John Palumbo – Blowing Up Detroit (1985)

Taking a break from his duties as singer/guitarist for Crack The Sky, John Palumbo took the solo route in 1985 and released his album, Blowing Up Detroit. The title track became the first, and only, charted single for Palumbo.


John Palumbo left the band in 1978 during the writing of their third album, “Safety In Numbers”, which resulted in songs on the first half of the album having words & lyrics by John, but the second half having words & lyrics by assorted (remaining) band members. John’s leaving was “due clearly to a divergence in artistic direction.” While many thought that losing John would damage the band, they were able to put together a good third album, followed by a tour which received rave reviews and produced their fourth, live album in 1978, “Live Sky”. (“This band has come all the way down from an acid trip just to play for you…”) This is an excellent example of the band live, with replacement vocalist Gary Lee Chappell, and credits (for the first time) Vince DePaul on keyboards, although he had played keyboards for the band on previous live outings. (I can’t count the number of people I’ve talked to who saw Crack The Sky open for some band or other, and said that Crack basically blew the other band off the stage – that the headliner was a let-down after Crack played!) After Live Sky the band put out a greatest hits collection in 1980 titled Classic Crack.

After leaving the band, John P. pursued a solo career, putting out the album Innocent Bystander in 1978. You can see the pain he was going through at the time, as many of the songs revolve around living through relationships dying (Dear, Dear), related change-of-life issues (It’s Okay To Die, The Crying Father From Idaho) and also a song addressing how/why he left the band (Madness On Comet Way).

After “Live Sky” the band broke up, but soon came back together in 1980 in their third incarnation of John Palumbo, Rick Witkowski and Vince DePaul to create the album “White Music”, rumored to be a contractual obligation album. This album spawned such radio hits as All American Boy and Hot Razors In My Heart, and helped fans discover or renew their interest in the band. Unfortunately, soon after the album was released, the band broke up again, ostensibly for good.

After that, in 1981, John once again re-formed the band in its fourth incarnation, with Vince DePaul (keyboards), Carey Ziegler (bass), Michael Taylor (guitar) and John Tracey (drums), and put out the album “Photoflamingo”. This album received less-than-rave reviews from the critics and public, and today is one of the bands least well- known albums. As John wrote all the music and lyrics for the album, CRACK THE SKY began to become thought of as “his band”, which caused him both joy and suffering for many years afterwards.

The next offering from the band came in 1983 with “World In Motion I”, yet another disappointment for the band. It never got much airplay other than Mr DJ, and the album itself was very hard to find in stores, eventually virtually totally disappearing from the record bins. The lack of acceptance of this album probably contributed to John again calling an end to the band, and the same year put out “The End”, the bands supposed swan song. The album contained a collection of live songs from some previous albums as well as a couple of new (or previously unreleased) offerings.

At this point, it seemed that CRACK THE SKY was finally gone forever, as John P. had grown to feel it like an albatross around his neck. He continued to pursue his solo career and released “Blowing Up Detroit” in 1984, which contained which contained such songs as Blowing Up Detroit and Drifting Back To Motown. Band members Carey Zeigler, John Tracey, Bobby Hird and Vince DePaul went on to form the local Baltimore band No Heroes, which played some Crack tunes as well as original tunes.



1.  Blowing Up Detroit  – 5:36
2.  Modern Romance  (Vocals – Patti Sullivan Lewis)  – 5:04
3.  Drifting Back To Motown  (Vocals – Elton Lynch, Marvin Brown)  – 4:44
4.  Electric Wire – 3:59  (Vocals – Donnie Purnell, Steve Whiteman)  – 3:59
5.  She’s The Release  – 4:35
6.  Girls From Mars  – 5:42
7.  In The New World  – 4:11
8.  Hurt Me  – 4:09


  • Co-producerJohn Palumbo, Victor Giordano
  • Composed ByJohn Palumbo
  • DrumsChuck Riebling, Vince Santoro
  • EngineerVictor Giordano
  • Guitar, Bass, Synthesizer, VocalsJohn Palumbo
  • Mastered ByBob Ludwig
  • Bass – Terry Battle
  • Lyricon – Paul Soroka
  • Artwork By [Cover] – Sherwin Mark
  • [Synthesizer] – Charles Libscomb, Jr.
  • Guitar Solo] – Stan Whitaker, Ronnie Younkins
  • Other [Gear] – Vanessa Kodhof
  • Other [Major Domo] – Carville T. Biddison III
  • Other [Management] – Ardan International
  • Other [Non-electronic Perspectives] – Steven Miles Berman
  • Photography – Michael Ward
  • Programmed ByMark Andes
  • Technician [Additional Mixes]Bob Cutarella


Released:  1985
Recorded at: Sheffield Audio/Video
Genre:  Rock
Style:  Avantgarde

Label – HME Records

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