original call to arms only included a request for a review of "The American Dream" album and did not include Nazz, I would have mentioned Nazz anyway. IMHO this album is a combination of Nazz, Beatles, and Grateful Dead. Even the band picture resembles the band picture on the cover of Nazz Nazz. The album contains 12 songs and runs for 47:39 minutes -- slightly longer than the average for 1969. It is available in CD format as Pony Canyon PCCY-00843.

Good News
"I will help you through to get the good news..."
The song starts with the sound of a recorded phone conversation and then merges into Crosby, Stills, and Nash type harmonies. The lead vocals are like early works by Free or Nazz's "When I Get My Plane."

Big Brother
"...And let big brother make you a man"
This song is not about "Big Brother" and George Orwell's _1984_. It's actually about someone's big brother. It has Beatles-like drumming (heavy on cymbals). For some reason, it reminds me of a slower version of "Infrared and Ultraviolet." It has one of those cacophonous song endings like they do on the Nazz albums.

The Other Side
"Someday I'm gonna make it to the other side..."
This is one of those optimistic life after death songs. The lead vocals are patterned after "You Are My Window". The song builds to a Crosby, Stills, and Nash type chorus at the end. It too has one of those cacophonous endings.

"'Cause I'm a man who will rule..."
This song could have been lifted from the Beatles' _White Album_. The lead vocals have that "I am singing through a megaphone" sound like on "Meridian Leeward." The word credemphels is not in the dictionary. I checked.

"Your storm is over, everything is fine now..."
"storm" is a very pleasant sounding song which reminds me of the Beatles' "This Girl."

"...I want to ride in your Cadillac"
The song sounds like Free or maybe "Parole" + "Under The Ice." The vocals are like the Beatles' "Twist and Shout" with that raspy sound in the voice.

My Babe
"Calling ma baby, there she goes, ma baby she is so fine"
Musically this song sounds like the Nazz's "Kiddie Boy." The song features alternating guitar and drum solos.

I Ain't Searchin'
"...I ain't searchin' anymore"
I don't think Todd played any instruments nor sung; however, if there was a song where the lead vocal has Todd's signature all over it, this is the one.

Future's Folly
"It's been too long coming, I just about done it"
Pick any Grateful Dead song. They all sound the same to me. This song sounds like that. "Truckin..."

I Am You
"I am crying too for I am you"
This song is not to be confused with Peter Frampton's "I'm In You" or Neil Diamond's "I Am I Cried."

Frankford El "Can't get to heaven on the Frankford El" OK, so I can't get to heaven on the Frankford El. Now what?

"World's boring"
This song is overly repetitious.

The lyrics are overly simplistic -- something from the Bruce Springsteen school of song writing. The album has a pleasing sound for those interested in light listening. If this was American Bandstand, I'd give it a 78.

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