Brian & Brenda (Russell): Supersonic Lover (1977)

Before Brenda went of to the stratosphere with her career and before Brian became a writer and the current Mr Cheryl Ladd (lucky wretch), they were a couple and produced two albums together on Elton John’s Rocket Records. This is the second of the two and in my humble opinion this one is slightly better than the first.

The title track, ‘That’s Alright Too’ and ‘Who Loves You’ are the standouts and most Westcoast.

Producer: Jay Lewis

Bass: Dennis Belfield, David Vaught
Drums: Andre Fischer, James Keltner
Electric Piano: Brian Russell, Ron Stockert
Guitar: Al Ciner, Jay Lewis, Danny Kootch
Harmonica: Jay Lewis
Saxophone: Ernie Watts
Percussion: Steve Foreman, Andre Fischer
Piano: Brenda Russell, Bill Como
Horns: Tower Of Power
Backing Vocals: Dianne Brooks, Eric Mercury, Julia Tillman Waters

1. Life Could Be So Grand
2. That’s All Right Too
3. You Show Me Your Love
4. Don’t Let Love Go
5. A Love And Loser
6. Supersonic Lover
7. Beautiful Lie
8. Who Loves You
9. Think About You
10. Love Is Better Kept

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Morrissey Mullen: Badness (1981)

Smooth Jazz duo Dick Morrissey and Jim Mullen produced seven albums over an eleven year period, between 1977 and 1988. Morrissey played Tenor Saxophone and Jim Mullen was a badass guitar virtuoso, voted the 5th best instrumental guitarist in a 1982 Blues and Soul readers poll.

There music together is Jazz Funk and this is probably their peak, reaching #43 in the UK album chart. Oddly, this was their first release for the British independent label Beggars Banquet, better known as a New Wave label. With acts like Gary Numan, Flesh For Lulu, The Cult and Gene Loves Jezebal, these two must have felt very out of place at the Christmas party.

Anyway, although there are instrumental tracks on here, songs with vocals provided by session singer Linda Taylor like ‘Do Like You’, ‘Stay A While’ and ‘Slipstream’ keep the album popping along. Having said all that, the instrumental ‘Blue Tears’ is a real Crusaders like jam.

Let me know what you think.

Producer: Chris Palmer


Bass: Clive Chaman

Drums: Chris Ainsworth

Guitar: Jim Mullen

Keyboards: John Critchinson

Percussion: Chris Fletcher

Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Flute: Dick Morrissey

Vocals: Linda Taylor


  1. Do Like You
  2. Dragonfly
  3. Stay Awhile
  4. Blue Tears
  5. Badness
  6. Pass The Music On
  7. Slipstream

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Leslie Smith: Heartache (1982)

Former Crackin’ lead singer and California Raisin (really) produced his first solo in 1982. It’s a masterpiece of yachty funk/soul. He covers Brenda Russell’s ‘Its Something’ amongst others, but what really attracted it to Westcoast crowd was his cover of Airplay’s ‘Nothing You Can do About It’.

If you’re reading this there’s a good chance that you’ve already heard this album, but it bears repeating for those of you unfortunate enough to have missed this classic.

See what you think.

Producers: Peter Bunetta & Rick Chudacoff


Electric Guitar: Brian Ray

Bass: Rick Chudacoff

Drums: Peter Bunetta

Keyboards: Bill Elliott, Rick Chudacoff & Bill Elliott

Sitar: Kal David

Percussion: Arno Lucas, Peter Bunetta & Joe Lala

Horns: Gary Herbig, Kurt McGettrich & Alan Kaplan

Backing Vocals: Anita Sherman, Anna Pagan, Arno Lucas, Arno McCuller, Kal David, Leslie Smith, Matthew Weiner


1. It’s something

2. I’m on the outside looking in

3. Before the night is over

4. Don’t shut the door (on my love)

5. Dream on

6. Nothin’ you can do about it

7. Love’s a heartache

8. Do you still remember me

9. If you’re in love

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Taffy McElroy: The Heartbreak Kid (1981)

Rebecca ‘Taffy’ McElroy is another artist with a ‘one and done’ album, produced by Rob Galbraith who also released a Westcoast album ‘Throw Me A Bone’ back in 1976. As a side note, his song ‘Tell Me With Your Eyes (Just Be You)’ appeared on the excellent Numero compilation ‘Wayfaring Strangers – Private Yacht’ a few years ago.

She interprets a couple of Robert Byrne tracks, ‘Who’s That Look In Your Eye’ and ‘ That Didn’t Hurt Too Bad’ as well as an obligatory Rob Galbraith song, a Randy Goodrum number ‘If I Hadn’t Met You’ and George Benson’s ‘What’s On Your Mind’, which all add up to a great Westcoast album, with lovely vocals and brilliant playing. Top notch stuff. We could do with a re-release.

