Stanley Frank

albums w/ jackets & lyrics
Born and raised in Montreal, Stanley Frank joined his first band at the age of 14, and already had several years of guitar lessons at that point while soaking in the different sounds on the radio. He built up his experience while playing at dances and small parties around the city for the next few years in a couple of other bands, writing his own first songs during this period.

After graduating from high school and trying to make it as a song writer, he moved to Toronto and took a bunch of songs he’d recorded in his basement to Attic Records. In 1976 he managed to get a couple of his songs “S’cool Days” b/w “On A Line” released as a single, to little fanfare.

Frank was a student of the emerging punk scene, but felt it wasn’t making headway fast enough at home, so he moved to England and began pounding doors there while playing the clubs. A year later Power Exchange Records took an interest in him, who re-released the single first on its own single, and then as half of a four-track EP with up and coming British new wave/punk fusion group, The Saints. Hailed by some critics as blending in enough pope elements to make it a commercial hit, there were unfortunately some writers that blasted it for ‘not being punk enough,’ and therefore couldn’t find a home on the charts at home, but did reasonably well in European markets.

By the spring of ’78 he’d returned to Canada and signed with Polydor. The result was the four-track EP REJECTED later that year, which due in part to little support from the label, failed to make a dent in the charts, espite a cover of John Lennon’s “Cold Turkey” b/w the original “Hey Stupid” spending some time in the top 50 in some pockets across the country.

His debut full-length album came in 1980, after switching to A&M. PLAY IT TIL IT HURTS was a conglomeration of so many styles and influences that critics weren’t sure what to make of it. Produced by Robin Geoffrey Cable (Queen, Elton John, Dana Gillespie, Dwight Tilley, Chris de Burgh), and Jorge Ben, among others), the two singles, “Good Lovin'” and “Rock Crazy” with its sax solo trans traversed ‘the punk crossing over to new wave’ movement into the mainstream. But neither made the top 40. Still, the b-sides “Dying To Live” and “Nylon Meat Crazy,” and the cover of The Young Rascals’ “Good Lovin'” were indicative of the album’s diversity.

Some concerts were done in eastern Canada, but seeing a return to England might be in order, he criss-crossed across Europe for a few months in early ’81. He ended up spending the rest of that year, working on some material with producer Mick Ronson (also David Bowie’s guitarist) . While still reassessing things, he still played at the local clubs now and again. He returned home and bounced around the scene for awhile, but eventually got out of the business all together, occasionally popping up at clubs now and again.

Rumours had a new compilation of his previously released mixed with some studio out-takes and demos in the early ’00s, but it never happened.

  • With notes from Stanley Frank, Peter Lopresti, Robin Wilks