Archive

Archive for the ‘In the middle of the road’ Category

Not Feeling Guilty Mix Vol. 11

April 13th, 2021 6 comments

 

In the latest installment of the Not Feeling Guilty series, we are looking at singers whose names sound like those of school teachers; that is, artists who went by their given names, regardless of how ordinary and un-rock & roll they were (the gallery below, which is intended to inject a little gentle humour into the proceedings, might bear out my point. A bigger version of the collage is included in the package). You weren’t going to become a big star with the name Ruhnke (though LaBounty is a pretty cool name).

Many of these singers also looked like they might have been your teacher. And that is not a slur on teachers nor the artists. These singers were recording artists, not creations of image. Their names, bad beards and bald heads assured us that they were here to create music, for the sake of music. Their craft was honest. And, as this mix shows, there was plenty talent behind the ordinary names. If their music’s point is to make you feel good, these people have probably succeeded.

Only few of the acts here struck it really big, though one is married to a man who is one of the godfathers of this genre. Amy Holland married Michael McDonald, who produced and played keyboards on the featured song, the title track of the album which won her a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist in 1981. Holland and McDonald have been married since 1983.

The biggest hit here is Alan O’Day’s Undercover Angel, which was a US #1 and a global hit. It wasn’t his first chart-topper: three years earlier his composition Angie Baby was a #1 hit for Helen Reddy. He also co-wrote the The Righteous Brothers’ 1974 hit Rock And Roll Heaven (originally by a group called Climax). Later O’Day won an Emmy for his music on the Muppets Babies show. O’Day, whose hairline moved forward as he got older, died at 72 in 2013.

US-born and Australia-raised Steve Kipner had some success as a young man in Australia, sang backing vocals on a number of the Bee Gees’ early recordings (which were produced by his father), and had a couple of hits as part of the band Tin Tin. He released only one solo album, in 1979. But his greater success came as the co-writer of a string of hit records spanning four decades. These include Olivia Newton-John’s Physical, Chicago’s Hard Habit To Break, Christina Aguilera’s Genie In A Bottle, Natasha Bedingfield’s These Words, The Hardest Thing by 98 Degrees, He Loves U Not by Dream, Kelly Rowland’s Stole, The Script’s Breakeven and The Man Who Can’t Be Moved, Cheryl Cole’s Fight for This Love, Camilla Cabello’s Crying In The Club, James Arthur’s Say You Won’t Let Go…

Another prolific songwriter was Bruce Roberts, whose co-writing credits includes the Donna Summer & Barbra Streisand disco classic No More Tears. He also co-wrote Streisand’s The Main Event, Bette Midler’s You’re Moving Out Today, Starmaker for Paul Anka/Judy Collins/The Kids from ‘Fame’, Rita Coolidge’s Fool That I Am, Laura Branigan’s The Lucky One, Dolly Parton’s You’re The Only One, Jeffrey Osborne’s You Should Be Mine (featured on Any Major Soul 1986/87), and more. He also co-wrote Lani Hall’s Where’s Your Angel?, which featured on Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 10.

 

If AOR singers were teachers…

 

Yet another singer here with an impressive record of writing hits for others is Randy Goodrum, to whom we owe, as writer or co-writer, the Ann Murray hit You Needed Me, Kenny Rogers & Dottie West’s What Are We Doin’ In Love, Steve Perry’s Oh Sherrie, DeBarge’s Who’s Holding Donna Now, Toto’s I’ll Be Over You, and George Benson’s 20/20, among others. Goodrum also wrote songs for Bill Clinton’s presidential campaigns.

Goodrum also wrote two other (colour-coordinated) songs here. Pop-gospel-country singer Micki Fuhrman recorded Goodrum’s Blue River Of Tears in 1979; it was a single release only, and made no impact, which is a pity. Fuhrman released three albums and a bunch of singles until 1983.

Goodrum’s Bluer Than Blue was a hit in 1978 for Michael Johnson, an musical all-rounder. As a youth, he studied classical guitar in Barcelona; in the 1960s he was a member alongside John Denver in the folk outfit Chad Mitchell Trio. In the late 1970s he ventured into AOR, and in the 1980s became a country musician. One of Johnson’s hits was This Night Won’t Last Forever, a US #19 in 1979, which features here in Bill LaBounty’s 1978 original version. Johnson died in 2017 at 72.

In the 1960s, the British musician Graham Dee — the only artist in this lot operating with a stagename; his real name is Davidson — worked with future Led Zep members Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, filled in for Syd Barrett in Pink Floyd and in Them, and played for Elkie Brooks, The Walker Brothers and Carl Perkins.

Near-namesake Larry Lee must not be confused with the guitarist of the same name who played with Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock. This Larry Lee was a founder member of the Ozark Mountains Daredevils. As the band’s drummer, Lee wrote and took lead vocals the band’s best-known song Judy Blue, which like the Warnes song mentioned above featured on Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 10. Later he joined The Vinyl Kings, with Not Feeling Guilty alumnus Jim Photoglo (introduced on Vol. 7).

