I was quite enamored in the ’70s with Derringer’s All-American Boy. It was a heady mixture of all the kinds of music I liked. For some reason, I thought most of the stuff he did after that was more metalesque. Yes, I know, he did some great work with the Winter brothers and studio stuff like Steely Dan, but for some reason I thought his solo albums were heavier.
Well, obviously, as this fine reissue from 1979 proves, I was wrong. What a great record. Produced with Todd Rundgren, this has the kind of perfect pop rock that should have been dominating the airwaves at the time of its release. Unfortunately, it didn’t really even chart. Cuts like “Something Warm” and the title track seem like obvious hits. If you just want chops, check out “Everything.” It opens with a stunning acoustic intro and contains a killer electric solo. Check out his imaginative solo on “Desires of the Heart,” another shoulda-been hit. And the funkiness of cuts like “Man In the Middle” are amazing.
This is one of my favorite releases in a long time. Too bad it took me 19 years to find it. Pop rock fans should definitely give it a listen, as should guitar fans. Highly recommended.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Oct. ’98 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.