Version 14

► Rick Shaffer is a founding member of the Philadelphia, PA band, The Reds®, whose first self titled album on A&M, “The Reds,” is a combination of textures dense with electronic chaos brought to the edge of madness, then resolved into piercing clarity. The album, produced by David Kershenbaum, showed the band’s impressive sound . . . a blend of Rick Shaffer’s guitar and Bruce Cohen’s keyboards into an interestingly textured drone, short guitar and keyboard figures, rising then disappearing back into the drone, while Shaffer’s voice provides the punch and definition for their overall sound. The album was supported with live appearances with such diverse acts as The Police, Joe Jackson, Blondie, The Ramones, The Psychedelic Furs, and Public Image.

► “The Reds” was followed by an A&M EP, featuring The Doors song, “Break On Through,” which suggests some of the band’s roots. After leaving A&M, The Reds® went forward with two independent albums, “Stronger Silence” and “Fatal Slide” (Stony Plain/RCA), that continued The Reds® sound, receiving critical acclaim internationally.

► They next recorded a tense and powerful album for Sire/WB entitled, “Shake Appeal,” produced by Mike Thorne (Blur, Soft Cell, Wire). This forcible record led the band to work with director/producer, Michael Mann, who licensed songs from the album for his hit show, “Miami Vice.” Mann then hired Shaffer and Cohen to write songs and score for two motion pictures, “Band Of The Hand” (Tri-Star), and “Manhunter” (De Laurentiis), based on the novel “Red Dragon.” Soundtrack albums from both films were released on MCA, and a “Manhunter” CD (with an added Reds track, “Jogger’s Stakeout”), was released by Intrada Records, March 2010.

► Some solo projects for Shaffer at this time included contributing his signature guitar work to tracks on a Marianne Faithfull album (Island); Hilly Kristal’s, “Mad Mordechai” (Stereo Society); Peter Murphy’s, “Holy Smoke” (Beggars Banquet/BMG); and Marc Almond’s, “Fantastic Star” (Some Bizarre/Mercury). And, in 2004, Rick was recruited by director, Michael Mann, to write and record, “Looking For Right,” for the film, “Collateral.”

► The Reds® next album, “Cry Tomorrow” (Tarock) reunited them with British producer Mike Thorne. It captures the driving intensity of earlier albums and the ambient, atmospheric feel from their film scores, resulting in a stark, surreal album, with a sense of mood and mystery. Along with the bone crushing title track, “Cry Tomorrow,” a searing non-stop groove of the Stones’ “Gimme Shelter,” the introduction of various percussive elements, and a diversity of background vocals, all create an experimental and manic energy that reaches inside your head and won’t let go. The pulsing opening track, “Terror In My Heart,” was featured in the film, “Nightmare On Elm Street 2” (New Line), directed by Jack Shoulder.

► In 2007, the critically acclaimed album, “Fugitives From The Laughing House” (Tarock) was released. Written and produced by The Reds®, the ride starts with the street fighting “Wild” and “Little Cisco,” through the hypnotic stroll of “Ringing The Bell” and “Dum Dum Dice,” and does not let up until the end with the grinding Dub laced “Gunn’s Suicide,” and slow death burn of “Can’t Bring You Back Again,” which feels like a dying man’s last breath. “Fugitives From The Laughing House” is a straight forward raw nerve reflection of life in America. In 2008, “Lethal Dose” (track #10) inspired British director, Peter McAdam, to shoot an independent film short, also entitled, Lethal Dose.

► The Reds® February 2009 release, “Early Nothing” (Tarock), was also written and produced by Shaffer and Cohen. The album has a hypnotic quality, that leaves the listener free to let their subconscious play itself out, no matter where it goes, while maintaining the simplicity of the moment. With the release of Early Nothing, The Reds®, shamans of dark, brooding, loud rock continue to explore and define their sound. This album inspired McAdam to create a film short of “So Long.”

