Forgotten series: Dragon – Body and the Beat (1984)

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Few CDs scream summer to me the way most of the albums Dragon released in the 1980s do. I’d argue that no other band captured the overall atmosphere and spirit of summer in musical form the way Dragon did.

In 1979, after firing vocalist Marc Hunter and trying to continue without him, Dragon split up and Marc Hunter released a couple of solo albums (Fiji Bitter and Big City Talk). In the early ’80s Dragon decided to have another go at it. They updated their sound a bit and capitalized on the success of Hunter’s Big City Talk album and single as the springboard to catapult them back onto the Aussie charts after a four year absence with the single “Rain.”

“Rain” was so successful the band headed back to the studio to record a full album, leaving enough space to include their latest hit – and The Body and the Beat was born. Before even opening the LP, CD, or cassette sleeve the album cover suggests opening the windows to let the summer breeze flow through.

From the first bars of their hit single “Rain” through to the closing bars of “Fool,” Dragon gives the listener a full on blast of that summer breeze. The album is further augmented by hits like “Cry” and “Magic.” But capturing the overall vibe of summer the best is “Cool Down.” You can see the heat shimmering off the pavement, the hot sun beating down on you, the sweat forming in droplets on your forehead. This song so perfectly captures the heat of summer that, even on the coldest days of winter, “Cool Down” makes me want to crank the AC.

The upbeat vibe of “Promises (So Far Away),” meanwhile, captures the magic and fun of summer nights and further establishes the whole summer vibe of the album: The moon is a sunlight; it shines in the night. While it sounds dated today, the title track is a fun song with Todd Hunter’s solid bass chops taking center stage.

The truth is, there’s not really a bad track on the album: There are good ones and great ones. If you can find this classic Aussie gem, get it and save it for a hot summer day. Then roll down the windows, turn up the volume and enjoy the soundtrack of summer in full force.

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Perplexio

Perplexio

Perplexio also maintains a stand-alone blog called The Review Revue, where he explores music, movies and books. He spearheaded 'Saturdays in the Park,' our weekly multi-writer, song-by-song series focused on the music of Chicago. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelse reviews.com.
Perplexio
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