Barry Manilow: Summer Of ’78 (1996)

I haven’t really explored cover albums before, but I found a few interesting ones recently that I’ve enjoyed very much. This is the first.

Of particular interest to Westcoast fans will be The Little River Bands ‘Reminiscing’, Paul Davis’ ‘I Go Crazy’ and probably ‘I’d Really Love to See You Tonight’ previously performed by England Dan & John Ford Coley. Having said that, Barry has also covered Leo Sayer, Michael Johnson and Firefall here so there is much to enjoy.

All the tracks are performed in Bazza’s usual bombastic, over the top style, with a modern twist much of the time, but he’s been wily enough to choose tracks that suit his approach, which makes for an enjoyable album. See what you think.

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Producer: Barry Manilow & Michael Omartian

Musicians:

Keyboards: Barry Manilow, Michael Omartian, Tim Akers

Synthesizer: Barry Manilow, Blair Masters, Michael Omartian, Tim Akers

Piano, Electric Piano, Synth: Michael Omartian

Electric Guitar: Dann Huff, Jerry McPherson

Acoustic Guitar: Biff Watson

Guitar: Mike Brignardello, Tom Hemby

Bass: Jimmie Lee Sloas, Mike Brignardello, Tom Hemby

Drums: John Hammond, Paul Leim

Percussion: Eric Darken

Backing Vocals: Bonnie Keen, Chris Rodriguez, Marty McCall, Michael Mellett

Tracklist:

  1. Summer of ’78
  2. Interlude: Love’s Theme (Barry White)
  3. Reminiscing (Little River Band)
  4. I Go Crazy (Paul Davis)
  5. When I Need You (Leo Sayer)
  6. The Air That I Breathe (Albert Hammond)
  7. Bluer Than Blue (Michael Johnson)
  8. We’ve Got Tonight (Bob Seger)
  9. I’d Really Love to See You Tonight (England Dan & John Ford Coley)
  10. Sometimes When We Touch (Dan Hill)
  11. Never My Love (The Association)
  12. Just Remember I Love You (Firefall)

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Passage (1981)

This is a solo project by Louis Johnson of The Brothers Johnson, supported by Richard Heath (Michael Jackson, Harvey Mason, The Brothers Johnson) and Valerie Johnson (Louis’ ex-wife) and very nice it is too. But then you knew I wouldn’t post any old shite, right?

It’s as smooth as The Brothers at their silkiest, but more overtly CCM. This isn’t usually to my taste but on this occasion I make an exception because the playing and the songs are excellent and the lyrics aren’t too preachy. Louis plays keyboards, guitar and bass, but is ably assisted by some great playing. My fave track is probably “I See The Light” with its funky bass intro.

You decide and let me know what you think.

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Producer: Louis Johnson

 

Musicians:
Drums: Ricky Lawson, John Robinson
Guitars: Greg Moore, Louis Johnson, Curtis Nolen, Al Perkins
Bass: Louis Johnson
Keyboards: David Wolinsky, Louis Johnson, Raymond Crossley, Rene Moore
Percussion: Richard Heath
Sax: Michael Perkins
All Lead and Background Vocals: Valerie Johnson, Louis Johnson, Richard Heath

 

Tracks:

1. Have You Heard The Word
2. You Can’t Be Livin’
3. Faith Walking People
4. I See The Light
5. The Great Flood
6. Open Up Your Heart
7. Power
8. Love Eyes
9. The Son Will Come Again

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Geyster: No Kiddin’ (2009)

Ok, so this one was requested by my man Angel. Believe me this is a good choice, it’s my favourite album by Gael and his friends.

The first track ‘Come My Direction’, with it’s disco beat, sets the tone. ‘New York’, ‘I Wouldn’t Change A Thing’ and ‘Sister’s Beautiful’ are all great tracks. To be fair though they are all great, which is why I love this album. I think it’s their zenith, but you decide.

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Producer: Gaël Benyamin

Musicians:

Drums: Elad Fish

Lead Guitar: Jérôme Beuret

Tenor Saxophone: Pierre Baillot

Trumpet: Carole Lavecot, Philippe McGlinchey

Vocals: Pernilla Grönlund

Vocals, Bass, Acoustic Piano, Synthesizer, Percussion, Guitar: Gaël Benyamin

Tracklist:

  1. Come My Direction
  2. No Kiddin’
  3. Sherry Linn
  4. Second Tear
  5. Lonely Satellite
  6. Sundown
  7. I Wouldn’t Change A Thing
  8. The Arrival
  9. New York
  10. Sometimes
  11. Downtown
  12. Looking At The Sun
  13. Sister’s Beautiful
  14. Change Of Heart
  15. When The Music’s Over

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Dave Koz: Lucky Man (1993)

A quick upload today. I’m off to see ‘Arrival’ at the cinema. Smooth Jazz for the winter blues.

