Breakfast Club

  • Breakfast Club
  • Breakfast Club (MCA) 1987 

The Breakfast Club’s notability comes from the quartet’s drummer, Stephen Bray, who helped write and produce several hits for Madonna (including “True Blue” and “Into the Groove”) and can be considered one of the chief architects of her hit sound. (Actually, Madonna played drums in an early incarnation of the band around 1979 and helped bring college friend Bray in after she quit.) As might be expected, that sound — soft funk basslines under bubbling synthesizer counterpoint — is featured prominently on this debut, but to less satisfying ends. The group’s limitations expose the formula’s, and vice versa: despite five different producers, all of the songs on Breakfast Club sound pretty much the same. There’s no vocal personality to distinguish them. (Singer Dan Gilroy sounds vaguely like Elvis Costello.) Still, the one exception, “Right on Track,” about a dancing fool trying to capture a girl’s attention and her heart, is so giddily persuasive that it seems just a matter of time before the group finds its own formula for success.

[Bud Kliment]