Incidentally, I contacted her some years ago for an article I was writing for Nick Mawson’s Westcoast Magazine, but she took ages to get back to me and by the time she did I had written the article. Its a shame as I was interested to know why she only managed one album. Further investigation shows that she managed one more track on the soundtrack to a long forgotten teen film ‘Hockey Night’. The track is called ‘Making A Stand’, standard AOR soundtrack fluff. Its on YouTube if you are curious.

Two album covers? The one on the right is from the Japanese release. Anyway, see what you think…

Producer: Rob Galbraith

Drums: David Accorso, Kenny Malone, Larrie Londin, Steve Brantley
Bass: Warren Govers, Steve Brantley
Guitars: Bruce Dees, Reggie Young, Larry Byrom, Don Roth, Sonny Garrish
Keyboards: Rob Galbraith, Bobby Ogdin
Percussion: Farrell Morris
Horns: Wayne Harrison, George Tidwell, Denis Solee
Background Vocals: Bruce Dees, Steve Brantley, Lea Jane Berinati, Donna McElroy, Marcia Routh, Rob Galbraith

1. Who’s that look in your eye
2. The heartbreak kid
3. When it’s gone
4. I want you to be the first
5. If I hadn’t met you
6. You can always count me
7. That didn’t hurt too bad
8. What’s on you mind
9. Out of my mind
10. Then you can tell me good-bye

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Iguana: The Winds of Alamar (1977)

Here’s another slightly obscure one for you. I managed to acquire a copy of the 1977 reissue on vinyl a few weeks ago, but it was originally released privately by the band in 1976. The 1977 version has a (only) slightly more interesting cover of the lads on a beach. The original has a drawing of an Iguana, naturally.

Recorded in Nashville, it has the light country rock touches that one would expect, but they are not overt, with fantastic harmonies to boot. Closer to Pablo Cruise or Firefall than the Eagles or JD Souther, this one ticks all my boxes. It’s as smooth as you have come to expect from me, great tunes and with only eight tracks it keeps you wanting more without outstaying its welcome.

Let me know what you think.

Producers: Arthur Bod & Don Falk


Bass: Don Falk

Drums: Liberty Overman, Kenny Buttrey

Guitar: Shaw Hayes, Don Falk, Budge Wetherspoon, Arthur Bod

Piano: Judge Ruffin

Keyboards: Judge Ruffin

Vocals: Shaw Hayes, Don Falk, Budge Wetherspoon, Arthur Bod, Florence Warner


  1. Dream Song
  2. Eulogy (Time Waits For No Man)
  3. Sailing Ships
  4. Fine Line
  5. Your Love
  6. Happy One-Sad One
  7. Romancin’
  8. Nighthawk

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Incarnations: With All Due Respect (2010)

Here’s a curiosity for you, it harks back to the late sixties Laurel Canyon sound, touches of psychedelia and folk, drawing from the likes of The Stones, CS&N, Love and The Byrds. You can imagine them sitting on a front porch jamming these tunes. ‘Meet Me At Midnight’, ‘Make You Mine’ and ‘The Selfish Guy’ are all great songs. They even sound a little like YGSF at times.

This was their only collaboration as Incarnations, which is a shame as I can’t help feeling that, had they persevered, their songcraft and musicianship would have carried them a long way.

Anyway, see what you think.

Producer: Incarnations


Bart Davenport, Daniel Collás & Quinn Luke (Bing Ji Ling)


  1. Make You Mine
  2. I Didn’t Know
  3. Meet Me At Midnight
  4. Let Love Find You
  5. Up From The Ground
  6. Hindi Ko Alam (An Ode To Friendship)
  7. The Selfish Guy
  8. There Must Be Love
  9. Sunset On Punta Paloma

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Laura Allan: Laura Allan (1978)

A must-have masterpiece for any Westcoast music fan. After having contributed as a background vocalist to various records, Laura Allan made her start as a soloist with this self-titled record. She has a delicate melodic touch and composes excellent songs.

The album features the usual who’s who of LA session musicians, especially the background vocalists. I can’t help feeling that if she had had MM and KL on the record she would have scored a royal flush.

Anyway, see what you think.

