Gary Frenay | File Under Pop Vocal

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Pop: Brill Building Pop Rock: 70's Rock Moods: Type: Vocal
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File Under Pop Vocal

by Gary Frenay

Classic Power Pop, with a healthy dash of singer/songwriter from the founder and lead singer of The Flashcubes.
Genre: Pop: Brill Building Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Blue Topaz
3:07 $0.99
2. Forgot How Good Love Feels
4:22 $0.99
3. Our Eyes Have Voices
4:14 $0.99
4. It's Like Heaven
3:36 $0.99
5. Winterview
3:44 $0.99
6. We Could Be Brothers
4:27 $0.99
7. It's Your Heart
3:48 $0.99
8. You're Only Hurting Yourself
4:59 $0.99
9. Everything but Love
4:09 $0.99
10. Luckiest Man
3:12 $0.99
11. How Do You Hold Onto Happiness (Acoustic Demo) [Bonus]
3:00 $0.99
12. Let's Try Fantasy (Acoustic Demo) [Bonus]
5:05 $0.99
13. Surf's Down (Acoustic Demo) [Bonus]
2:18 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Gary Frenay is an internationally-recognized singer/songwriter and the lead singer and co-founder of the seminal Syracuse, NY-based power pop bands, The Flashcubes and Screen Test. A six-time SAMMY (Syracuse Area Music) Award winner, Frenay was the first musician ever inducted into the Syracuse Music Hall of Fame twice; as a solo artist in 2006, and again as a member of The Flashcubes in 2014.

His latest release, FILE UNDER POP VOCAL, is his third solo album, and his first solo release since 1996’s JIGSAW PEOPLE. While that may seem like a long dry spell between releases, in fact, Frenay has been extremely productive during the past two decades, producing and starring on the releases of 10 CDs by The Flashcubes (6), Screen Test (1), The FabCats (2) and Frenay & Lenin (1).

Frenay’s musical career began in the late 70’s as a founding member of The Flashcubes, Syracuse’s first and foremost New Wave/Power Pop group. In their four years together, The Flashcubes released two singles, toured throughout the northeast and opened shows for the Police, Joe Jackson, The Romantics, Pat Benatar and The Ramones (5 times!). 

After several years of success on a regional level, Frenay’s work with The Flashcubes evolved into the mature pop of Screen Test and later, the Neverly Brothers. Screen Test’s 1983 video for the Frenay-penned tune, “You Don’t Know Me” earned a spot on the MTV Basement Tapes. In 1991, THE GARY FRENAY SONGBOOK, a collection of Frenay compositions spanning his recordings with The Flashcubes, Screen Test and the Neverly Brothers, garnered praise from critics across the country.

He began performing as a solo acoustic act in 1991, gaining the respect of the music industry and sharing the stage with such nationally known artists as Catie Curtis, and Pete & Maura Kennedy, Ani DiFranco and Tony Trishka. Frenay has released two critically-acclaimed CD’s, ARMORY SQUARE (1993), and JIGSAW PEOPLE (1996). He has also opened shows for Steven Stills, Don McLean, Aztec Two-Step and David Bromberg. In addition, he has made an appearance on the “Jenny Jones Show” as a finalist in a nationwide talent search. Over 150 radio stations across the country have played his CD’s.

Frenay’s burgeoning solo career coincided with a resurgence of interest in The Flashcubes. The band’s first single, “Christi Girl” was included on a 1994 Rhino Records anthology of ‘70’s new wave/power pop music, and the band released it’s own CD anthology, BRIGHT LIGHTS (1997). As The Flashcubes, they’ve also appeared on tribute discs to Paul Collins’ Beat, The Raspberries and the Bay City Rollers. 

In the late 90’s, Frenay reunited with longtime Flashcube/Screen Test partner Arty Lenin, and began to perform regularly as a duo, releasing an all-acoustic CD, Frenay & Lenin - LIVE@PASTABILITIES (1999).

