Royal Crown Revue – The Contender is another raucous cabaret jazz album that has swinging elements of swing jazz from the swing revival of the 1990s. The tone for this album is much different from their other albums. This album is more aggressive due to having fighting songs such as Big Boss Lee, Friday the 13th, and The Contender. Which is why The Contender is considered to be a more brash aggressive Royal Crown Revue album. Many of the moods of the songs are exciting and exhilarating. The album had explored new avenues of storytelling.
Friday the 13th explained the trouble Eddie had gotten himself into in New York City. Joey The Amateur and Eddie were out drinking last night when Eddie got 3 sheets to an ill wind. Eddie gets carjacked by Joes. He finds himself lost of his prized possession which is his fine Double 5 Lincoln convertible. Eddie goes on an adventure to retrieve his Double 5 Lincoln convertible back. This leads Joey A. (Joey The Amateur) and Eddie get into a fight which leads into them boxing each other in a boxing match. This also leads them getting into a scuffle.
It was a fine left coast morning. And Eddie found himself planted outside The Cap ‘N’ Cork tipping back the hops in order to calm his dancing hands. You see Eddie doesn’t usually play the tied-up watchdog routine looking up and down the street. But this is the corner Joey A. and Eddie were supposed to meet.
You see Joey The Amateur and Eddie were out clinkin’ glasses last night. When Eddie got 3 sheets to an ill wind himself being in possession of a fine Double 5 Lincoln convertable. Joey offered to skip him back to the crib. He awoke to a barren driveway. And a neighbor started to chide. “Joey dumped you off and he’s got your ride!” Black cats don’t bother Eddie because he smiles in bad company. And he is cool as the day is long. But takin’ short. That’s dead wrong.
It was now 11:22 AM and up scuffles Benny The Shoe. A real hot air merchant from way back. Eddie inquired about Joey A and his superfine Lincoln. Then Benny beat his gums and testified to Eddie explaining, “Joe’s washing the short. Changing da oil He’ll be here by three.” So the little hand hits 3 PM and who should appear but a Cuban cat named Geronimo. An upstanding cat in the textile business. He said, “Joey knocked over a racketman and is laying low for a few. But in your trunk he left you some treasure. A pint of rye and a case of Slim Jim’s for your masticating pleasure.
Now it is 10 PM. Eddie is hot as a hophead’s zippo when Rosie appears on her financially motivated nightly exercise routine. He asked the whereabouts of the horsepower thief in question Snd she shot him that amphetamine stare. Rosie said, “Joey A.? I just got out of his Lincoln on Hollywood Way.” Eddie thought “Kill Joey A.!” when the bar keep came out to simmer him slow boil. Rosie said, “Joey A. just called on the blower. He said you better skip town ’cause the cops got your ride. You’re wanted for solicitation. Possession — you owe him one. And here’s the scather. And another thing cat. Don’t ask me for goddamn favors!”
The Contender is about a boxing match in the boxing ring at a gymnasium. Eddie plays the role of a boxer in the song. The song was inspired by boxing champion Muhammed Ali.
The lights are spinnin’. Eddie’s gotta get himself up off the floor. His head is ringing. Bet they think he can’t take too much more. The crowd is howling like the ocean’s pounding roar. His legs are goin’ out. Someone up there don’t like him. Now his right and his left will decide because they’re done with this bum takin’ dives. Now his eyes may be swollen with right hooks and tears but he see salvation tonight in a left and a right.
People called Eddie a kid, champ, or lefty. A bowery kid to the core. Fast cars and hipster movie stars. He ain’t got none of that anymore. Now he is down in the 7th round. By the 8th round his ribs are sore. Eddie is staggering around by the 9th round.
It’s a one-way ticket. Smart money is showing him the door. Backed on the ropes now is where his body lays. When the crowd goes silent, he’ll be comin’ back for more. Now his eyes may be swollen with right hooks and tears but he see salvation tonight in a left and a right. Eddie sees salvation tonight.
I rate this album 5/5*****!