Terence Boylan had cool classmates, who helped him record his debut album in 1969: Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, yet to become Steely Dan. Boylan released three LPs between 1969 and 1980, and that was it for his recording career. Happily, Boylan had science to fall back on. He is now director of a foundation he founded to facilitate research and international scientist exchange fellowships.

The best teachers’ name here must be Dick St Nicklaus. I couldn’t find much about him, except that he once worked with Lamont & Dozier, released two albums which were huge hits in Japan, and wrote a number of sings which were recorded by the likes of Laura Branigan, Peter Allen, Vanilla Fudge and Bill Medley.

Craig Ruhnke was introduced in Vol. 9, Peter McCann in Vol. 10. Oh, and I think I’ll opt for religious instruction classes.

As ever, this mix is timed to fit on as standard CD-R and includes home-cruised covers, the whole caboodle above in PDF format, and the yearbook gallery above in larger format. PW in comments.

1. Roby Duke – Seasons Of Change (1982)
2. Alan O’Day – Undercover Angel (1977)
3. Randy Goodrum – Fool’s Paradise (1982)
4. Amy Holland – How Do I Survive (1980)
5. Graham Dee – Too Good To Last (1977)
6. Jim Schmidt – Love Has Taken It All Away (1983)
7. Bill Champlin – Tonight Tonight (1981)
8. Bill LaBounty – This Night Won’t Last Forever (1978)
9. Craig Ruhnke – It’s Been Such A Long Time (1983)
10. Terence Boylan – Tell Me (1980)
11. Larry Lee – Number One Girl (1982)
12. John Valenti – Did She Mention Me (1980)
13. Teri De Sario – The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of (1978)
14. Dwayne Ford – Lovin’ And Losin’ You (1981)
15. Richard Torrance – Anything’s Possible (1978)
16. Dick St. Nicklaus – Can’t Give Up (1979)
17. Michael Johnson – Bluer Than Blue (1978)
18. Micki Fuhrman – Blue River Of Tears (1979)
19. Peter McCann – Do You Wanna Make Love (1977)
20. Bruce Roberts – Cool Fool (1980)
21. Steve Kipner – The Ending (1979)

GET IT! or HERE!

Not Feeling Guilty Mix 1
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 2
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 3
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 4
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 5
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 6
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 7
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 8
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 9
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 10

More CD-R Mixes

Not Feeling Guilty Mix Vol. 10

July 23rd, 2020 6 comments

 

Here we reach a decade of these Not Feeling Guilty mixes of 1970s/early-’80s songs that may be labelled AOR or MOR or — that horrible cliché — “yacht rock”. The series started in 2014 (well, in 2009, but it was relaunched six years ago), opening with Kenny Loggins’ song This Is It.

Since then, Loggins has featured four more times. Also featuring five times have been Player, while Ambrosia and Bobby Caldwell have appeared four times. Paul Davis joins them on four with this mix.

The record holder is Boz Scaggs, who has been represented six times; Bill LaBounty equals that record on this mix.

And then there’s the overlord of all AOR, Michael McDonald. He has featured three times solo, twice as a Doobie Brother, and who knows how many times as a backing singer, including on the aforementioned Kenny Loggins song (which is almost a duet with McDonald).

So with so many regulars, it’s notable how much space there has been for artists whom time has largely forgotten. As it was on previous Not Feeling Guilty mixes, there are quite a few of them here.

Lani Hall isn’t exactly obscure, having released 14 solo albums, after serving as lead singer for Sérgio Mendes & Brasil ’66 on hits like Mas Que Nada and The Fool On The Hill. She also sang the theme of the 1983 Bond film Never Say Never Again.

It would also be wrong to say that Peter McCann is obscure, though he is much better known as a songwriter and producer. As a recording artist he released two LPs. As a songwriter you might know as the co-writer of Whitney Houston’s Take Good Care Of My Heart, Earl Thomas Conley’s Nobody Falls Like A Fool, or Jennifer Warnes’ Right Time Of The Night, which also features on this mix.

You also found Byrne & Barnes more behind the scenes than in front of the microphone. Together they released just one 1981 album, but they made their mark as songwriters. Robert Byrne, who died in 2005, co-wrote hits such as How Do I Turn You On for Ronnie Milsap; and Earl Thomas Conley’s string of hits:  I Can’t Win For Losin’ You, Once In A Blue Moon, That Was A Close One and What I’d Say.

For Dave Raynor, the recording career as a singer also lasted for just one album. After that he made is way as a recording engineer and occasional guitarist.

Turley Richards may be better known as a rockabilly singer, a genre in which he had a classic 1959 hit with Makin’ Love With My Baby. In the 1970s he had some success as a country-rock singer; among the songs he recorded was the original version of You Might Need Somebody, later a hit for Randy Crawford and again for Shola Ama.

