BusBoys, the – American Worker – Used LP
American Worker Review by Alex Henderson: "In 1980, the BusBoys sent shock waves through the music world with their song "KKK," which found members of a mostly African-American band singing that they wanted to "join the Ku Klux Klan and play in a rock & roll band." Of course, no one in the BusBoys really aspired to be a Klansman -- they were actually ridiculing institutional racism and asserting that if African-Americans were good enough to pay taxes and fight in the Vietnam War, they shouldn't be excluded from any part of the American dream, including the white-dominated rock & roll field. Unfortunately, a few simpletons took their lyrics out of context and assumed that the BusBoys were self-hating blacks, but to anyone with half a brain, it was clear where they were coming from. After using shock value and humor to get their anti-racism, pro-working-class message across on their first album, Minimum Wage Rock & Roll, the BusBoys brought an equally sociopolitical agenda to their sophomore effort, American Worker. This likable, if uneven, LP ranges from political offerings like "American Workers," "I Get Lost," and the reggae-influenced "Opportunity" to less provocative, more mainstream pop/rock fare such as "Last Forever" and "Heart and Soul." Regrettably, this 1982 release was the BusBoys' last album on Arista (they wouldn't record another album until the late '80s, when they shifted their focus from rock to synth-funk/urban contemporary). The BusBoys had a lot of potential, and it's unfortunate that they didn't fully live up to it. But despite their imperfections, Minimum Wage Rock & Roll and American Worker are fun albums that deserve credit for taking some risks and making some sociopolitical statements that needed to be made."
Artist Biography by William Ruhlmann: "The BusBoys were a Los Angeles-based rock & roll band made up of five African-Americans and a Hispanic who played satirically upon their ethnic origins in songs with titles like "There Goes the Neighborhood." They were formed in the late '70s with a lineup of brothers Brian O'Neal (keyboards, vocals) and Kevin O'Neal (bass, vocals), Gus Louderman (vocals), Mike Jones (keyboards, vocals), Victor Johnson (guitar), and Steve Felix (drums). Essentially a novelty act, they nevertheless impressed listeners with their energetic bar band rock. They reached their peak of national exposure when they appeared in the 1982 Eddie Murphy film 48 Hrs. Their two Arista albums reached the charts, as did the 1984 single "Cleanin' Up the Town," which was featured in the film Ghostbusters."
Manufactured By – Arista Records, Inc. Produced For – Pete Solley Productions, Inc. Phonographic Copyright ℗ – Arista Records, Inc. Copyright © – Arista Records, Inc. Published By – WB Music Published By – Maitre D'Music Published By – Garcon Music Published By – Chinnichap Publishing Ltd. Published By – Rak Publishing Ltd. Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co. – △25572 Recorded At – United Western Studios Mixed At – Criteria Recording Studios Bass – Kevin O'Neal Booking – ICM (2), Rick Bloom Cover [Back], Art Direction [Back] – Sam McCay Cover [Front], Art Direction [Front] – Betsy Rodden Design [Package] – Davis Grimaldi Butler Drums – Steve Felix Engineer – Dennis Hetzendorfer (tracks: B5), Steve Klein (tracks: A1 to B4) Engineer [Assistant] – Patrice Carroll Engineer [Second] – Dave Ahlert* Executive-Producer – Clive Davis Guitar – Victor Johnson Illustration – Jeff "Phoenix Is Alright" Wack* Management – Michael Klefner Management [Business Manager] – Lawrey Goldberg Photography By [Back Cover, Inner Sleeve] – Von Thomas Piano – Brian O'Neal Producer – Pete Solley* Promotion [Publicity] – Bobbi Cowan And Associates Sleeve [Inner], Art Direction [Inner Sleeve] – Larry Brooks Synthesizer – Michael Jones (4) Vocals – Gus Loundermon
Written-By – Brian O'Neal (tracks: A1 to A4, B1 to B4),
N. Chinn And M. Chapman* (tracks: A5),
Kevin O'Neal (tracks: B5)