Vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter Les Fradkin unveils a perfect radio single, “Spare Change,” that dates from his days of working with legendary guitarist Mick Ronson (David Bowie, Ian Hunter, Roger McGuinn, Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Review).
“Spare Change” actually dates back to 1982, when Ronson, bassist Fradkin, and drummer Hilly Michaels formed a new group with the goal of getting a record deal. Tom Mandel and Gigi Hageman Teeley also contributed on keyboards. For this tune, Fradkin took the leadership role, performing on lead and background vocals, 12-string guitar, bass, and Mellotron.
The track has an anthemic feel and an upbeat personality. It has a super-cool classic rock vibe that comes straight from the period when it was created. Les Fradkin is solid on bass and pure and true on lead vocals, turning in outstanding performances all around. Ronson’s lead and rhythm guitar work is also spot-on, especially his brief but beautifully melodic solo. Lyrically, it’s all about the search for love and has a delicious yearning to it that every living human knows and understands. It’s a hopeful song and Fradkin does a fine job conveying the feeling that what he’s looking for is just around the corner.
The song’s arrangement is a tasteful combo of guitars, basses, and synthesizers that was a dominant sound back in the day and it’s easy to hear why. The instruments and vocals conspire to lift your heart and get you singing out loud before you even realize what’s happening. It’s a reminder of how good fully-human rock and roll like this was and still is.
Les Fradkin is a large talent and someone you should definitely be listening to. His voice, instrumental skills, and songwriting ideas are top-tier stuff and it’s a great thing that “Spare Change” is now out in the world for music people to enjoy. Fans of Survivor, Aldo Nova, and Loverboy will find a whole lot to like here.
Keep up with more from Les Fradkin HERE.