I only knew about this band because of Huey Lewis. If anyone has the biography on Phil Lynott titled The Rocker, you know what a good guy Huey is. Since I’m a huge Thin Lizzy fan, Huey is aces in my book. Clover was a California country rock band that released a couple records that did nothing, so naturally they made their way to England. LOVE ON THE WIRE was released in 1976 and it is a weird hodge podge of songs. There are hints of their country rock roots but it’s a mess. Not to mention the gawd awful cover of “Travelin’ Man”. Odd thing is that Huey is listed as lead vocalist but he is seemingly not used in that role. Made worse because Alex Call,who you hear every song, is not very good. “Hearts Under Fire” is the one song they trade off on and is the highlight.
Most interesting aspect of this album is what came of everyone after it. LOVE ON THE WIRE is produced by a very young Robert “Mutt” Lange. He did alright for himself. Guitarist John Mcfee, keyboardist Sean Hopper, and bassist Ciambotti were the backing band on Elvis Costello ‘ s debut album. Then there’s Huey. Clover opened for Thin Lizzy and they took a liking to him so much you hear his harmonica playing on the classic LIVE AND DANGEROUS. When I listened to this as a kid, I didn’t realize the “bluesy” Huey Lewis that Phil gave a shout out to, was the same guy singing “This is It” on MTV.
In closing, LOVE ON THE WIRE is definitely not a sum of its parts. When you really examine all who’s involved it’s amazing that it’s as bad as it is.
I paid $2 for this and that is the right price.