Idle Lovéll – Surge Et Illuminare – 1984

The first of several Michael Knott (Lifesavers, LSU, Aunt Betty’s) related projects to find its way onto this list, and like the previously discussed “Weber and the Buzztones,” the placement of this album suffers from EP bias. By that I mean if it was a full length release, rather than just six songs, it most likely would have found its way into the upper half of the countdown. Even with that the album is worthy of consideration. It is also quite possibly the rarest of Michael Knott releases. Though listed as a “Blonde Vinyl” release, the limited nature and no national distribution makes the EP a sought after vinyl. Idle Lovell was a segue between different incarnation of the Lifesavers and LSU. The band, despite a limited run, went through a few incarnations itself with multiple musicians making up the band, though along with Knott, members included Vince Pangrazio on bass and Bradford J. Salamon on drums. Longtime friend and collaborator Brian Doidge, who also performed with Knott in multiple incarnations of the Lifesavers, LSU and the Aunt Betty’s. For me, “One Sided Love Affair” is the most Lifesavers sounding song on the album, and would not have been out of place on Dream Life. This one of many attempts by Knott to reach the mainstream market. It also ended up being the first release on Knott’s Blond Vinyl record label. The ultimate irony was that it was also the only Blond Vinyl release to be released on vinyl. Apparently the band wrote and worked on several more songs, but soon disbanded and those songs would find their way onto other Michael Knott related Lifesavers projects. The first real stand out for me is the opening track, “Touch Me in the Wind.” A very “current” tune for the times that would and maybe should have been a hit on mainstream alternative radio stations like LA’s famous KROQ. All six songs are very, very strong tunes with a darker, more dance-like goth feel. Great for fans of The Cure, The Church, Echo and the Bunnymen and the Psychedelic Furs. Two songs would later show up on Lifesaver and LSU projects. In fact, the feel and sound would play a heavy role in the future LSU incarnation with its darker edge. LSU and Lifesaver guitarist Brian Doidge would be a key band member for the live shows. One song of note is “I Can’t Wait,” which would appear on the following Lifesavers “Kiss of Life” project. I have always found it a bit ironic that the Idle Lovell version is much more pop and upbeat sounding to my ear than the version that appears on the much more pop and upbeat “Kiss of Life” album. Idle Lovell serves as a record keeper for the times and the progression Knott was making as a songwriter and performer. Always ahead and on the edge, Knott consistently made memorable music that was much more palatable than his reputation as some sort of avante garde artist would suggest. Hard to find, but worth the effort.

Contributor David Lowman –

1 – Touch Me In The Wind – 5:02
2 – Shallow – 3:55
3 – I Can’t Wait – 3:55
4 – Only – 4:05
5 – One Sided Love Affair – 3:52
6 – Drone – 5:20

Artwork [Charcoal Drawings], Layout [Cover & Insert] – Bradford J. Salamon
Backing Vocals – Bridget Knott
Bass – Vince Pangrazio
Drums – Bradford J. Salamon
Keyboards – Jim Richards
Keyboards [Additional] – John Gloudeman
Mastered By – Bernie Grundman
Photography By [Insert] – Colleen Knott
Producer, Engineer – Thom Roy
Vocals, Guitar – Michael Knott
Written-By – Michael Knott

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Author: David Lowman

Owner and writer at CCM's 500 Best Albums Of All Time.

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