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The A's
The A's
Philadelphia's the A's were a rock & roll band whose music combined the edgy energy of new wave with the muscle and attitude of East Coast rock. Formed in 1978, the A's featured Richard Bush on lead vocals, Rick DiFonzo on guitar, Rocco Notte on keyboards, Terry Bortman on bass, and Michael Snyder on drums. The band's powerful live show and hooky but aggressive tunes quickly earned them a loyal following in Philly, and they scored a contract with Arista Records. The A's self-titled debut album, produced by Rick Chertoff, was released in 1979, and it received enthusiastic reviews as well as plenty of local airplay. However, the album didn't sell well outside of Philadelphia and a few other strongholds on the East Coast. In 1981, the A's issued their second album, A Woman's Got the Power; with Chertoff again producing, the album polished off the sharper edges of the group's approach and embraced more of a heartland rock approach, as well as a stronger R&B influence, especially on the title track. Despite its more accessible sound, A Woman's Got the Power didn't sell appreciably better than the debut, and Arista dropped the band. In 1982, the A's self-released an EP, Four Dances, but it didn't do much to boost the band's fortunes, and once the A's paid off the recording bills, they split up. After that, guitarist DiFonzo went on to a successful career as a sideman and session musician, working with Bob Dylan, Cyndi Lauper, Roger Waters, and Joan Osborne, while singer Bush remained a fixture on the Philly rock scene with his band the Peace Creeps. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
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