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Although cult rocker Dwight Twilley scored a Top 20 hit single in the spring of 1975 with the infectious, melodic “I’m On Fire,” he was nevertheless about five years too early for the 1980s power-pop revival he helped inspire and influence. For Twilley and musical partner Phil Seymour, it would take almost a year and a lot of false starts before they’d come up with a proper debut, 1976’s excellent Sincerely album.
Sadly, it seemed to be a case of “too little, too late.” Although Sincerely scratched its way onto the Top 200 chart (peaking at #138), there wouldn’t be another “I’m On Fire” in the offing. The pair built upon a fine pop-rock tradition that included similar cult faves as Crabby Appleton and Big Star, or even moderately-successful bands like Badfinger and the Raspberries, with songs like “Could Be Love,” “Release Me,” and “Baby Let’s Cruise” finding an appreciative, albeit smallish audience that has only increased over the ensuing decades.
Although the band’s label – Leon Russell’s Shelter Records – lacked the financial resources to fully promote Sincerely, the advertising that accompanied the album’s release masterfully evoked a simpler time, calling up the nostalgia of summertime, drive-in movies, and intelligent pop-rock music of the Dwight Twilley Band variety. Twilley has continued to make great music in a similar vein, most recently with 2014’s Always album…but he’ll forever be revered by power-pop fanatics for the groundbreaking Sincerely and it’s follow-up, 1977’s Twilley Don’t Mind.
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