Albums In My Collection
– Breaking Away
– Rather Be Rockin’
During the late 1970s, this popular Chicago-based act was aptly publicized as “The Female Version of Three Dog Night.” Supposedly their soon-to-be manager heard Three Dog Night performing the song “One” on the radio and imagined what would happen if he put together a harder-rocking band revolving around three female singers.
From that simple pondering, Tantrum was born. Their self-titled debut album Tantrum was released in 1978 on the small Ovation Records label, and their second album, Rather Be Rockin’, was issued in 1979, bringing the unusual band growing popularity and critical acclaim throughout the Midwest and beyond, due to radio play of the singles “Kidnapped” (from the Tantrum album) and “Rather Be Rockin'” (from the album of the same name). Their third and final album, Breaking Away, was never released as planned when Ovation Records folded due to financial hardship (rumor has it this occurred just one day prior to the vinyl being shipped to the retail stores).
Subsequently, disheartened and shocked at the situation, the band also folded shortly thereafter, unable to generate interest from another, more financially sound record label. Only more recently, in 2005, twenty-five years after its originally scheduled release, did Tantrum’s third album come to light, thanks to Escape Music (a European company), who issued all three albums in a special 2-CD set entitled Rather Be Rockin’/Tantrum/Breaking Away.
There’s no question about it—Tantrum is probably my favorite band of all time!
First, I admit to being totally prejudiced when it comes to them, since I personally knew the band members. Having gone to as many of their shows as possible, I got to meet and eventually became friends with the band. I even had an advanced copy of their third album. Nevertheless, this personal connection would have never happened if I hadn’t been such a huge fan of this local Chicago act to start with. They are the band I MOST MISS of all defunct acts, and even after all these decades I still regularly listen to their albums (and obsess over “what might have been” had they continued).
For those unfamiliar with this band, again imagine a female version of Three Dog Night, with an attractive blonde, brunette, and redhead, all with powerful and (most importantly) distinct voices, doing a blend of melodic hard rock and catchy AOR material, swapping lead vocals and with spot-on harmonies, backed by four terrific male musicians. This sort of lineup is highly unique, especially considering the type of music the band played…the only other acts with three female lead singers fall into the soul or pop categories, and the only other “rock act” with this sort of lineup was the outrageously successful Three Dog Night. This is one of the reasons this band, in my eyes, is sorely missed. Love them!