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Producer: Dennis Lambert

Musicians:

Saxophones: Dave Koz, Clarence Clemons, Stephen “Doc” Kupka & Maceo Parker

Keyboards: John Barnes, Robbie Buchanan, Brad Cole, Claude Gaudette, Booker T. Jones, Jeff Lorber, Kenny Moore, Bill Payne, Greg Phillinganes, Chester Thompson & Carl Sturken

Drums: Curt Bisquera, Ed Greene, Rayford Griffin, Ricky Lawson, John Robinson & Mark Schulman

Guitar: Teddy Castellucci Howard “Buzz” Feiten, Robben Ford Paul Jackson, Jr. Jeff Koz, Bob Mann, Oliver Leiber, Carlos Rios, Michael Thompson  & Carl Sturken

Bass: Nathan East, Jimmy Haslip, Alec Milstein, Edward James Olmos, Pino Palladino & John Pena

Percussion: Lenny Castro, Michael Fisher, Paulinho da Costa, Machito Sanchez & Steve Reid

Lead Vocals: Phil Perry, Charles Pettigrew & Zelma Davis

Background Vocals: Alex Brown, Jim Gilstrap, Franne Golde, Phillip Ingram, Evelyn King, Dennis Lambert, Jean McClain, Monalisa, Jheryl Lockhart, Katrina Perkins, Jeff Pescetto & Evan Rogers, Yvonne Williams, Gigi Worth, Terry Young & Leslie Smith

Tracklist:

  1. Shakin’ the Shack
  2. You Make Me Smile
  3. Faces of the Heart
  4. Don’t Look Any Further (Prelude
  5. Don’t Look Any Further
  6. Tender Is the Night
  7. Saxman
  8. After Dark
  9. Lucky Man
  10. Silver Lining
  11. Wait a Little While
  12. Show Me the Way
  13. Misty

 

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David Pack: Anywhere You Go (1985)

I am acutely aware that many people view this album as a classic, a Westcoast masterpiece. I do not. There, I said it. At the risk of being vilified I believe it’s time for me to come out of the closet and say it how I see it.

To my ears this is an okay album. It’s not too bad, but in no way is it a masterpiece of the genre. It’s not even Westcoast to me. I believe that it is closer to a kind of Hi-Tech, soft rock hybrid (with some Westcoast elements), released on the cusp between the peak Westcoast years and the advent of the hard rock sound of the mid to late Eighties.

Nonetheless, the songs are well written and well performed by a great cast of musicians and there are some really good tunes in there. It’s just not my particular peak of perfection. You decide…

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Producers: David Pack and Michael Verdick

Musicians:
Drums: Prairie Prince, George Perilli, John Robinson, Jeff Porcaro
Guitars: David Pack, Kerry Livgren
Bass: Mike Porcaro, Joe Puerta, David Pack, Will McGregor, Stanley Clarke
Keyboards: David Pack, Kerry Livgren, Jai Winding, James Newton Howard
Synthesizers: David Pack, Jamie Bernstein, Hawk Wolinski
Percussion: Burleigh Drummond, Paulinho Da Costa
Sax: Ernie Watts
Background Vocals: Michael McDonald, James Ingram, Joe Puerta, Royce Jones, Buleigh Drummond, John Elefante, Jennifer Holliday, Lisa Harrison, Cynthia Rhodes

Tracklist:

  1. Anywhere You Go
  2. I Just Can’t Let Go
  3. Won’t Let You Lose Me
  4. My Baby
  5. That Girl Is Gone
  6. She Don’t (Come Around Anymore)
  7. Do Ya
  8. Prove Me Wrong
  9. No Direction (No Way Home)
  10. Just Be You

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Shakatak: Night Birds (1982)

Ok, so I said one album each week, but I thought two would be good to mark my return.

This is probably one of the best albums from one of my favourite groups. Features two hit singles “Easier Said Than Done” and “Night Birds”. It certainly cemented their reputation as one of the U.K.s premier Jazz Funk bands.

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Producer: Nigel Wright

Musicians:
Drums: Roger Odell
Guitars: Keith Winter
Bass: George Anderson
Keyboards: Bill Sharpe, Nigel Wright

Percussion: Simon Morton

Horns: Stuart Brooks, Nigel Wright, Dick Morrissey
Vocals: Jill Saward, Jackie Rawe, Lorna Bannon

Tracklist:

  1. Night Birds
  2. Streetwalkin’
  3. Rio Nights
  4. Fly the Wind
  5. Easier Said Than Done
  6. Bitch to the Boys
  7. Light on My Life
  8. Takin’ Off

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