The re-issue of these two long-lost and highly collectable LPs marks the end of a long road for BBE and for the band Breakaway who made them… The explosion of Internet connectivity has made what used to seem rare commonplace, but also opened up a world of previously unknown musical riches, and enabled enterprising fans to make contact with obscure figures that they might’ve imagined would be forever inaccessible. Whereas collectors used to prize independent labels, now it’s all about the ‘private press’: records released by the same folks that made them, in tiny numbers, without distribution, and promotion usually limited to giving them out by hand at gigs. Such were the releases of Breakaway.
Breakaway recorded two LPs. in the late 70’s these re-issues tell the story of a magnificent live band that made waves across St. Louis, Ill and further beyond to cities such as Boston and Las Vegas. A story that has come full circle after 35 years…
Their self titled first album Breakaway touches showbiz glitz, while songs like ‘Understudy DJ’ and ‘There’s a New Group In Town’, caught the disco vibe, as pretty much everything else did in 1977, and it’s these that have been delighting twenty-first century dancers , as the more-than decade-long mania for all things ‘disco’ sends enterprising DJs and collectors looking way beyond the canon of classics.
‘Straight On To The Top!’ was a more ambitious album, Breakaway had more experience and the potential of a record deal seemed closer and more realistic. ‘Work With The Music’ has something of a mutant disco feel, and would certainly fit with today’s music on the trendy dance floors of East London, Williamsburg NY and Shibuya Tokyo ‘Breakaway’ had a sophisticated funk/fusion sound that wouldn’t have sounded amiss on many a big-budget major label album project. After the release of ‘Straight On To The Top!’, the band entered negotiations with Bang Records in the US, but the A&R department fell apart, and the hopes of a record deal faded…
Fast-forward 35 years; the enthusiasm is still the same…
“After spending a couple of days getting the old Ampex up to snuff. I recruited a friend to help cannibalize another machine’s servomotor, and after several hours we had it all singing and calibrated to the Dolby 361 decoder units. The headline is that everything is sounding great! Just like the old days…”
Bill Schulenburg Breakaway ,producer , friend and now an award winning engineer, as well as the chairman of The Audio Engineering Society in St. Louis, Ill
This exclusive release comes with extensive sleeve notes by Jesper Christiansen – Doctor of Music archaeology; the package also features a wealth of original photos alongside artwork and press cuttings of the period.