Ronnie D’Addario was a pleasant “lost” discovery for me, and as a singer/songwriter in the ‘70s and ‘80s he has a knack for melodic pop full of hooks and harmonies, comparable to both Paul McCartney and Gilbert O’Sullivan. Its no wonder that his sons Brian and Michael aka The Lemon Twigs, have been receiving accolades as one of the hottest young pop bands, performing on Tonight Show, Conan, and Stephen Colbert. The apples don’t fall far from the tree or in this case, the “Papa Twig”.
Ronnie has just released a massive collection of his music, distributed amongst two (3 CD) box sets. The first set covers his early work until the mid-eighties, and the second set continues up to this year. One thing that struck me is how consistently good the music is. Unlike his more famous contemporaries, you don’t really hear a drop off in quality even in the later years. For the audiophile that has everything, this is a perfect holiday gift.
Ronnie D’Addario “First Songs 1976-1983”
This set covers Ronnie D’Addario’s first three solo albums; Take in a Show, Falling For Love and Good For You.
D’Addario’s hook-filled immediacy is displayed early on “Take In A Show,” and you clearly hear his McCartney-like tendencies on “Nice Meeting You Again” and his Brian Wilson like approach to melancholy balladry on “It’s Spring Too Soon.” Eventually, he got to create “Falling For Love” for the Carpenters, a song is so good it’s not hard to imagine Karen singing the lead. “Good For You” finds more great music, with even styled guitar rock thrown in (“Suite 16”) comparable to Dave Edmunds. Loaded with bonus tracks, it really contains the cream of the crop. Highly Recommended.
Ronnie D’Addario “Don’t Wait For Yesterday 1986-2017”
This set covers Ronnie D’Addario’s last two albums, Time Will Tell On You, A Very Short Dream and his newest release entitled, The Many Moods of Papa Twig. That last title parodies another dad of talented musicians, but Papa Twig has both talent and insight on this collection.
While Ronnie was raising his kids, he never stopped writing and playing music. You can hear the more modern production (synths) but the style and quality of gems remain. “Time Will Tell On You” continues the run of perfect ballads (“So That’s How It Is”) and a few rockers (“She’s Alright”). Also added is an impressive violin version of “Caroline, No.” Once we get to “A Very Short Dream,” Papa Twig starts to look back on his career as he sings “Somedays you feel as though, you’ve been around forever.” He even gets his sons to do an Osmonds-like tune on “Trophy Girl.” The introspection continues on most of the new album, and its the most stylistically varied. Overall another terrific collection. It even contains the holiday single “Brand New Christmas.”