The Kings: Anatomy of a One-Hit Wonder

Strange that we would see two releases in the same year about Canadian rock bands that hit their commercial peak in the early ’80s but continue to soldier on, but the entertainment business is funny like that (see: “Deep Impact” and “Armageddon”). However, the Kings, who owned Friday afternoon drive time on rock radio for years thanks to their bouncy “This Beat Goes On/Switchin’ to Glide” and its “Nothing matters but the weekend” battle cry, did not assemble “Anatomy of a One-Hit Wonder” to inspire sympathy; rather, this collection of the band’s music videos and live performances, combined with a 40-minute documentary of the band members describing the origins of “Beat/Switchin’,” is a sweet love letter to both its fans and even casual admirers of their big hit. Singer Dave Diamond, who at times recalls Martin Short, does most of the talking (though that is likely because guitarist John Picard, a.k.a. Mr. Zero, is shooting the interviews), and he’s refreshingly aware of the Kings’ place in the grand scheme of things; when he talks about working with mega-producer Bob Ezrin (just after he finished The Wall, no less) or appearing on “American Bandstand,” he’s not sticking his chest out as he does so, thank goodness. The interview footage is admittedly not professional quality (Zero financed the movie himself, shooting and editing it over a three-year period), but no one buying this video is looking for slick production. In fact, the DVD is worth purchasing for the opening clip alone, where Zero splices footage from dozens of performances of the band’s big hit and creates one monster performance video. Good for them for seeing this video through to its completion. Now, if you’ll politely oblige, your presence is requested by Diamond and Zero in the Mercedes. (Dizzy Records 2009)

Click to buy The Kings: Anatomy of a One-Hit Wonder


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