Dwight Twilley has enjoyed an unusual career of hit singles but not hit LPs. Green Blimp could be the disc that turns that around. From 1975 to 1992, he enjoyed several smashes both on the charts and in the Wayne's World movie. Now it's 18 years later, and a sense of maturity pervades Green Blimp, from the rather surprising blues element, including some stomp boogie (Get Up), on up to the Knack-ish tracks and the even more honed Twilley brand of pop, including many of the Beatles-esque flavors he so drew praise for decades ago, well shown now in Me and Melanie.
Hell, the disc even starts with a stately conflation of Jerry Lee Lewis, NRBQ, and the Move in Get Up, a butt shaking brontosaurus of a cut that moves relentlessly forward in Jurassic stomp steps and side sway. Twilley definitely issues from an older era and is loathe to forsake that time's manifold virtues, much to his credit, modernizing only where it serves to illuminate just how brilliant the 60s and 70s were. More than once, I was reminded what Gary Brooker did with the killer Poor Boys concept for a couple of sparkling releases. Without going the covers route, Twilley re-polishes the day's vim, updating just enough to re-reveal the basic luster always resident in the style and mode.
I mentioned Me and Melanie, and progheads will be delighted to discover that it could have been ripped untimely from one of Klaatu's obscure but marvelous LPs. The title cut, however, blends Chuck Berry and Marc Bolan for pure pop, perky and bop slanted, while plaintive ballads like It's Never Coming Back echoes the Byrds without the twangy prairie keening or dust devil airs. That wild ferment which ended near the top of the 70s produced a lot of pop groups—Pez Band, Piper, Tuffano-Giammarese, Barnaby Bye, etc.—most of which never survived the era, but Twilley not only mastered the art of staying alive in the industry, he appears to have, in Green Blimp, engineered the avenue by which he'll remain an ongoing name respected for solid musicianship. Now, if only Ric Ocasek would figure out how kindred he is to this guy, we might see a return of his talents as well.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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