Few CDs scream summer to me the way most of the albums Dragon released in the eighties 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... 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 listening to this song makes me want to crank the AC.
The upbeat vibe of Promises (So Far Away) 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, The Body & the Beat 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 save it for a hot summer day, roll down the windows, turn up the volume and enjoy the soundtrack of summer in full force.
Related Links & Media
Dragon (Australian Archives write-up)
Dragon O Zambezi (1978) review
Marc Hunter Communication (1985) review
Dragon (official website)
Dragon (wikipedia entry)
Dragon (midoztouch.com) - Download their out of print albums in mp3 format