After his attempts at a solo career Joseph Williams became the lead singer of Toto between 1986 and 1988. He resumed a solo recording career, but also followed in the footsteps of his father John Wiliams as a film score composer.

English singer-songwriter Ian Gomm made his name as the rhythm guitarist for Brinsley Schwarz, being named “Best Rhythm Guitarist” by the New Musical Express in 1971. He later toured with acts like Dire Straits, while also running a recording studio in Wales, and releasing his own music. In 1979 he had a Top 20 US hit with Hold On, which features here. He also co-wrote Cruel To Be Kind with former Brinsley Schwarz bandmate Nick Lowe, who had a big hit with it in the UK and US in 1979.

As ever, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-basslined covers. PW in comments. Also, all previous mixes are up.

1. Dave Mason – Let It Go, Let It Flow (1977)
2. Turley Richards – I Will (1976)
3. Ozark Mountain Daredevils – Jackie Blue (1974)
4. Atlanta Rhythm Section – I’m Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight (1978)
5. Marilyn Scott – Highways Of My Life (1979)
6. Heat – Don’t You Walk Away (1980)
7. Dave Raynor – I Can’t Take It (1981)
8. Bill LaBounty – I Hope You’ll Be Very Unhappy Without Me (1975)
9. Peter McCann – Step Right Up (1979)
10. Lani Hall – Where’s Your Angel (1980)
11. Joseph Williams – That First Night (1982)
12. Brooklyn Dreams – I Won’t Let Go (1980)
13. Jennifer Warnes – Right Time Of The Night (1976)
14. Paul Davis – Sweet Life (1977)
15. Michael Johnson – Bluer Than Blue (1978)
16. Fred Knoblock – A Bigger Fool (1980)
17. Ian Matthews – Shake It (1978)
18. Greg Guidry – How Long (1982)
19. Byrne & Barnes – Love You Out Of Your Mind (1981)
20. Ian Gomm – Hold On (1978)
21. Peter Frampton – I Can’t Stand It No More (1979)
22. Stephen Bishop – It Might Be You (1982)

GET IT!

Not Feeling Guilty Mix 1
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 2
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 3
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 4
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 5
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 6
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 7
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 8
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 9
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 11

More CD-R Mixes

Not Feeling Guilty Mix Vol. 9

June 14th, 2018 7 comments

Just as I thought that I might have wrapped up the series of AOR stuff about which one need never feel guilty, I felt like putting together another mix — in fact, two, but presently I shall share the first of those; and the ninth in the series. This stuff is addictive.

Aside from an aversion to the letter G in the endin’ of a word and some really awful lyrics, the acts here share in common a knack for a good hook, and high standards of musicianship.

Some come from a jazz fusion background. Jeff Lorber is better-known as a fusion musician; doing vocals for him here are Arnold McCuller and Sylvia St. James. McCuller is a recording artist in his own right, having released six albums, but also has prolific track record in backing vocals, including on The Jackson’s Can You Feel It and Odyssey’s Native New Yorker. He has also backed two acts that appear on this mix: Brooklyn Dreams and Stephen Bishop — and Sylvia St. James on one of her two albums.

Brooklyn Dreams had greater success as the backing outfit for Donna Summer in the late 1970s than with their own records (they wrote Bad Girls, among other songs). The trio scored two minor hits; one of them was the track featured here, which has been liberally sampled in hip hop. Lead singer Joe Esposito went on to write scores for hit movies like Flashdance and The Karate Kid; keyboardist Bruce Sodano went on to marry Donna Summer.

Featured here as The Dukes, Dominic Bugatti & Frank Musker recorded also as a duo under their own names. But they made more of a mark as songwriters. Not everything they wrote was gold: our friends wrote the 1977 UK hit Reggae Like It Used To Be (which should have had as its subtitle A White Man’s Lament) for Paul Nicholas. They wrote another track featured here, Air Supply’s Every Woman In The World.

You might not know Junior Campbell, but you likely have heard his biggest hit: Reflections Of My Life, which he co-wrote as Marmalade’s lead guitarist with singer Dean Ford (the guitar solo is by Campbell). After leaving Marmalade in 1971, he scored a couple of UK hits with Hallelujah Freedom and Sweet Illusion. He later went into producing and arranging, as well as writing scores. In the latter endeavour, he wrote prolifically for the children”s TV series Thomas The Tank Engine.

Canadian singer Craig Ruhnke didn’t really have a great rock & roll name, and he looked more like a geography teacher than a rock star. Still, Mr Ruhnke was a regular on Canada’s airwaves, and periodically troubled the country”s charts. He also enjoyed attention in Japan, as you do. By 1983 he had founded his own independent label, from which the present track came. After a while he turned to producing music for commercials but continued to release new songs from time to time.

And if Ruhnke is not really the name to propel you to mega-stardom, the moniker Fred Knoblock is not likely to either. On the staff of Mr Ruhnke”s school, Mr Knoblock was the coach (others on the teaching body included Mesrrs. Walter Egan, James Felix, Bruce Hibbard and Stephen Bishop). Still, his name notwithstanding, Fred Knoblock has enjoyed a Top 20 hit, and his career has merited induction into the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame.

