Dwight Twilley Band
Media Condition: VG
Sleeve Condition: VG
Genre: Rock, Pop, Power pop
Notes: Original copy from 1976. Cover has wear along edges and corners from age, slight seam splits. Plays quite clean, near VG+. Includes insert picturing Twilley and Seymour with song credits. .
If you like: early Shelter labelmates Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers and power pop greats Big Star, Flamin’ Groovies, Shoes, and Paley Brothers, you’ll love this iconic album from Dwight Twilley Band.
About: Dwight Twilley and fellow singer-songwriter Phil Seymour met in 1967 at a theater where they had gone to see The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night film, and soon began writing and recording together over the next several years under the name Oister, creating a catchy, hook-filled sound, reminiscent of The Beatles and other British invasion groups.
Twilley and Seymour signed with Shelter Records in 1974 as Dwight Twilley Band. Their first single, “I’m on Fire,” reached #16 on the charts in 1975 with relatively no promotion. Tasting mainstream success as a jangly rock act, the future seemed bright. During an appearance on American Bandstand, the band played what was to be the follow-up single, “Shark”. The success of the film Jaws, however, caused the label to reject the single to prevent the group from being perceived as a cash-in novelty act. This was just the beginning of the bad luck that would follow the group from that point on.
At this time, Shelter Records was in turmoil and as a result could not release their debut album until a year later, killing the momentum generated by “I’m On Fire”. A second album recorded in England was left unreleased. The belated follow-up single, “You Were So Warm,” failed to become another hit due to distribution problems, although many fans of underground rock helped the band gain a reputation as a cult act. And when the group’s album Sincerely was finally released in 1975, it failed commercially. Under different circumstances, Dwight Twilley Band could have achieved stardom, latching onto the late ‘70s power pop boom that artists such as Cheap Trick and The Knack rode onto.*
Why it’s worth your time: Few records have the ability to strike a perpetual sense of gidiness unto listeners with every play–analagous to that special feeling of a first listen during which you hold your breath for fear of any sound, no matter how near inaudible, will disrupt the experience. Quite plainly, Sincerely has that ability; and more often than not, this comes to be a mark of sublimity–one achieved by only the most innovative artists. Of course Twilley and Seymour fit into such category–with their near peerless two-part vocal harmonies and unconvential melding of rockabilly with merseybeat–as organically as salt water does into the sea. For this reason, it’s truly hard to come to terms with the fact that Dwight Twilley Band is not a household name like Cheap Trick or Shelter labelmates Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers.
Sincerely was destined to be a celebrated American classic, synonymous with the promise of the long days of summer and the unadulterated sense of hopefulness and opportunity that accompanies youth–Shelter simply ruined the timing. To classify its greatness modestly, it invokes that invincible feeling you have as a kid and chase after as an adult–just listen to “TV” or “Baby Let’s Cruise” or “England”. This isn’t your typical power pop album. This is a soulful and honest effort that lands far above the rest.
A favorite track: Feeling In The Dark