July 1 – The Turntable Talk, Round 4 : Max-imum Kim?

Welcome back to The Turntable Talk. As before, we’ve invited some other interesting music writers to share their opinions on a single topic, and we’ll be running their replies this week. Previous times we’ve looked at the influence of The Beatles, pros and cons of live albums, and the impact of MTV and music videos. This time around, we’re looking at “out of the blue”… debuts that came out of nowhere and really took listeners by surprise. Albums, or singles, that made you turn your head and say “that’s great! Who is that!?” Let’s hear about the great entrances to the musical stage and why they so impressed you… and perhaps if the act would go on to live up to that early potential or not.

Today, appropriately for Canada Day, we have Deke , at the western end of the Great Lakes, from Thunder Bay Rocks. Deke covers the last forty years or so of hard rock at his site and is something of a historian for his city’s great music heritage. He talks about a fellow Canadian today:

Thanks to Dave for letting me hop on this week for Top Debuts. My pick is Kim Mitchell with his debut solo EP. Mitchell already built himself up a career fronting Max Webster but by the time the early 80’s rolled around Kim called it a day with M.W and went solo…

Are you going to find a better five song studio solo E.P than Kim Mitchell’s 1982 self-titled release?

Maybe but probably not. For myself, I missed the boat at the time on Kim’s time fronting his former band Max Webster at the tail end of the ’70s.

It was a Canadian magazine, Music Express, that put out the word that here was Kim. Now solo and trying to make a go of it with his name on the marquee.  I bought this way back in ’82 on cassette tape and lo and behold saw it sitting in the used bins on vinyl a few weeks back. A no brainer, pay in cash and dash out the door!

Kim goes balls out in power trio mode with Paul DeLong on drums and Robert Sinclair Wilson on bass. Kim has always played some killer guitar on all his albums, but this EP has Kim going to a whole other level on the fretboard.

Kids In Action” sets the table as Mitchell gets right down to business and with Jack Richardson dialing in the sounds with Kim these songs sound live with few overdubs in the studio. Put it this way: all these cats can play and of course along for the ride is Pye Dubois who handled all the lyrics (as he largely had done in Max Webster) while Kim took care of the music. “Miss Demeanor” helped him stay on the charts a bit longer with it.

Kim has that cool summer breezy cool guy vocal vibe which comes across in a huge way on these songs. Five songs, no ballads just Kim lifting off on what would become a pretty good career in Canada.

If you’re a guitarist check out this EP for a crash course on exceptional soloing as you won’t be disappointed.

I’ve been slowly collecting Kim’s output on vinyl in the ’80s as I come across it.  Now with the inclusion of this EP on vinyl along with Akimbo Alogo(1984), Shakin Like A Human Being(1986) and Rocklandwonderland(1989) my KM collection is coming along nicely!

Rah Rah Ole!


17 thoughts on “July 1 – The Turntable Talk, Round 4 : Max-imum Kim?

  1. thanks Deke! A record recorded in Oshawa, another fine Canadian city (jus’ sayin’!)… I’m surprised you weren’t into Max Webster back then, they were huge in my city and among my peers back then, so there was interest in a solo Kim record right away. I don’t remember much of this EP, though ‘Kids in Action” does sound a bit familiar … but soon Mitchell would rise to become one of the country’s most popular artists of the decade. And with ‘Go for a Soda’, become known in the US as well. Later on he fashioned a decent career as a popular radio DJ on Toronto’s main classic rock station, CILQ “Q107”. Good writeup … happy Canada Day to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Dave for letting me say my 2 cents! By the time I got into music Max Webster was already split. I have recently started picking away at there stuff when I come across on the cheap in the used bins.
      This EP is probably my fav along with Akimbo Alogo in regards to Mitchell’s solo output.
      Happy Canada Day to u as well Sir!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. thank you! Think this year I might look around and order one of those red Jays caps, even if only to wear on future July 1s.
        my friends were crazy about Max Webster in late 70s (my brother too), I only got into them with ‘A Million Vacations’ in , I think it was ’80… I was surprised how much I liked that album.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Badfinger (Max)

    The first I heard of Kim was in the mid 80s… Going For A Soda. It took me 10 years to track who it was down with no internet back then… Finally someone at Tower Records pointed me toward a greatest hits…I never heard the debut though but loved the greatest hits.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. it was nice to see him get a bit of recognition here … he had a few singles in the 80s I liked. I already told Deke, I actually met Kim one time , he was eating lunch in a Toronto mall food court. I said hi and shook his hand, but didn’t detain him from his food for long. Seems a normal, down to earth guy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Badfinger (Max)

        I really like that song… well I had to to track it down in the 90s lol. The guitar intro is cool and the bass sounds fantastic.
        That is cool…watching his videos he seems like a normal guy.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I used to think I knew a lot about music till I started reading all your blogs! 😀

    Yet another I am unfamiliar with – a good stomping round sound, though. I’ll hhave to check out some more.
    Cheers Deke / Dave 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Rocks along nicely. PS, The maple leaf flag that I stuck up on our gazebo late last summer is now a faded abraded pink and greyish white. That’s what you get when you pay three bucks for a thin polyester flag at cheap-ass Jims Emporium guess! Anyway, have a happy day.

    Liked by 2 people

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