In 2001, the Flashcubes CD, BRIGHT LIGHTS, was reissued in Japan, which led to a tour of Japan that spawned the 2002 release, RAW POWER POP: LIVE IN JAPAN. The Cubes’ first full-length recording, BRILLIANT was released in December of 2002, to celebrate the band’s 25th anniversary.

Frenay is also a founding member of the Beatles/British Invasion tribute band, The FabCats (formerly The Fab Five). The band traveled to Liverpool, England in 2004 and performed at the Cavern Club - the birthplace of the Beatles - as part of the city’s annual Beatlefest. 

In 2007, The Flashcubes began work on an album-length tribute to legendary British rocker, Roy Wood (The Move, ELO & Wizzard). SPORTIN’ WOOD was finally released in early-2012 to coincide with the band’s second triumphant tour of Japan. The album won a SAMMY Award in 2013 for Best Rock Album.

FILE UNDER POP VOCAL is a culmination of over two years of recording in collaboration with longtime friend and Flashcubes’ drummer and producer, Tommy Allen. Inspired by the the greatest songwriters in pop history, (Lennon & McCartney, Burt Bacharach, Brian Wilson, Todd Rundgren, Elvis Costello, Jimmy Webb, Carole King, etc), Frenay looked into his own deep catalog (along with one Brian Wilson rarity) for songs that represented what he loved about pop music in the 60s and 70s. 

He and Allen then set about casting each song with the best musicians available, including Syracuse legend Mark Doyle; guitarist Paul Carbonara (Blondie); the multi-talented duo, Pete & Maura Kennedy; Marshall Crenshaw; longtime partner in musical crime Arty Lenin; Japanese power pop star Osamu Satoyama (Mayflowers); keyboardists Andy Burton (John Mayer), and Tommy Mandel (Bryan Adams); and Frenay’s son, multi-instrumentalist Nick Frenay (Nick + Noah).

The result is a seamless collection of all that is best about memorable pop music: great melodies and chord changes, lyrics that make you feel, and rhythms that make you move.  

As Frenay says on the back cover of the CD:

“In the 60’s, record companies would put the words “file under pop vocal” in small letters on the front cover of an album, to help retailers know where to display that artist. Whether it was the Beach Boys, Dusty Springfield or Nat King Cole, that four-word designation meant AM radio music. Throughout my career, I’ve co-opted the term to express what I want to hear in an arrangement or a studio mix “It’s gotta be more ‘file under pop vocal’!”  Here then, are ten songs inspired by the radio music and the great songwriters of my youth.”

Gary Frenay Discography
1978 Flashcubes Christi Girl/Guernica/Got No Mind single
1979 Flashcubes Wait Til Next Week/Radio single

1981 Screen Test Inspired Humans Making Noise - 4-song EP
1982 Screen Test Suellen/Girl’s Brand New single
1982 Screen Test Over The Top - 5-song cassette
1986 Screen Test 1986 - cassette-only LP
1987 Screen Test I’ll Never Forget You/I’ll Never Forget You (instrumental) single

1991 Gary Frenay The Gary Frenay Songbook - cassette-only LP
1993 Gary Frenay Armory Square CD
1996 Gary Frenay Jigsaw People CD
1997 Flashcubes Bright Lights, an anthology CD
1999 Frenay & Lenin Live@Pastabilities CD

2002 Flashcubes Brilliant CD
2002 Flashcubes Rockin’ Over Japan - 5-song CD/EP
2003 Flashcubes Raw Power Pop: Live In Japan CD
2006 FabCats Oh Yeah! CD
2006 Screen Test Inspired Humans Making Noise, an anthology CD
2009 Flashcubes A Cellarfull Of Boys: The Basement Tapes CD

2012 Flashcubes Sportin’ Wood: A Tribute to the Songs of Roy Wood CD
2014 FabCats Four Cool Cats CD
2015 Gary Frenay File Under Pop Vocal CD



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