During the late 1980s and early 1990s, a truly great band named JOKER dominated the Chicago music scene. Their self-titled album on Red Light Records was a smash full of hooks. Even better was their next album Cool Deal. However, because of issues between Red Light Records and distributer Zoo Entertainment/BMG it was only released in Japan.
Because of music industry connections, I had a copy of Cool Deal and it is just as good if not better than any album by POISON, JOURNEY, or WARRANT. But without the mainstream release of Cool Deal, Joker fell by the wayside and they disbanded.
Fast forward 20 years. I just found out that Joker has reformed with all the original members. The band features charismatic front man Tony Ingala, dynamic guitarists Joey Miroballi and Nick Sikich, brilliantly talented bass player Brian Smolar, and heavy hitting drummer Mike Stone.
And, through their new label Pavement Entertainment, Joker’s Cool Deal album is finally getting the U.S. release it has long deserved.
You can order the album and find out about upcoming shows through the band’s new website www.JokerChicago.com. You can also follow the band on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/JokerBandChicago/.
Joker is a band that could have been just as big as Poison, Warrant, or Motley Crue. Their songs are laden with hooks. Many songs feature four or five-part harmonies. They had the talent and the looks to hit the big time. Politics just got in the way.
It’s good to see the guys back together. I can’t wait to catch a live show. I’m sure they will be just as powerful and engaging as they were 20 years ago.
Do yourself a favor. If you can catch a show – go for it. You won’t be disappointed. And, pick up the album Cool Deal while you’re at it. It’s good stuff.
Peace. Love. Trust.