Felony (band)

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Felony
Origin Los Angeles, California
Genres New wave
Years active 1980-1991
Labels Rock 'n Roll Records
Associated acts The New Order
Members Jeff Spry and Joe Spry

Felony is an American new wave and rock band formed in Los Angeles, California in the early 1980s by brothers Jeffrey Spirili and Joe Spirili. The brothers were also known as Jeff Spry and Joe Spry.

History[edit]

Before Felony, Jeffrey Spry had been the singer with Detroit Proto-Punk/Hard rock legends, Ron Asheton (of Iggy & The Stooges) and Dennis "Machine Gun" Thompson (of The MC5) in a short lived super-group (based in Los Angeles) that was called "The New Order" (preceding the English new wave group of the same name).[citation needed] Jeff was in the band in 1975 and recorded an album with them that was released in 1977.

After a period playing shows and making music business connections in the Los Angeles scene, Felony appeared in the horror b-movie Graduation Day (1981), playing their song "Gangsters of Rock." [1] Soon after, they signed with producers/managers Don Rubin, formerly of pop group The Ivy Three, and Artie Kornfeld. [2] All live shows were mixed by sound engineer Steve Sands.

Felony went into the studio and emerged with single "The Fanatic," which became a hit on Los Angeles radio station KROQ-FM with help from program director Rick Carroll.[citation needed] The song reached the top 50 in the singles charts and topped the alternative and dance charts. It became a key track in the development of the Modern Rock radio format. "The Fanatic" was included in the influential 1983 Valley Girl soundtrack, which also featured Modern English's "I Melt With You". Felony also performed the track on American Bandstand.[1] A video was made from "The Fanatic" "The Fanatic" video was shot in Hollywood, California in 1983 and aired on MTV. The Fanatic video includes a cameo of Jeffrey Spry with his first wife, SAG actress, Lucrecia Sarita Russo.

The band, which now included Jeffrey on lead vocals, Joe on guitar, Danny Sands on piano/keyboards, Louis Ruiz on bass and Arty Blea on drums, recorded their first full-length album, also called The Fanatic, which was released in 1983 on Scotti Brothers Records with distribution by CBS Records. It included the single and nine other tracks that helped define the trendy-but-never-huge power-pop new wave sound of the early 1980s.[citation needed]

Felony's second single was 1983's "The Pied Piper," which producer Kornfeld had written with Steve Duboff in the 1960s and which had been a hit for Crispian St. Peters and Cher. "Kristine" from The Fanatic was also a single in 1983.

The band recorded songs including "All the King's Horses" and "She's My Little Girl" for a second album on Scotti Brothers that never materialized. The original chemistry was never recaptured, and in 1985 EM-HI released Felony's sophomore effort The Vigilante, which featured a more traditional rock sound. The title track got a lot of radio play and was number two in KROQ's "Top 106.7 songs of 1985." [3] The Vigilante also featured the track "I'm No Animal," which appeared on the soundtrack of 1986's Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives.

Towards the end of 1991 Felony released their final album, In the Name of Rock-n-Roll on the Q9 label. It included 10 tracks, half of them with Joe wanting to be on vocals. It did not go over well with Jeffrey.[citation needed] Jeffrey recorded "In the name of Rock N Roll" at Goodnite Studios which caught a capitol record deal offer. Joe refused to have Jeffrey sing...the deal was lost.[citation needed]

Jeffrey Scott Spry committed suicide on March 9, 1992.[citation needed] March 10, 1992 was the re-release of the Fanatic. Joe formed his latest band, Kanawormz, with bass player John Avila of Oingo Boingo fame, from the ashes of Felony. Most of Kanawormz band resides in Hollywood Ca. AKA Shigletown, CA. and are currently recording their third full-length CD.[citation needed] Their legacy, and, the legacy of their song "The Fanatic" lives on to this day as "The Fanatic" was featured in the 2011 film "Take Me Home Tonight".

Discography[edit]

"Gangsters of Rock" from Graduation Day (1981)

"The Fanatic"
Year: 1983
Tracks: The Fanatic/The Girl Ain't Straight
Label: Rock 'n' Roll
Catalog #: 3497
Formats: 7", 12"

The Fanatic
Year: 1983
Tracks: 1. The Fanatic, 2. No Room in Heaven, 3. One Step, 4. Positively Negative, 5. Aggravated Man, 6. What a Way to Go, 7. Kristine, 8. The Girl Ain't Straight, 9. Teaser, 10. 666 Beware.
Label: Rock 'n' Roll
Catalog #: 38453
Formats: LP, CS, CD

"Pied Piper"
Year: 1983
Tracks: Pied Piper (long), Pied Piper (short)
Label: Rock 'n' Roll
Catalog #: 04220
Formats: 7"

"Kristine"
Year: 1983
Tracks: Kristine, Kristine
Label: Rock 'n' Roll
Catalog #: 03999
Formats: 7"

Catalog #: Q-999
Formats: LP, CD

Compilation appearances[edit]

Valley Girl Soundtrack
Year: 1983
Tracks: The Fanatic
Label: Rhino/WEA
Catalog#:
Formats: CD, CS

Richard Blade's Flashback Favorites, Vol. 3
Year: 1994
Tracks: The Fanatic
Label: Oglio Records
Catalog#:
Formats: CD, CS

Just Can't Get Enough: New Wave Hits of the '80s, Vol. 11
Year: 1995
Tracks: The Fanatic
Label: Rhino/WEA
Catalog #:
Formats: CD, CS

Alternative 80's Hits
Year: 1998
Tracks: The Fanatic
Label: Rhino
Catalog #:
Formats: CD

Television appearances[edit]

American Bandstand[4]
First Aired: Saturday April 30, 1983
Tracks: The Fanatic, What a Way to Go
Episode Number: 2534
Season Number: 26

References[edit]