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The Deal | Brave New World

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Rock: 80's Rock Pop: Power Pop Moods: Type: Sonic
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Brave New World

by The Deal

This album is the swan song of the iconic 80's underground PowerPop group the Deal. With a sound that the Washington Post called "remarkably self-assured pop classicism," the album is the power and the glory of an amazing star-crossed band.
Genre: Rock: 80's Rock
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Cinnamon Square
5:36 $0.99
2. 5:45
4:26 $0.99
3. The Girl Next Door
4:41 $0.99
4. Brave New World
4:01 $0.99
5. Lorene
3:43 $0.99
6. Tuesday Gone to Ruin
4:15 $0.99
7. Another Road Attraction
3:37 $0.99
8. Right Between the Eyes
3:22 $0.99
9. Setters Way
3:59 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
One of the countless number of power pop bands to emerge on the American music scene in the late 1970s and early '80s, Charlottesville, VA's the Deal were one of the most unlucky of these bands, and until 2003, their music was almost completely obscure and unheard.

The Deal formed in 1979 at the University of Virginia when guitarist Haines Fullerton happened upon a show by acoustic duo of singer/songwriter Mark Roebuck and guitarist Eric Schwartz and was knocked out by their sound and songs. Fullerton, who grew up in Memphis, was inspired by Memphis-based power pop legends Big Star and wanted to start a band that combined great, highly melodic songs with powerful performances just like his heroes. He saw in Roebuck's songs and voice the possibility of just such an opportunity. The three, who had yet to name the group, began practicing and writing, and quickly decided to record. They drove out to Memphis, and with the help of drummer Allen McCool, recorded four tracks at the recording home of Big Star, Ardent Studios. Once back in Charlottesville, the band recruited drummer Hugh Patton and bassist Jeff Roberts and went to work doggedly writing and recording new songs. Roberts soon left and was replaced by Jim Jones. By the middle of 1980, the band chose a name, the Deal, and began sending their demos off in hopes of scoring a record deal. They were quickly signed by 3B Publishing and found a sponsor in the guise of Linda Stein, wife of record mogul Seymour Stein and manager of the Ramones. She touted them to Albert Grossman, ex-manager of Bob Dylan and owner of Bearsville records, and he liked what he heard. By the end of 1981, Deal was signed to Bearsville, and with the production guidance of big-shot new wave producer Richard Gotterher (the Go-Go's, Marshall Crenshaw), recorded their first EP at Bearsville studios. Unfortunately, just as the Deal's record was due to be released, Bearsville and parent company Warner Bros had a falling out, and the two companies parted ways, leaving the Deal in the lurch. Just as this was going on, Schwartz and Patton left the band. They decided not to get a replacement for Schwartz, and an attempt to sign on Big Star drummer Jody Stephens failed when he left after a couple weeks of rehearsal to go back to Memphis. The group took a year off from playing live shows and decided to head back to Bearsville, record some new demos, and find a new record deal. The sessions were produced by Fullerton with studio pros filling in on drums, and featured a slightly more powerful and insistent sound for the band. A highlight of their recording was when Todd Rundgren dropped in a played a guitar solo on "5:45". In 1984, Albert Grossman heard the results of the Deal's session and was so impressed he decided to make the Deal a major part of his attempt to get his label going again. Once again, the band's dreams were crushed when Grossman, en route to meetings with potential investors in Europe, died mid-way through the flight.

Back in Charlottesville, the band enlisted drummer Mike Clarke and began to play live again. In 1986 after a couple years with no interest from record companies, the band agreed to split up. In yet another strange twist, just before they finalized their plans, Jody Stephens, who was by then running Ardent studios in Memphis, called Fullerton and arranged for the group to come down and record an album. Stephens would then try to find a label willing to release the finished product. The record, Brave New World, was finished in 1897 and featured Stephens and Alex Chilton, as well as the Deal's best songs and performances yet. Despite a few nibbles from interested labels, no new deal was struck and the band released the record themselves. The record was a critical success (and the band was voted one of the Top 20 unsigned bands in America by Musician magazine) but the group's limited finances and a lack of distribution meant it didn't sell a lot of copies. Disgusted with the music business, the Deal broke up for keeps in 1988. The bandmembers reacted to the split in unique ways. Mike Clarke walked away from his drums (literally, he just left them in the band's rehearsal space) and never played again. Haines Fullerton began a strange transformation into a mystical quasi-religious guru of sorts, complete with a small band of followers. He committed suicide in 1996. Only Mark Roebuck never left the music world, playing his brand of pop in a number of Charlottesville bands like Sub Seven and Big Circle.

Tim Sendra, All Music Guide

-Amazing Note: In 2016 Mark Roebuck and Mike Clarke joined forces again after almost 30 years, and are currently making new sounds in the four piece Kingdom of Mustang: www.kingdomustang.com



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