Breakfast Club – Madonna’s Old Band

The Breakfast Club were Madonna’s old band. I was recently reminiscing about the late 80’s (my early 20’s) and I listened to their last album “Breakfast Club” before they split up. At the time my girlfriend and I played it all the time. “Right on Track” was on our song.

The band was hard to categorise. Some would call it pop, others soft rock or even New-Wave, others may even label them blue-eyed soulsters.

I remember thinking their music videos were rather strange. In their video for “Right on track” they do have three women dressed as birds singing backup.

They were really an eclectic blend and definitely a fun and energetic dance band. Dan and Ed Gilroy brothers who grew up in New York City and Queens, guitarist Gary Burke from Queens and drummer Steve Bray.

In the late 70’s Madonna first hung out with Bray; the two met while Bray was travelling around playing drums. She was interesting, rather unusual and a dancer. In 1979 she went to New York City where she met up with the Gilroys, even crashing at Dan and Ed’s converted synagogue in Corona Queens. She joined the band, not utilizing that famous voice but beating the skins instead. Then Dan Gilroy made the mistake of giving her a song to sing, and from there on out she lost interest in the drums, according to Dan.

She let the group and Bray arrived in New York City shortly thereafter. However the four guys set up shop as the Breakfast Club, Bray and Burke had a stint as part of Madonna’s band, where she played guitar and sang. The band so says Bray, was Band of Gypsies II. As history showed this came to an end when Madonna went off to sign a record deal.

The breakfast Club was signed to MCA. The album, simply titled “Breakfast Club,” was released in 1988. The first single, “Right on Track,” is a dance tune of the highest order. No techno-pop beat here, no sugar-coated, honey dipped bounce, just a solid happy tune.

The song has complementary blend of singing guitars, thumping drums and electric keyboards with the end product being dance music, not club music. These lyrics are fun-loving and although they are devoid of any political statements, they do make sense.

There is some variety on the album; the bands mellows out with its second single, “Kiss and Tell”; “Rico Mambo” is a fast paced tune with a Latin flavour, and the Album features a cover of the old Boxtops classic, “Expressway To Your Heart, complete with the sounds of rush hour traffic.

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