Big Hits of Mid-America Volume III
Mini of Project

Big Hits Of Mid-America
Volume Three

Various Artists (2LP - compilation)
Twin/Tone Records
TTR 7907 (1979)

also available via iTunes

custom burned CD available

MP3 Sample
She Got Sex (The Pistons)
Foundry Joe (The Swingers)
Land of The Free (Buzz Barker and the Atomic Bums)
6654321 (The Hypstrz)
Weekend Warrior (The Commandos)
Paper Girl (The Jets)
Urban Guerilla (The Suburbs)
Listen (NNB)
Chains (The Wad)
Down (Fingerpriints)
Swan Lake, MN (The Swan Lake Six)
Ailerons O.K. (The Suburbs)
Uruguay 1983 (NNB)
Misery (The Pistons)
Sugar My Road (Bob Ivers & Ice Stars)
Losin' My Grip (The Swingers)
Lover Boy (The Jets)
Where the Beat Goes On (Fingerprints)
Bad News From Phoenix (Curtiss A and the Orginals)
You're Not the First One (The Commandos)
The Ballad of Roy Orbison (Yipes)
Complicated Fun (The Commandos)

MP3 samples are half of the full track (128 bit rate)... if you have broadband access the sample should stream (depending on the player you are using)

Liner Notes 4/79:

We call this collection "Big Hits of Mid-America Volume III" in reference to Big Hit Volumes I and II which appeared in the mid-60's on the Soma label. It's our hope to continue the musical quality and artist oriented stance of those earlier recordings. Listening to these bands and ultimately recording their songs has been a pleasure.

All songs recorded between October and December 1978 at Blackberry Way Recording Studios, Dinkytown, MN except "Foundry Joe" and Losin' My Grip" recorded at Shade Tree Studios, Lake Geneva, WI

Up-date for the second pressing 1/80:

"Spcialization" was recorded at Blackberry Way in December and replaces a song by Yipes that appeared on the first pressing of Big Hits. "The Ballad of Roy Orbison" was removed to prevent Big Hits from rocketing to the top of the charts at Millennium's expense

The Pistons
Frank Berry and friends lead off the double album. Berry's sound comes from his previous bands including the superb early Spooks. Frank has always been an excellent rhythum guitarist but with his new group shows a remarkable songwritting talent. Tom Breznys's keyboards and Johny Millet's consistent drumming are Pistons' trademarks. The Pistons are expected to release additional material on Twin/Tone later this year.

Frank Berry - vocals, guitars
Curt Nelson - guitar
Tom Brezny - piano, vocals
Dave Richard McGuire - guitar, vocals
Johny Millet - drums
Douglas Hunt - Bass

The Swingers
Chicago's contribution to Big Hits first came to our attention at a Longhorn gig. It was hard rock with great hooks and they had tons of original songs. Swingers' manager Fred Teiken sent us these cuts from a session at Lake Geneva. Foundry Joe is particularly excellent. 'Tune' Klahr's drums and Willie Cotter's vocals are standouts.

Willie Cotter - vocals, guitar
Rick DiBello - lead and rhythm guitar
Jim DeMonte - bass
Jeff "Tune" Klahr - drums

Buzz Barker & The Atomic Bums
An all-star ensemble put together this magnificent rendition of Mark Goldstein's anthem, "Land of the Free." Goldstein, ex-Skogie keyboardist is in the process of compossing some additional ear-wonder. By the way, Buzz Barker really is ...

Buzz Barker - lead vocals
Chris Osgood - quitar
Dave Ahl - drums
Steve Almaas - bass
Mark Goldstein - keyboards
Bob Dunlap & Jan King - backing vocals
The Dimmer Twins (John and Kev) - special effects

The Hypstrz
Listening to the Hypstrz live can be a traumatic experience for musicologists, essentially a "Punk Oldies Band," Billy, Ernie, Johhny, and Randy can Peel off nearly 400 songs in a row without a repeat. Billy's vocal vocabulary is a recitation of what was and now is. The Hypstrz are currently mixing down a three hour concert for the release of an EP.

Ernie Batson - Guitar
Billy Batson - lead vocals
Randy Weiss - bass
Johny Haga - drums

The Commandos
They were the pioneers of the new Minneapolis scene and without them much of what is on this compilation may have never happened. Although the band committed suicide in November, 1978, The Commandos recorded three of their first latter day tunes with each member composing and singing one. The Commandos released two singles on PS Records (both out of print.) They recorded one LP for Blank Records (Mercury) in 1977 entitled "Make a Record" and a live LP for Twin/Tone - "The Commandos Commit Suicide Dance Concert," (TTR 7906)

Chris Osgood - quitar
Dave Ahl - drums
Steve Almaas - bass
(Mark Goldstein appears on keyboards)

The Jets
Great pop has not been as prominent this decade as in the last but songwritters Graham and Mick are helping to remedy that. It's obvious they share the thoughts and dreams of John, Paul, The Hollies and Dave Clark. Both cuts are previously released as a single, TTR 7805.

