Artful Dodger
Artful Dodger Columbia 1975

Music - 5 stars

Artful Dodger
Honor Among Thieves - Columbia 1976

Music - 5 stars

Artful Dodger
Babes on Broadway - Columbia 1977

Music - 4 stars

Artful Dodger
Rave On - Ariola 1980

Music - 4 stars

Artful Dodger - front cover

front cover

Artful Dodger - rear cover

rear cover

Review

This album sparkles. Among the stars, it's a supernova. The songwriting is extraordinary [not a clinker can be found], and Artful Dodger has chops most bands can only envy.
Both hard rockers and ballads are catchy and full of hooks. The band's vocal harmonies are full and sweet which perfectly counter the gruff lead singer Billy Paliselli.

This is one of the great records that got lost in the mid 70's music style shuffle

Those who love rock, veteran collectors, novices, or the just plain curious, track this one down. Artful Dodger's debut is something very special.

- Allan J Moore

Artful Dodger - Honor Among Thieves - front cover

front cover

Artful Dodger - Honor Among Thieves - rear cover

rear cover

Review

The heart of Artful Dodger's approach is not spectacular displays of technical perfection, but a constantly percolating creative engine which allows every song the ability to evolve it's own personality.

"Honor Among Thieves" is an album of tough guitar rock. Air Guitar rockers will love this record. The solos are neat, tuneful, and have an uncanny ability to be an integrative part of a tune rather than an adjunct to it.

Of course, the first rate ballads are here, and the band has a solid workout with Little Richard's "I Hear You Knockin"

It's both difficult and sad to ponder the reasons Artful Dodger had so minimal commercial success, since they were one of the most vibrant and creative rock groups of the 1970's.

- Allan J Moore

Artful Dodger - Babes on Broadway - front cover

front cover

Artful Dodger - Babes on Broadway - rear cover

rear cover

Review

We need to make a point. Artful Dodger isn't comparable to the Raspberries, Badfinger, Big Star, Todd Rundgren or any other band of the 70's.
This is a rock group in a class by itself.

Side one of Babes On Broadway is somewhat Beatlesque, but we think it pays homage to the most influential band of the twentieth century. The songs are still very definable Artful Dodger, and in a class by themselves.

As usual the rhythm section cooks, guitar solo's are taut and tuneful and Palisell's vocals are unique.
The one cover lets the band put it's imprimatur on Eddie Cochrans's "C'mon Everybody" If you are able to find this album you'll hear "Mistake" one of AD'S greatest tunes.

At the end of 1977, Artful Dodger found itself out on the street without a record deal and an uncertain future.
If this was to be it, what a legacy they left; three rock and roll albums that sound as fresh today as they did in 1977, and an indomitable creative spirit!

- Allan J Moore

Artful Dodger - Rave On - front cover

front cover

Artful Dodger - Rave On - rear cover

rear cover

Review

It's Artful Dodger's final album, and what a record it is.
Music was fragmenting into designations such as Punk, Power Pop, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, etc..
We think Artful Dodger defies categories.

Gary Cox is absent, and the band has added keyboard whiz Peter Bonta. Billy Paliselli and Gary Herrewig have turned in another grand set of songs, and the keyboard work helps AD take their music into another dimension.

There's not a throwaway on the album. Rave On is another classy stylish Artful Dodger record. The songs are consummate craftsmanship. "So Afraid", "Get in Line", "A Girl {La La La }" jump right into the listeners head, while "Gone Again" is a nice country rock song with a pretty keyboard interlude.

I've never decided whether the transcendent ballad "Forever" is about the band or not.
What I have concluded, is that "Forever" IS about never giving up, never giving in or sacrificing your dreams or beliefs no matter how hard life gets or what anyone tells you. Those who don't relate to this stunning song must have lead very sheltered lives.
To Artful Dodger, we at Vinyl History offer many thanks for the rock music we think is both legendary and timeless.

- Allan J Moore