Enuff Z'nuff

Enuff Z'nuff Enuff Z'nuff (Atco) 1989

1.   New Thing (4:22)
2.   She Wants More (4:39)
3.   Fly High Michelle (4:17)
4.   Hot Little Summer Girl (2:57)
5.   In the Groove (6:49)
6.   Little Indian Angel (3:30)
7.   For Now (4:29)
8.   Kiss the Clown (3:16)
9.   I Could Never Be Without You (3:43)
10. Finger on the Trigger (4:45)

Enuff Z'Nuff's self-titled debut album was released in 1989 on Atco Records on the heals of hair-metal mania. Their look was most certainly derived from that of Hanoi Rocks, Poison and their ilk, but their sound really doesn't quite fit in with the typical LA glam rocker. Rather they actually share more in common with power-pop bands like Cheap Trick and The Sweet, with a slight influence from The Beatles. The album's kick off track was also the single chosen from the album and is a hooky, power-pop rocker. The song features Donnie Vie's raspy vocals set against a backdrop of layered vocals and jaunty guitar melodies. "Fly High Michelle" is a ballad that reveals the band's fondness for psychedelia and all things 70's. The album has a fun, light-hearted feel. With song titles such as "Hot Little Summer Girl" and "Kiss the Clown", the whimsical nature of the lyrics are pretty obvious. However, there are some more serious moments such as "I Could Never Be Without You". This song definitely has the Beatles influence mentioned earlier. "In the Groove" is mid-paced, blues-based rocker that is nearly seven minutes long and sports some nice guitar ramblings from Derek Frigo and Donnie Vie. It is most definitely a standout cut, along with "New Thing". Overall a solid debut, though in my opinion, their next couple releases would be even better.

The band received quite a bit of exposure in '89 due to songs being featured on popular TV shows such as "Beverly Hills 90210" and "Northern Exposure".

Strength Enuff Z'Nuff - Strength (ATCO) 1991

1. "Heaven or Hell" (3:45)
2. "Missing You" (5:10)
3. "Strength" (5:02)
4. "In Crowd" (3:08)
5. "Holly Wood Ya" (3:06)
6. "The World is a Gutter" (3:52)
7. "Goodbye" (4:26)
8. "Long Way to Go" (1:53)
9. "Mother's Eyes" (4:37)
10. "Baby Loves You" (4:07)
11. "Blue Island" (4:45)
12. "The Way Home/Coming Home" (5:36)
13. "Something for Free" (5:31)
14. "Time to Let You Go" (2:56)

Looks like glam metal, but alas, it's just rock n roll. "Srength" is a mixture of the better parts of the 1980's melodic rock scene along with heavy influences from The Beatles and Cheap Trick. The strong songwriting, along with the unique, raspy vocals Donnie Vie and some nice harmonies combine to make for an enjoyable listen. There are quite a few strong ballads, which unfortunately outweight the heavier numbers. I personally enjoy the heavier songs like "Long Way to Go" a bit more than the more melancholy moments like "Goodbye" and "Mother's Eyes." However, even the ballads are not sappy. The lyrics are far from the pretensious, self absorbed machoisms of many. The lyrics to "In Crowd" gives an indication of just how free-thinking this band is. "Srength" is just a well rounded hard rock album.

Enuff Z'nuff Enuff Z'Nuff - Animals with Human Intelligence (Arista) 1993

1. Superstitious (4:07)
2. Black Rain (3:48)
3. Right By Your Side (4:29)
4. These Daze (3:51)
5. Master Of Pain (3:25)
6. Innocence (4:50)
7. One Step Closer To You (3:37)
8. Bring It On Home (3:55)
9. Takin' A Ride (4:11)
10. The Love Train (3:47)
11. Mary Anne Lost Her Baby (4:04)
12. Rock N World (3:21)
13. Fingertips (3:50)

"Animals with Human Intelligence" is the Enuff Z'nuff's third album, and their first and only album on Arista Records. It was also the last album to feature drummer Vikki Foxx, who is not pictured on the cover. Fox went on to Vince Neil's solo band.

Enuff Z'nuff are an odd band. A quick check on-line has them labeled a glam band just about everywhere. While their look in their early years may very well have been that, their sound is certainly not. Rather the band seem to have more in common with a band like Cheap Trick than with the Poison's of the world. The cleverly titled "Animals with Human Intelligence" has a ton of groove and is mostly a hard rockin' affair, with little attempts at sappy radio ballads. There is the Queen-meets-The Beatles ballad "Innocence". However, this song is a very different animal than the paint-by-numbers ballads that infested the radio from around 1987 through 1993 or so, until grunge killed the Aqua Net and lip-stick glam monster. Actually the song has a bit of a dark feel to it. "Superstitious" is a hard rocking opener with a Guns 'n' Roses groove. The follow-up track, "Black Rain" is a melodic rocker that has a 1970's Cheap Trick feel, as does "Takin' A Ride". "Right By Your Side" is a mid-paced, melodic, power-pop, rock song with a big hook. Once again, the Cheap Trick comparison is not far off, though Enuff Z'nuff are no clone. The songs are peppered with some very cool layered vocals as well. Donnie Vie has a great voice for this style and seems to be able to switch from ultra-melodic to slightly raspy and aggressive, depending on the mood of the song. For the most part, "Animals" is fairly heavy record with a nice mixture of hard rockers and more melodic numbers.

Paraphanalia Enuff Z'Nuff - Paraphernalia (Stoney Records) 1999

1. Freak" (3:54)
2. Top Of The Hill" (2:53)
3. Ain't It Funny" (3:44)
4. Believe In Love" (4:36)
5. Habit" (4:01)
6. Baby You're The Greatest" (4:42)
7. Someday" (3:43)
8. Unemotional" (3:57)
9. Invisible" (4:19)
10. All Alone" (4:10)
11. Everything Works If You Let It" (3:17)
12. Save Me" (3:30)
13. No Place To Go" (4:00)
14. Loser Of The World" (2:29)

Another disc of melodic, hard rock that was once again inspired by Cheap Trick, the Beatles and a tad of Led Zeppelin. Album opener "Freak" is perhaps my favorite track on the album. Unfortunately, this CD isn't quite as memorable as "Strength" and there is a sameness to the songs. There are some other standout cuts however. "Unemotional" & the Cheap Trick cover "Everything Works If You Let It" are great also. Guest appearances by Billy Corgan, James Young (Styx) and Cheap Trick's Robin Zander.

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