As ever, CD-R length, home-yachted covers, PW in comments.

1. Far Cry – The Hits Just Keep On Comin’ (1980)
2. Jackson Browne – Somebody’s Baby (1982)
3. James Felix – Open Up (1980)
4. Boz Scaggs – Georgia (1976)
5. Brooklyn Dreams – Music Harmony & Rhythm (1977)
6. Jeff Lorber – Your Love Has Got Me (1981)
7. The Dukes – So Much In Love (1982)
8. Walter Egan with Stevie Nicks – Magnet And Steel (1980)
9. Jim Capaldi – That”s Love (1983)
10. Robbie Dupree – Free Fallin’ (1981)
11. Fonda Feingold – Feelin’ Your Love (1978)
12. Eric Tagg – A Bigger Love (1982)
13. Pablo Cruise – Atlanta June (1977)
14. Craig Ruhnke – Give Me The Nighttime (1983)
15. Stephen Bishop – Save It For A Rainy Day (1976)
16. Air Supply – Every Woman In The World (1980)
17. Junior Campbell – Highland Girl (1978)
18. Karla Bonoff – Personally (1982)
19. Fred Knoblock – It”s Over (1980)
20. Bruce Hibbard – Never Turnin’ Back (1980)

GET IT!

 

Not Feeling Guilty Mix 1
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 2
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 3
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 4
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 5
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 6
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 7
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 8

Categories: In the middle of the road Tags:

Not Feeling Guilty Mix Vol. 8

September 28th, 2017 7 comments

Here is the eighth Not Feeling Guilty mix — and about time, too. The last one was in October, since when Valerie Carter, featured here on track 9, has died.

I don’t think there any acts left to introduce in this lot. The famous ones you know, and the not famous ones I’ve written about before.

So, everything is self-explanatory and you know how it works: CD-R length, home-crafted covers, PW in comments.

1. Steely Dan – FM (1978)
2. Doobie Brothers – Minute By Minute (1978)
3. Gary Wright – Love Is Alive (1975)
4. Boz Scaggs – It’s Over (1976)
5. Bill LaBounty – Comin’ Back (1982)
6. Robbie Dupree – Brooklyn Girls (1981)
7. Ambrosia – If Heaven Could Find Me (1978)
8. David Roberts – Boys Of Autumn (1982)
9. Valerie Carter – Lady In The Dark (1978)
10. Rupert Holmes – Let’s Get Crazy Tonight (1978)
11. Dr. Hook – Sexy Eyes (1979)
12. Paulinho Da Costa with Bill Champlin – Seeing Is Believing (1979)
13. Pages – Who”s Right, Who”s Wrong (1979)
14. Paul Davis – ’65 Love Affair (1981)
15. Lauren Wood – Work On It (1981)
16. Orleans – Love Takes Time (1979)
17. Jim Photoglo – More To Love (1981)
18. Player – Let Me Down Easy (1978)
19. Atlanta Rhythm Section – Imaginary Lover (1978)
20. Christopher Cross – The Light Is On (1979)

GET IT!

Not Feeling Guilty Mix 1
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 2
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 3
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 4
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 5
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 6
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 7
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 9
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 10
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 11

Not Feeling Guilty Mix Vol. 7

October 13th, 2016 8 comments

Not Feeling Guilty Mix Vol. 7

Man, how I enjoy this mix, the seventh in the Not Feeling Guilty series of songs one might call soft rock, or smooth rock, or the dreadful term “yacht rock”. I”ve played it so much in my car, the bitrate is deteriorating!

If you share my view that no such mix is complete without the sound of Michael McDonald“s distinctive baritone but are puzzled by his omission upon perusal of the tracklisting “” assuming that this is what you do before you read my blurbs, if you remember to read them “” take heart. The half-man, half-beard appears on two songs here: singing with Lauren Wood and helping out former Ambrosia frontman David Pack, alongside his pal James Ingram.

David Pack has featured previously in this series as lead singer of Ambrosia”s great soft rock hits The Biggest Part Of Me (Vol. 3), How Much I Feel (Vol. 1)and You”re The Only Woman (Vol. 5). Pack has since become a successful  producer, and was the music director for the 1993 and 1997 presidential inaugurations of Bill Clinton.

Lauren Wood is perhaps best known for her hit from the 1990 film Pretty Woman, Fallen. Her 1979 debut album featured McDonald, drummers Jim Keltner, Alvin Taylor and Jeff Porcaro (and his Toto mates Lukather and Hungate), bassist Abraham Laboriel, saxophonist Andrew Love (half of the Memphis Horns) and Little Feat”s Fred Tackett  and Bill Payne, the latter of whom contributes a synth solo on Please Don”t Go.

