This week we return to the classroom as they go On Assignment for the 1979 self-titled release by New England. This time our teacher is Dennis Talbott from the Ages of Rock podcast. If you don’t know, Ages of Rock is a fantastic music discussion show that you should check out. Dennis has plenty of reasons why he assigned us this record. He bought it as a new release and has since purchased over 20 copies! Say what?! Would we feel the same enthusiasm for this album as Dennis? You’ll have to listen and find out! We give each song an A-F grade as well.
New England featured band leader guitarist/vocalist John Fannon, drummer Hirsh Gardner, bassist Gary Shea and keyboardist Jimmy Waldo. The group was best known for the song “Don’t Ever Wanna Lose Ya”, which received heavy radio exposure on Album-oriented rock (AOR) stations and reached the US Top 40 in 1979. “Hello, Hello, Hello” also received some airplay.
The quartet formed in the Boston area and was discovered by manager Bill Aucoin, who also managed Kiss. Paul Stanley helped produce the debut album along with producer Mike “Clay” Stone, best known for his work with Queen and Asia. Guitarist and vocalist John Fannon was the leader of the band.
The group had a live stint supporting Kiss, but New England slid between the cracks of other Aucoin projects. The group’s success stalled when their label Infinity Records was absorbed by its parent company, MCA Records.
Gardner, Waldo, and Shea would go on to work with a then-unknown Vincent Cusano on a project dubbed Warrior before disbanding due to Cusano being brought into the KISS fold to replace guitarist Ace Frehley. Waldo and Shea would then go on to help form Alcatrazz.
We hope you enjoy our On Assignment episode discussing New England and SHARE with a friend!
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