Robert Hazard

  • Robert Hazard
  • Robert Hazard EP (RCA) 1982 
  • Wing of Fire (RCA) 1984 
  • The Seventh Lake (Bad Dog) 2006 

Hazard was a popular figure on the Philadelphia scene before signing a big record contract. His debut EP delivers one great wriggly rock track (“Escalator of Life”), three so-so numbers and a powerful but irrelevant update of Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind.” Although talented, Hazard hasn’t got much individual character — traces of Bowie, Cars, Petty, Springsteen and others abound.

Cyndi Lauper assured Hazard of a comfortable retirement by recording “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” which he wrote in 1979. Although that high-water mark achievement makes the commercial failure of Wing of Fire largely academic, it is a passable album, kind of Tom Petty-meets-Willy DeVille (horns, modern outlook, drama, melody). The songs go on too long (or at least seem to) and David Kershenbaum’s production could be a lot more exciting but, all in all, a solid effort from a reasonably talented guy.

[Ira Robbins]