And then there is Pages, a group that sounds like Michael McDonald should be singing backing vocals with. Pages” two regular members, lead singer-bassist Richard Page and keyboardist Steve George, who would have greater success later in the 1980s as founder members of Mr Mister. Before Pages, the two and other future collaborators backed Andy Gibb on his big 1977 hit I Want To Be Your Everything. Their song Who”s Right, Who”s Wrong was later covered by both Kenny Loggins (on Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 4) and to wonderful effect by Al Jarreau & Randy Crawford. That original version might yet appear in a future Not Feeling Guilty mix.

pages

You might wonder whether I”ve lost my sequencing mind, putting Alice Cooper and Seals & Crofts after one another. Isn”t Alice Cooper more liable to bite off Crofts” head and then proceed to bash Seals? Well, here we catch Cooper in a smooth rock mood, and Seals & Crofts are waking grandma with some relatively loud guitars. But fear not for Cooper, who on his live album of the same year, 1977, sandwiched his soft You And Me between songs titled Devil”s Food, The Black Widow, I Love The Dead and Go To Hell.

Really serious movie buffs may recognise the name Chris Montan. Once a soft-rock singer, Montan is now president of Walt Disney Music, which means that the music in Disney and Pixar movies from Pocahontas and Toy Story in 1995 to more recently Frozen are ultimately Montan”s responsibility.

Richard Clapton is not always a soft-rock kind of guy. The versatile Australian can rock hard, and even dabbled with the sounds of new wave. His The Great Escape LP was a favourite of mine when it came out in 1982. Not all of it has aged well, but The Best Years Of Our Lives, featured here, and the slow-burning Walk On Water are still very good tracks.

You don”t often get a marimba solo in rock music, but there it is on Starbuck“s 1976 hit Moonlight Feels Right. I am glad to know that the corporate coffeehouse chain of similar moniker did not take their name from this Mississippi group (it was borrowed from a minor character in Moby Dick). I trust you downloaded the Any Major Coffee mixes (Vol. 1 and Vol. 2) and agree with my plea to use independent coffee places instead of McStarbucks.

The coolest name here must be Jim Photoglo, which sounds like the sort of name the bassist of A Flock of Seagulls should have (disappointingly, his name was the rather glamourless Frank Maudsley). Very pleasingly, Photoglo is the singer”s real name. After his career as a soft-rock singer he became the bass player for Dan Fogelberg “” another artist whose real name sounds made-up and who features here “” and a country songwriter for an impressive list of stars. He still releases records as a folk singer.

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R, and includes covers. PW in comments. Feel free to leave a comment in that section; even if you have nothing important to say, a hello and thanks is always appreciated.

1. Kenny Loggins & Stevie Nicks – Whenever I Call You “˜Friend” (1978)
2. Boz Scaggs – Lowdown (1976)
3. James Walsh Gypsy Band – Cuz It”s You Girl (1978)
4. Jim Photoglo – Fool In Love With You (1981)
5. Bobby Caldwell – Carry On (1982)
6. Pages – You Need A Hero (1981)
7. Nicolette Larson – Isn”t It Always Love (1979)
8. David Pack – I Just Can”t Let Go (1985)
9. Dan Fogelberg – Heart Hotels (1979)
10. David Roberts – Anywhere You Run To (1982)
11. Alice Cooper – You And Me (1977)
12. Seals & Crofts – Nobody Gets Over Loving You (1979)
13. America – You Can Do Magic (1982)
14. Starbuck – Moonlight Feels Right (1976)
15. Lauren Wood – Please Don”t Leave (1979)
16. Walter Egan – Magnet And Steel (1978)
17. Chris Montan – Intentions (1980)
18. Richard Clapton – The Best Years Of Our Lives (1982)
19. Bill Champlin – Fly With Me (1978)
20. Bertie Higgins – Just Another Day In Paradise (1982)

GET IT!

Not Feeling Guilty Mix 1
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 2
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 3
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 4
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 5
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 6
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 7
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 8
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 9
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 10
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 11

Not Feeling Guilty Mix Vol. 6

March 31st, 2016 4 comments

Not Feeling Guilty Mix Vol. 6

Six mixes in, and still not feeling guilty. This kind of music has an inexhaustible well.

Most of the artists here have featured before or are well-known, such as Carole King who is making her series debut here.

I”m not quite sure whether Donnie Iris really belongs here; his Do You Compute sounds sufficiently like it might be a Toto song, albeit with a touch of American New Wave. Anyway, I think it fits. The song was used to promote the game console and computer company Atari.

Dave Mason was, of course, a member of Traffic, for whom he wrote the iconic Hole In My Shoe and Feelin” Alright. As a solo artist he previously featured on The Jim Keltner Collection Vol. 1. We Just Disagree, the 1977 track featured here, was Mason”s biggest solo hit, peaking at #12 in the US.

