The folks at Renaissance Records and ItsAboutMusic.com have been real busy lately churning out long lost classics from the vault, and are quickly becoming one of the leading reissue vendors on the market. White Knuckle Ride is the 1984 release from New York band Duke Jupiter, who, despite being signed to various major labels, including Mercury, and divisions of CBS and Motown, never really made it to the big time. The band was picked to tour with many of the top acts in the day, and after listening to White Knuckle Ride, it's no surprise why. Duke Jupiter, which featured Marshall James Styler (keyboards, vocals), Greg Walker (guitars, vocals), David Corcoran (drums, vocals), and Rickey Ellis (bass), put together some catchy hard rock songs with a sprinkling of pop and prog, featuring strong vocals and well thought out instrumentation.
Tunes such as "She's So Hot", "Rescue Me", and "Backfire" all have early 80's FM radio written all over them; the catchy hooks, the smattering of keyboards, the crunchy guitars, all imprints of the time and blending together for what are ultimately memorable tunes. "Little Lady" has a sort of ZZ Top feel to it, and "Work It Out", with its beefy Hammond and guitar riffs, certainly will appeal to heavy rock fans. Even the ballads have a certain charm, those being "Top of the Bay", "Woman Like You", and "Me and Michelle", and they fit in nicely among the harder rockers, like " (I've Got A) Little Black Book" and "Don't Turn Your Back".
All in all, White Knuckle Ride is a decent, if not slightly dated sounding early 80's rock record. Filled with plenty of memorable hooks, some tasty guitar work, and strong vocals, this is an album that would have fallen into the forgotten rock and roll netherworld had it not been for this reissue. Lucky for us that it hasn't.
1. She's So Hot
2. Rescue Me
3. Don't Turn Your Back
4. Top of the Bay
6. Little Lady
7. Woman Like You
8. Work It Out
9. Me and Michelle
10. (I've Got A) Little Black Book