Producers: Chuck Plotkin and Greg Prestopino

Drums: Rick Marotta, Jim Keltner, Jeff Porcaro
Bass: Bob Glaub, Lee Sklar, Chuck Rainey, Abraham Laboriel
Electric Piano: Jay Winding, Craig Doerge, Bill Payne, Bill Elliott
Guitars: Waddy Watchel
Sax: Ernie Watts, Kim Hutchcroft, Larry Williams
Trumpets: Jerry Hey
Background Vocals: Laura Allan, Arnold McCuller, David Lasley, Bill Champlin, Wendy Waldman, Valerie Carter


  1. Opening up to you
  2. Slip and slide
  3. Come as you are
  4. Hole in my bucket
  5. One way ticket
  6. So fine
  7. Love can be
  8. Promises
  9. Yes I do
  10. Sunny day
  11. Stairway

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Emilio Palame Band: Be Who You Are (2009)

This is a bit of a curiosity. Emilio Palame is an actor of some repute (you’ll recognise him when you see him), but also seems to have maintained a successful, parallel musical career, having worked with the likes of Connie Stevens and Peggy Lee. So, if his career has been a mixed bag, so is this album. Essentially, it’s a Contemporary Jazz album and I suspect that this music has been boiling inside of him for some time just bursting to get out.

Each song is preluded by a piano piece, presumably from Emilio himself and it seems to work well. On the downside, it makes the album a little long, and those that know me will be aware that I’m not keen on an overly long album. I prefer them short and sweet.

It’s also worth mentioning that Richard ‘Moon’ Calhoun, from the band Rufus’ also sings lead and contributes to the production of the album. Anyway, see what you think.

Producer: Emilio Palame & Richard ‘Moon’ Calhoun


Lead vocals: Emilio Palame, Richard ‘Moon’ Calhoun & Ken Stacey
Keyboards: Emilio Palame
Lead vocals: Richard ‘Moon’ Calhoun, Ken Stacey, Emilio Palame & Morris O’Connor
Background vocals: Ken Stacey, Richard ‘Moon’ Calhoun & Chuck Wansley
Alto Sax: Eric Marienthal, Carol Chaikin & Stan Sargeant
Trumpet: Anne King & Willie Murillo
Tenor Sax: Carol Chaikin & Eric Marienthal
Trombone: Steve Baxter & Alisha Marie Ard
Bass: Stan Sergeant & Morris O’Connor
Guitar: Morris O’Connor & John Chiodini


01 Freefall

02 Piano Relude To Emily’s Dancing Eyes
03 Emily’s Dancing Eyes
04 Piano Prelude To We Are Love 
05 We Are Love
06 Piano Prelude To Be Who You Are
07 Be Who You Are 08 Piano Prelude To Runaway
09 Runaway
10 Piano Prelude To New Day 
11 New Day
12 Piano Prelude To If We Can
13 If We Can
14 Piano Prelude To He’s Leavin’
15 He’s Leavin’
16 Piano Prelude To This Time Around
17 This Time Around
18 S’Easy Daddy
19 Piano Prelude To Graduation
20 Graduation
21 Piano Prelude To Without Words
22 Without Words
23 Home

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Mike Finnigan: Black and White (1978)

Piano led Westcoast soft rock. This was his second go at solo stardom whilst maintaining a distinguished career as a session keyboard player for some of the music industry’s greatest talents, Hendrix, Frampton, Joplin, CSN to name just a few. He did form The Dudek Finnigan Krueger Band and they released one album in 1980. I haven’t heard it, but then I’ve never been keen on Les Dudek’s stuff.

Anyway, let me know what you think?

Producer: Ron Nevison

Drums: Jeff Porcaro, James Gadson, Rick Jaeger
Bass: Bob Glaub, Gerald Johnson
Piano: Mike Finnigan, Max Gronenthal, Dave Mason
Organ: Mike Finnigan
Guitars: Les Dudek, Jim Krueger
Percussion: Bobbye Hall
Background Vocals: Myrna Matthews, Marti McCall, Melissa MacKay

Tracks:1. Just one minute more
2. How wrong can you be
3. The words
4. Can’t keep a secret
5. I could never leave
6. Sailfish
7. Expressway to your heart
8. Love might keep us forever
9. Let me love you
10. Hideway from love

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Mackey Feary & Nite Life (1983)

This was his third album outside of Kalapana and, in my humble opinion, its one of his best. It may even pip his debut solo album for top spot. That’s if it were a race, which it isn’t.

This one funks along nicely, in that Hawaiin AOR style of Kalapana, Summer or Mike Lundy, whilst avoiding the hotel cabaret sound that seemed to permeate many of the releases of their contemporaries. Phase 7 spring to mind.

Anyway, see what you think.

Producer: Rick Keefer & Gaylord Holomalia


Guitar & Vocals: Mackey Feary

Bass & Backing Vocals: Kenji Sano

Vocals: Maurice Bega

Drums:  Gerry Davis

Keyboards: George Tavy

Sax: Gordon Uchima


  1. Stop Running From Love     
  2. Marci          
  3. Don’t Change Your Mind Tonight    
  4. Such Hot Stuff         
  5. You, In My Life       
  6. Biggest Part of Me 
  7. Love Is Blind            
  8. I Will Always Be For You      
  9. Love Is On My Mind              
  10. Apartment #703     

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