Jess Roden also had a Traffic connection: he collaborated with both Jim Capaldi and Steve Winwood. Apart from fronting several bands, Roden was a songwriter and backing singer, doing vocals in the late 1960s/early 1970s on albums by the likes of The Who, Jim Capaldi, Sandy Denny and Mott the Hoople, and also backed Grace Jones on her 1981hit Pull Up To My Bumper.

Larry John McNally released very little music himself: three LPs and a clutch of singles. He was more of a songwriter, providing songs for the likes of Bonnie Raitt (Nobody’s Girl; Slow Ride), Rod Stewart (The Motown Song), Joe Cocker (Long Drag Off A Cigarette), Chaka Khan (Sleep On It; A Woman In A Man’s World), Mavis Staples (I Don’t Want To Lose My Real Good Thing), Aaron Neville (Struttin’ On Sunday; Somewhere, Somebody), the Eagles (I Love To Watch A Woman Dance), among others.

The excellent female vocals on Boz Scaggs” Miss Sun are by Lisa Dal Bello, who had previously sung it on a demo for Toto. When Toto passed the song on to Scaggs, the Canadian singer was invited to repeat her vocals.

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes covers. PW in comments.

1. Little River Band – It”s A Long Way There (1975)
2. Player – Silver Lining (1978)
3. Donnie Iris – Do You Compute (1982)
4. Carole King – Lookin” Out For Number One (1982)
5. Santana – Hold On (1981)
6. Boz Scaggs – Miss Sun (1980)
7. Eric Tagg – Promises Promises (1982)
8. The Doobie Brothers – Real Love (1980)
9. Bobby Caldwell – Coming Down From Love (1980)
10. Dave Mason – We Just Disagree (1977)
11. Chicago – Take Me Back To Chicago (1977)
12. Dan Fogelberg & Tim Weisberg – The Power Of Gold (1978)
13. Pablo Cruise – Love Will Find A Way (1978)
14. Nicolette Larson – Dancin” Jones (1979)
15. Robbie Dupree – I”ll Be The Fool Again (1981)
16. Gino Vannelli – Living Inside Myself (1980)
17. Larry John McNally – Just Like Paradise (1981)
18. Jess Roden – Brand New Start (1980)
19. Crosby, Stills & Nash – Just A Song Before I Go (1977)
20. Jay Ferguson – Shakedown Cruise (1979)

GET IT!

Not Feeling Guilty Mix 1
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 2
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 3
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 4
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 5
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 6
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 7
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 8
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 9
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 10
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 11

Not Feeling Guilty Mix Vol. 5

August 27th, 2015 6 comments

Not Feeling Guilty Mix Vol. 5

Still not feeling guilty and the music is still great. Several artists here have featured before in this series; some more than once, such as Boz Scaggs, Bill LaBounty, Player, Michael McDonald, Rupert Holmes or England Dan & John Ford Coley. A fair few appear for the first time, and some of those are not very well known.

Rick Mathews is the most obscure of the lot. All I have on the guy is that he released two albums, 1981″s California Cologne and in 1991 Only The Young. California Cologne is a very good AOR album which seems to have made a bit of an impression in Japan. And that”s all I know. Does anybody know more?

The AOR genre was very male-orientated, and these mixes reflect that. Here we have three female voices: those of Stevie Nicks, Valerie Carter and Cathy Cooper. The latter teamed up with Jimmie Ross as Cooper & Ross, both members of a later version of doo wop group The Skyliners. As Cooper & Ross they released a sole LP in 1982, titled Bottom Line. Ross had been a member the Jaggerz, who had a hit in 1969 with The Rapper (he shared vocals with Donnie Iris, who will possibly feature on Volume 6). He has the reputation of being a fine blue-eyed soul singer, but is also a member of the Beaver County Musicians Hall of Fame. He still performs with the reunited Jaggerz. Cathy seems to be the same Kathy Cooper who co-wrote, with Rupert Holmes, the wonderful Echo Valley 2-6809 for The Partridge Family, which featured on Any Major Telephone Vol. 1.

Silver also released only one LP, a country-rock effort in 1976, produced by Clive Davis with the cover designed by the late comedian Phil Hartman. Their label, Arista, didn”t fancy any of the album”s tracks for single releases and instead gave them a song called Wham Bam to record. Given that these guys were serious musicians, they must have felt a bit silly singing “We”ve got a wham bam, shang-a-lang and a sha-la-la-la-la-la thing”. Still, they turned out a very catchy song with which they had their solitary hit, reaching #16 in the US.