Mick Isenburg - guitar, vocals
Graham Walker - guitar, vocals
Tom Walker - bass
Greg Wilson - drums

The Suburbs
One of our original groups. The Suburbs are visually extraordinary and musically different from anyone. Blaine John Chaney and his unusual guitar form a crazed, soaring duo. Chan and Bruce do much of the composing. On "Ailerons" Chan used a grand piano for the introduction. The Suburbs' first release was an EP released in the summer of 1978. Currently working on an album, the group's first single, "World War III" b/w "Change Agent" (TTR 7909) will be available soon

Chan Poling - keyboards, vocals
Bruce B.C. Allen - guitars
Michael "Dad" Holliday - bass
Hugo - drums
Blaine John Chaney - beejtar, vocals
(Squeezeme - bricks & iron)

NNB seldom palys live but is constantly rehearsing. Mark Freeman is the direction. Richard Champ is the strong arm. "Slack" released in 1978, was phenomenal. When they came to Blackberry Way to record, NNB was an armada of sound. They knew what they wanted, and achieved it quickly.

Jim Tollefsrud - drums
Wayne Hasti - bass
Mark Freeman - guitar, vocals
Richard Champ - guitar

The Wad
The original Wad included Frank Berry but when Frank left to form his own group, Jan and Karen carried on, enlisting Steve Almaas of the Commandos and ex-Spook Dave Phelps. Both Jan and Karren are former members of Spitfire, which also boasted ex-Litter rhythm guitarist Ran Rinaldi.

Jan King - vocals
Karren Haglof - guitar
Steve Almaas - bass
Dave Phelps - drums
Mark Goldstein - keyboards

An exceptional guitar band. Jeff and Mike trade leads while Steve thrusts a wicked bass into the guitar line. Lead singer Mark Throne has a particular distinctive vocal delivery and is a flamboyant live performer. Anglophiles to the nines, their music is flavored with style and tremendous orginality. Fingerprints has two previous Twin/Tone records, an EP and a single. "Down" was arranged by former bandsman Rob Henry.

Mike Owens - guitar
Jeff Waryan - guitar
Steve Fjelstad - bass
Kevin Glynn - drums
Mark Throne - vocals, sax, rhythm guitar

The Swan Lake Six
This group was formed by Chris Osgood to play the music for his rock ballet, "Swan Lake, MN." Which was performed with the Pilot's Club Dance Company late 1978. Enclosed is an excerpt.

Dave Ahl - drums
Richard Champ - guitar
Steve Fjelstad - bass
Chris Osgood - guitar
Jim Tollefsrud - drums, piano

Robert Ivers & Ice Stars
Bluesy, folksy, sometimes haunting, sometimes harsh, the music of Rober Ivers has a majestry all its own. Ivers put out one previous recording, released in the summer of 1975, which is now out of print. Mark Throne, now with Fingerprints, was an original Ice Star. His bother Steve carries on the family tradition with Ivers.

Robert Ivers - vocals, guitar
Steve Throne - bass
Dave Ahl - drums

Curtis A & The Originals
Curt and Bob Dunlap were the origiinators of Spooks and have been closely aligned for years. The Originals were short lived and have since taken on new form, The Personals. Curt was the recipient of the 1979 Connie Award for best male vocalist in the Midlands and is an irreplaceable master - an unbelievable raw instrument of sound. The Originals, like Spooks were a vehicle of rumbling power for Curt and Bob. Spooks has one Twin/Tone release, an EP which was a semi-crazed mixture of diabolical and the sublime. Curt, Bob, Reynaldo, Mark Goldstein, and Dave Ahl (The Personals) are in the studio completing an album for Twin/Tone.

Curtiss A - lead vocals, guitar
R. Mook - guitar, vocals
Little Stevie A - bass
Eclipse M. - organ
Tilly - drums


Patrick McCurdy - vocals
Mike Hoffman - guitars
Andy Bartel - guitars
Pete Strand - bass
Teddy Freese - drums

Released by Twin/Tone Records April 17, 1979. This 2 record set sold 5,150 copies. There were two versions of this project the first pressing of 2,500 units contained the song listed above by Yipes, in later pressings this song was replaced by "Specialization" from the Minneapolis group, The New Psychenauts. The project has been "out of print" since 1985.

The original Masters were transferred to digital in December of 1998, the tracks were re-mastered at that time and transferred to AAC files to be used with the Liquid Audio system. We are now making the full non-compressed version available. You can purchase a copy of the re-mastered transfer burned to a custom CD for $15.00 from Twin/Tone Digital.

also available via iTunes

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