ST-17063 Kasim
Produced by Bruce Fairbairn
(co-produced by Kasim Sulton and Mark Rochet Onofrio)
Released on 1982
US CHART POSITION #197
Find it at GEMM
ST-17063 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

T he first solo album from the second-best singer in Utopia. If you’re expecting a cross between Utopia and wimp rock, well, welcome to Heaven. That said, Kasim is better than I expected. The opening “Someone To Love,” for example, is nearly as good as “Set Me Free.” Likewise, “This Must Be Love” and “White And Red” are on a par with Sulton’s contributions to Utopia. The impressive thing is that Kasim writes or co-writes (with Mark Onofrio) all the material and branches out beyond the bass guitar, taking the “solo” opportunity at face value. There are some familiar faces here, including Roger Powell and BOC guitarist Buck Dharma, but nobody upstages the Sulton. The remaining tracks range from faux heavy metal (“Evil”) to Barry Manilow disco (“Don’t Break My Heart”), all of it filtered through the synth rock lens of the ‘80s. It’s hard to understand why EMI America released Kasim, since the album couldn’t have been expected to make commercial inroads. Utopia was hardly a household name, Sulton was photogenic but not widely recognizable, and nothing in his career to date suggested he had a hit record in him. To their credit, the label didn’t skimp on producers (Bruce Fairbairn) or trimmings (the popular EWF horns), but selling radio listeners on what amounts to faceless product is never a piece of cake (Pepperidge Farm or otherwise). Peddling the pedestrian disco of “Don’t Break My Heart” as the single confirmed EMI’s cluelessness. Taken in toto, Kasim is a decent record with mildly left-of-center synth rock songs (e.g., “Roll The Dice”) that suggest Utopia minus the edginess. It could have been a lot worse, and probably couldn’t have been much better. However, Utopia fans looking for more of the story would do better to exhaust Todd’s catalog first.

ST-17063 back cover ST-17063 picture sleeve
ST-17063 back cover ST-17063 picture sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. SOMEONE TO LOVE    (Kasim Sulton/Mark Rochet Onofrio)    3:10
  2. EVIL    (Kasim Sulton/Mark Rochet Onofrio)    5:13
  3. WHITE AND RED    (Kasim Sulton/Mark Rochet Onofrio/D. Bucks)    3:44
  4. THIS MUST BE LOVE    (Kasim Sulton)    3:02
  5. DON'T BREAK MY HEART    (Kasim Sulton/Mark Rochet Onofrio)    4:01
  6. DRIVIN' ME MAD    (Kasim Sulton)    2:57
  7. ROLL THE DICE    (Kasim Sulton/Mark Rochet Onofrio)    3:03
  8. JUST A LITTLE BIT    (Kasim Sulton)    4:34
  9. SWEET LITTLE ACCIDENT    (Kasim Sulton/B. Mernit)    3:04
  10. ROCK AND ROLL    (Kasim Sulton/Mark Rochet Onofrio)    3:11

CREDITS

KASIM SULTON -- all lead and backing vocals, all instruments
MARK ROCHET ONOFRIO -- all drums and percussion, backing vocals, mixing
TOM MORRONGIELLO -- rhythm guitars, backing vocals
ROGER POWELL -- all synthesizers
Peter Bjerring -- string arrangement and conducting (8)
Buck Dharma -- lead guitar
Earth Wind and Fire horns -- horns
Mark Rivera -- alto sax (5)
Tom Tom 84 -- horn arrangements, conducting
Joe "The Tweek" Chiccarelli -- engineer, mixing
Bruce Fairbairn -- mixing
Peter Corriston and Brian Hagiwara -- album concept, design and photography
Bill Burks -- art direction
Jeff Lamont -- camp director

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US 1982 EMI America LP/CS ST-17063 picture sleeve

 

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