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes covers. PW in comments

1. Ace – The Real Feeling (1975)
2. Boz Scaggs – Still Falling For You (1977)
3. Bill LaBounty – Trail To Your Heart (Sailing Without A Sail) (1979)
4. Chris Christian – Don’t Give Up On Us (1981)
5. Ambrosia – You’re The Only Woman (1980)
6. Valerie Carter – Crazy (1978)
7. Rupert Holmes – One Born Every Minute (1981)
8. The Beach Boys – Sail On, Sailor (1973)
9. Cooper & Ross – You’re The One (1982)
10. Greg Guidry – Are You Ready For Love (1982)
11. Bill Champlin – I Don’t Want You Anymore (1978)
12. Robbie Dupree – Hot Rod Hearts (1980)
13. Silver – Wham Bam (1976)
14. Rick Mathews – Movin’ On Up (1981)
15. Player – It’s For You (1980)
16. Paul Davis – I Go Crazy (1977)
17. England Dan & John Ford Coley – Love Is The Answer (1978)
18. Michael McDonald – That’s Why (1982)
19. Dan Fogelberg – Hard To Say Lyrics (1981)
20. Stevie Nicks & Don Henley – Leather And Lace (1981)
21. Firefall – You Are The Woman (1976)

GET IT!

Not Feeling Guilty Mix 1
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 2
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 3
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 4
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 5
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 6
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 7
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 8
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 9
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 10
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 11

Not Feeling Guilty Mix Vol. 4

March 12th, 2015 12 comments

Not Feeling Guilty Mix Vol. 4

And we”re still not feeling guilty. This is the fourth mix in the series, and I think there are still one or two good ones to come.

Kenny Loggins” Who”s Right, Who”s Wrong has been done much better by Randy Crawford and Al Jarreau on the wonderful Casino Lights album, but this version is notable for the backing singer: Michael Jackson.

Bill LaBounty has featured on previous mixes “” his Living It Up is one of the best tracks on any of these mixes “” and he returns here with a 1979 re-recording of a song he had previously released in 1975. Incidentally, LaBounty released what might well be my favourite album of 2014, Into Something Blue.

Very few who”ll hear this mix will have any idea of Karl Kikillus is, and that isn”t surprising. Kikillus was a radio DJ in South Africa, and then the presenter of the country”s first pop video show in 1983, the year his jazzily grooving Another Shore was released, as a b-side to a song called Fallen Angel. As far as I know, that”s all Kikillus released.

Greg Guidry“s story had a sad ending. He wrote for the likes of Climax Blues Band, Robbie Dupree, Exile, Johnny Taylor, Sawyer Brown and Reba McEntire, but his 1982 album Over The Line was his only one for 18 years. In 2003 his charred body was found in his garage in an apparent suicide. He was 53.

Another singer featured here who died relatively young is Paul Davis, who is perhaps most famous for his hit I Go Crazy (covered to superior effect by Lou Rawls). In 1986 he survived being shot in the abdomen in a robbery in Nashville. He died from a heart attack in 2008, a day after his 60th birthday.

Eric Tagg featured before in this series, on Volume 3 with Is It You, though the credit went to jazz-fusion guitarist Lee Ritenour, with whom Tagg recorded several songs (and who produced the Dreamwalking album on which No One There, with a Rit solo, appears).. Indeed, he is probably best known for these, even though he released three LPs between 1975 and “82, and a fourth in 1997.

As always, this mix is timed to fit on a CD-R, and includes home-baked covers. PW in comments.

1. Average White Band – Atlantic Avenue (1979)
2. Steve Winwood – Valerie (1982)
3. Greg Guidry – (I”m) Givin” It Up (1982)
4. Karl Kikillus – Another Shore (1983)
5. Bobby Caldwell – Can”t Say Goodbye (1978)
6. Bill LaBounty – Lie To Me (1978)
7. Valerie Carter – What”s Become Of Us (1978)
8. Christopher Cross – Never Be The Same (1979)
9. Kenny Loggins – Who”s Right, Who”s Wrong (1979)
10. Firefall – Just Remember I Love You (1977)
11. Paul Davis – Cool Night (1981)
12. Sweet Comfort Band – Don”t Tell Me You Love Me (1979)
13. Michael McDonald – I Gotta Try (1982)
14. Adrian Gurvitz – Untouchable And Free (1979)
15. Eric Tagg – No One There (1982)
16. James Vincent – You”ll Be Right There (1980)
17. Elkie Brooks – Fool If You Think It”s Over (1981)
18. Little River Band – Reminiscing (1978)
19. Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds – Fallin” In Love (1975)
20. Stephen Bishop – On And On (1976)
21. Deliverance – Leaving L.A. (1979)

GET IT!

Not Feeling Guilty Mix 1
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 2
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 3
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 4
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 5
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 6
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 7
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 8
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 9
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 10
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 11

Categories: In the middle of the road Tags:

Not Feeling Guilty Mix Vol. 3

October 9th, 2014 15 comments

Not Feeling Guilty Mix Vol. 3

After two recycled mixes in this series, here”s a brand-new collection. This one is at least as good as the other two, with some glorious songs one doesn”t hear often today, even on radio stations that specialise in retro stuff. And because I have relaxed the no-duplication-of-artists rule, some acts return with tracks that are as good as those I picked for the first two mixes “” Ambrosia are one example; Boz Scaggs, Dan Folgelberg and Player others. And there is Kenny Loggins, a man who is unjustly maligned by some people.

