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Steve Peake

This Week's Forgotten Gem of the '80s - O-Positive - "up, Up, UP"

By April 9, 2013

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I'll go ahead and get this (literally) shameless plug out of the way, but it does need to be said. Mike Marrone, music director of Sirius XM's brilliant channel, The Loft, is one of the world's foremost champions of great music across all genres and eras. Now, the reason I begin with such a seemingly left-field introduction is because - without Mike's professional recommendation the other day - I would still be completely unaware of O-Positive, the sophisticated late-'80s Boston guitar pop band that should have become and should yet remain one of the era's well-established legends. But we all know that's not always - or even often - the way the world shakes out, especially when it comes to that thing we call entertainment.

As is often the case with a discovery like this, the particular track selected may not be of the utmost importance. O-Positive, as it turns out, is one of those near-miss bands that doesn't bother recording duds. On that fateful day last week, Marrone happened to spin the lovely "Holding On to You" from the band's 1990 major-label debut, so because of the decade-oriented parameters of this site I shift here to an earlier track, released independently in EP format a couple of years prior. Lead singer and primary songwriter Dave Herlihy possesses a magnetic, haunting voice that fits perfectly within the romantic, intertwining instrumentation laid out by the rest of the band. Music lovers looking for aesthetically pleasing, distinctive and moving pop/rock can set up quite a happy home melting into this band's catalogue. "up, Up, UP" has a tendency to guide the listener in exactly the direction referenced in the title, and I don't think I'll lead you wrong to say that's a typical response to any number of tracks you can unearth while browsing online. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem particularly easy to purchase this music through the usual channels, but I certainly encourage you to keep trying.

Album Cover Image Courtesy of Link Records

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