► Rick Shaffer’s first solo album was released in March 2010. “Necessary Illusion” (Tarock) is a ten song neo-sixties, garage blues excursion, with a Joe Meek and Excello Records production style. The album’s sonic signature is a raw, swirl of distorted guitar, atmospheric percussion, stark droning hill country blues, in a mix of “Excello Records” style reverb.

► Shaffer’s second solo venture, “Hidden Charms” (Tarock 2011), continues, expands, and nicely follows-up the feel of “Necessary Illusion.” The idea is to have the album sound new and old simultaneously, allowing it to find it’s place in a radio mix from 1965 and beyond. The sonic blueprint is a proto–garage rock/blues, distorted guitar, with melodies buried beneath a mash-up of unadulterated garage vibe. Inspired by Link Wray’s Swan Singles Collection, early Stones, and heavy doses of Mississippi Hill Country Blues Bop.

► Rick’s latest solo venture, Idiot Flats, is built on a garage/blues framework, Mississippi Hill Country rhythms, and a mash-up of a ‘60’s psychobilly/R&B sounds, with lyrical and vocal tones. Idiot Flats’ lyrical and vocal tone takes on the packaged commercialized plague, asking the listener to live free in the moment, instead of in the past or the future.


RELEASES BY RICK SHAFFER:
2012 • IDIOT FLATS ▪ TAROCK MUSIC (USA) #TM-D8
2011 • HIDDEN CHARMS ▪ TAROCK MUSIC (USA) #TM-D6
2010 • NECESSARY ILLUSION ▪ TAROCK MUSIC (USA) #TM-D5

RELEASES BY THE REDS®:
2009 • EARLY NOTHING ─ TAROCK MUSIC (USA) #TM-D3
2007 • FUGITIVES FROM THE LAUGHING HOUSE ─ TAROCK MUSIC (USA) #TM-D2
2001 • CRY TOMORROW ─ STEREO SOCIETY (USA) #SS004
1992 • CRY TOMORROW ─ TAROCK MUSIC (USA) #TM-D1
1986 • MANHUNTER (FILM SOUNDTRACK) ─ MCA (USA) #6182
1986 • BAND OF THE HAND (FILM SOUNDTRACK) ─ MCA (USA) #6167
1986 • WAITING FOR YOU (SINGLE) ─ MUSIC ACTION (FRANCE) # N/A
1985 • SHAKE APPEAL ─ MUSIC ACTION (FRANCE) #MAP9009
1984 • SHAKE APPEAL ─ SIRE/WARNER BROS (USA) #21-04261
1983 • FATAL SLIDE ─ HELTER SKELTER (ITALY) #HS93CD26
1982 • FATAL SLIDE ─ STONY PLAIN/RCA (USA & CANADA) #SPL1048
1981 • STRONGER SILENCE ─ HELTER SKELTER (ITALY) #HS93CD26
1981 • STRONGER SILENCE ─ STONY PLAIN/RCA (USA & CANADA) #SPL1037
1981 • STRONGER SILENCE ─ KINGDOM (UK) #KVL9005
1981 • THE REDS (EP) ─ AMBITION (USA) #AM1981
1980 • PROPAGANDA ─ A&M (USA) #SP4786
1979 • GREEN WITH ENVY ─ THE REDS (EP) ─ A&M (USA) #SP3301
1979 • WHATCHA′ DOIN’ TO ME (SINGLE) ─ A&M #N/A
1979 • WHATCHA′ DOIN’ TO ME (GREEN VINYL) ─ A&M (UK) #N/A
1979 • JOEY & VICTIMS (SINGLE) ─ A&M (USA) #SP3178
1979 • THE REDS (GREEN VINYL) ─ A&M (USA) #SP4772
1979 • SELF REDUCTION / VICTIMS (SINGLE) ─ EKE (USA) #N/A
1977 • JOEY & AUTOMATIC BOY (SINGLE) ─ GO GO (USA) #0001
1971 • JUST THE BEGINNING • RICK SHAFFER & FREIGHT TRAIN ─ FLY BY NIGHT (USA) #N/A

Edited by TheRedsMusic on 11 May 2012, 16:03

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