His “Heart To Heart” is mighty, with its great bridge leading to the punchy chorus.  The thing was co-written with David Foster and Michael McDonald, who does backing vocals and keyboard duty. David Sanborn, operating in an era before he was the Kenny G it was sort of OK to like, adds a nice sax solo. It”s good to be alive when one hears that song.

As far as I can see, only one song here is a cover, Carly Simon”s version of The Doobie Brothers” “You Belong To Me”, later covered to good effect by soul singer Anita Baker.

As previously noted, the genre which some call yacht rock (I”ll watch the satirical series of the name one day, but, the cover above notwithstanding, I hate the moniker) or adult contemporary (yeurgh) was underpinned by top class session work, its practitioners often coming from the world of jazz fusion. Two songs here are in fact credited to fusion people: Lee Ritenour”s “Is It You”, with Eric Tagg on vocals, and Stanley Clarke & George Duke”s “Sweet Baby”. The Internet tells me some people don”t like the latter; I think it has a lovely vibe.

There will be a fourth mix. In the meantime, this lot is timed to fit on a CD-R, and includes home-knitted covers. PW in comments.

1. Boz Scaggs – Lido Shuffle (1976)
2. Hall and Oates – Say It Ain”t So (1983)
3. Kenny Loggins – Heart To Heart (1982)
4. Lee Ritenour with Eric Tagg – Is It You (1981)
5. Eddie Rabbitt – Suspicions (1979)
6. Ambrosia – The Biggest Part Of Me (1980)
7. Jim Messina – Seeing You (For The First Time) (1979)
8. Stanley Clarke/George Duke Project – Sweet Baby (1981)
9. Bill LaBounty – Never Gonna Look Back (1982)
10. Player – Givin” It All (1980)
11. Dan Fogelberg – Missing You (1982)
12. Robbie Dupree – Steal Away (1980)
13. Carly Simon – You Belong To Me (1978)
14. Gino Vanelli – I Just Want To Stop (1978)
15. Bertie Higgins – Key Largo (1982)
16. England Dan & John Ford Coley – We”ll Never Have To Say Goodbye Again (1978)
17. Orleans – Dance With Me (1975)
18. Nicolette Larson – Give A Little (1978)
19. Elvin Bishop – Fooled Around And Fell In Love (1975)
20. Andrew Gold – Lonely Boy (1976)

GET IT!

Not Feeling Guilty Mix 1
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 2
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 3
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 4
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 5
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 6
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 7
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 8
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 9
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 10
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 11

Categories: In the middle of the road Tags:

Not Feeling Guilty Mix Vol. 2

July 31st, 2014 28 comments

Not Feeling Guilty Mix Vol. 2

The first Not Feeling Guilty mix went down well, and if comments to the post, by e-mail and Facebook (click here to become my friend) are an indication, my rant against the false notion of “guilty pleasures” expressed what many felt.

So here is the second mix. I can’t see much to feel guilty about here. Anyone who might be ashamed of secretly enjoying the sounds of Boz Scaggs does not deserve to hear music. Anyone who dismisses Christopher Cross as a cheesy two-hit wonder self-evidently hates music (yes, VH-1, I mean you). Anyone who fails to funk along, even just a little bit, to the Larsen-Feiten Band, Pablo Cruise or the Climax Blues Band has no ryhthm in their soul. Not that I ought to make anyone feel guilty about not liking music.

The inclusion of Todd Rundgren might raise some eyebrows. Well, I consider his 1970 track a progenitor of the whole soft rock genre. See whether you agree or not.

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R. PW in comments.

1. Doobie Brothers – Listen To The Music (1972)
2. Boz Scaggs – JoJo (1980)
3. Larsen-Feiten Band – Who Will Be The Fool Tonight (1980)
4. Pablo Cruise – Watcha Gonna Do (1977)
5. Climax Blues Band – Couldn’t Get It Right (1976)
6. Atlanta Rhythm Section – So Into You (1976)
7. JD Souther – You’re Only Lonely (1979)
8. James Taylor – Your Smiling Face (1977)
9. Rickie Lee Jones – Chuck E’s In Love (1979)
10. Andrew Gold – Never Let Her Slip Away (1978)
11. Jay Ferguson – Thunder Island (1977)
12. Boston – Amanda (1986)
13. Kansas – Dust In The Wind (1977)
14. Poco – A Good Feelin’ To Know (1972)
15. King Harvest – Dancing In The Moonlight (1972)
16. Sutherlands Brothers & Quiver – Arms Of Mary (1975)
17. Albert Hammond – The Peacemaker (1973)
18. Loggins & Messina – Watching the River Run (1977)
19. Christopher Cross – All Right (1983)
20. Todd Rundgren – We Gotta Get You A Woman 1970)
21. Little River Band – The Night Owls (1981)

GET IT!

Not Feeling Guilty Mix 1
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 3
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 4
Not Feeling Guilty Mix 5
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 6
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 7
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 8
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 9
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 10
Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 11