ARTIST: Donnie Iris
TITLE: 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Donnie Iris
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: None: Taken from these albums: Back on the Streets (#57), King Cool (#84), The High and the Mighty (#180), Fortune 410 (#127)
SINGLES: Ah! Leah! (#29, #19 Mainstream), I Can’t Hear You (#47 Mainstream), Sweet Merilee (#80, #31 Mainstream), Love Is Like a Rock (#37, #9 Mainstream), My Girl (#25), Tough World (#57, #26 Mainstream), The High and the Mighty (#39 Mainstream), Do You Compute (#64, #20 Mainstream)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: This collection has a live version of “The Rapper”, which was a hit by the Jaggerz, a band Iris was in earlier in his career.
LINEUP: Donny Iris, Mark Avsec, Martey Lee Hoenes, Kevin Valentine, Albritton McClain
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Hits collection for a journeyman Cleveland rocker that had some memorable early 80’s songs, but surprisingly not a lot of sale for the airplay he received.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Maybe he was more of a Midwestern artist, but Iris got a lot of airplay for “Ah! Leah!” and “Love is Like a Rock” and the last song was big on MTV. But as you can see, the album sales weren’t there.
Consequently, this is all that is left of Iris’ catalog that’s streaming. Frankly, it’s not a huge loss to have the complete albums, but a couple of tracks on Back on the Streets are probably better than some of the singles. I bet you can scrounge up a used copy for cheap if you are so inclined.
It’s a useful compendium for an artist that has some songs that are fondly remembered, but ultimately was rather forgettable.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: His backing band was The Cruisers, and Mark Avsec was actually the brains behind the operation – he was the producer and lyricist for their four albums.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: B: Everyone should have “Ah! Leah!” in their collection. “Sweet Merilee” and “Love Is Like a Rock” are also pretty decent. The rest are just OK.