Joanna Dean

1. Ready For Saturday Night
2. Kiss This
3. Misbehavin’
4. I Miss The Money
5. Once Is Enough
6. Dirty Fingers
7. Burnin’ Rubber
8. She’s Been Hearing About Me
9. Gimme Shelter

Joanna Dean - Vocals
Roger Cox - Drums
Willie Weeks - Bass
Steve Ingle - Guitar

Misbehavin' (1988)

Piano and Hammond B3: Jim Dickinson
Guitar on ‘Once Is Enough’: Larry Crane
Harmonica on ‘Gimme Shelter’: Fingers Taylor

Donald Smith - Engineer
R. Eli Ball - Producer

Released 27/7-2012
Reviewed 2012-08-05


It would seem as though Joanna wasn’t behaving too well back in 1988, at least not if we are to believe how her one and only album was entitled. This is as you might have expected from the cover and from what I just wrote for a first sentence, a reissue of her 1988 effort which happened to become her only album. Probably because this one didn’t have the success the label was hoping for which might be due to them promoting the album poorly and nowadays it is a forgotten album being helped into the light again by the knights of the lost rock albums, Yesterrock. Unfortunately I think that Yesterrock is a bit too indiscriminate and releases more or less anything out of print and forgotten, which might be something you think is good. But think again, there was so much really bad rock/hardrock albums being released in the eighties when this genre was extremely popular and sold in the millions for many, and thanks to this a whole pile of shit records were released and some of those have been reissued along with some real hidden gems. I know that what I think is shit is probably something other people like but I would like to see more exclusivity in the reissues.

But what about Joanna Dean then? Well, it is quite simple rock/hardrock with a touch of blues and southern rock to it, all with catchy choruses and hit potential for each track on the album. Add to that a voice that can destroy mountains due to its sonic qualities, edgy singing with that slightly crackling voice that female vocalists can have when they push their voice as far as possible. She still has a clarity to her voice though and I think you could describe it as something like Janis Joplin combined with Grace Slick, something like that which of course requires you to know these singers otherwise you have to stick with my first description. She has a whole lot of energy and so does the songs on this album, sure it was released back in 1988 but it doesn’t sound overly dated, sure hardrock is more complicated today than it was back then but thanks to a good remastering and Joanna’s amazing voice it still feels fresh enough. There are nine catchy tracks on this album and they play for just over 40 minutes, so be sure to have reinforced everything that can break before you play it because that voice has a whole lot of power.

Generally I suppose I should not like this kind of music but there is something special with girls who dares to push their voice beyond the comfort zone of their vocal chords, it is fantastic and her singing really lifts songs that otherwise would be nothing but ordinary. Now they are brilliant and the album is rather timeless thanks to her. I don’t know if I have a favourite song on the album as they are all attaching to my mind and hard to get out of there and it must be said to be a little of a mystery that this album didn’t fly to the top of the charts when it was released because it is quite great mainly thanks to that voice. I think this album was poorly promoted back in the day and drowned in the noise of all the rubbish hard rock that saw the light of day back then.

I think though that it is with a slight feel of emptiness that I leave this album for the next ones to review as I know there is nothing more from Joanna Dean and as her presence on the interweb isn’t that large either logic would suggest that there is none to expect either. That is a shame as I think we miss out on a bit of a treasure there, sure we have this one but there could have been more and more is better in this case. No matter though, as this is a good album to have reissued as it is one of those hidden gems that really deserves to be heard, I suggest that you take a look at it as you won’t regret it.



Label: Yesterrock/Germusica
Three similar bands: Bad Romance/Warlock/Jefferson Starship
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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