Like the Rembrandts, the BoDeans are best remembered for a song that became TV show theme. "Party of Five" was never as huge as "Friends" nor was "Closer To Free" a smash hit like "I'll Be There For You" but it did all right.
The BoDeans hailed from Wauheska, WI, and revolved around the nucleus of Sammy Llanas and Kurt Neuman. As singers, songwriters and guitarist both had played together since high school.
The BoDeans had the standard two guitars, bass (Bob Graffin) and drums (Guy Hoffman) line-up. Starting in '86, the group recorded a series of critically acclaimed albums that failed to register with the buying public. They toured, opening for U2, went through a series of drummers and eventually added a keyboard player (Michael Ramos). Through it all, it appeared the BoDeans were destined to work Rock's peripheral, as a cult band.
"Closer To Free" was on '93's "Go Down Slow" album and was resurrected three years later for "Party of Five." In between, the BoDeans recorded the live "Dirt Car Joe." '96 saw the release of "Blend".
1986 Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams
1987 Outside Looking In
1991 Black And White
1993 Go Slow Down
2010 Mr. Sad Clown
2012 American Made
2015 I Cant Stop
The BoDeans are one of those groups that should have been huge or at least more successful than they were. From their '86 debut "Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams," a title copped from the Stones' "Shattered," to their '96 release "Blend," the BoDeans twangy guitars and textured vocals consistently deliver the goods. Along with "Love & Hope," "Go Slow Down" containing "Closer To Free," are excellent choices. The live double set "Joe Dirt Car" proves the BoDeans can play exceptionally well live. Since they never got to a position where they could coast, this set is lively and entertaining.
The BoDeans are well worth checking out. "Slash & Burn: The Best Of The BoDeans" is an excellent place to start.