Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Vinyl Exams: 1981: A busy time for Joe Walsh, Joe Vitale & Bill Szymczyk

By the end of 1980, the Eagles had broken up under a cloud of strained relations and fatigue, but 1981 began to see the members get back into the music scene.

Joe Vitale had been playing with Joe Walsh since the Barnstorm days and toured with the Eagles on their last tour as an auxiliary musician
Wikipedia lists the recording of Vitale's solo album "Plantation Harbor" as 1979-80 (probably in spurts around Eagles/Walsh commitments). Produced by Bill Szymczk , longtime Eagles/ Walsh producer. more on this album later...

Szymczk also stayed busy taking on the monumental task of producing The Who's first album since Keith Moon's death "Face Dances". 

Criticized at the time for not rocking enough and sounding more like a Townshend solo album, the album still has some moments. "You Better You Bet" is still in their live setlist today and Entwistle's contributions provided the most energetic moments.
The Who "You"

1981 also saw the release of Mickey Thomas (from Jefferson Starship) solo album "Alive Alone", also produced by Bill Szymczyk. This is was a contractual album Thomas owed Elektra Records. 

Musicians include Vitale on Drums, keyboards and percussion, Don Felder, & George "Chocolate" Perry. It features a Henley/Frey song "Too Much Drama". I enjoy the cover of Cream's "Badge" and 
               the title track written by Jules Shear, "Alive Alone".

Add to that Vitale and Walsh's extensive involvement with John Entwistle's 1981 solo album "Too Late the Hero"
While not a commercial success, it featured the rock radio track "Talk Dirty' and the epic title track (one of Enwistle's best).
                                       "talk Dirty"

                           "Too Late the Hero"
Of course Walsh, with heavy involvement from Vitale and producer Bill Szymczyk , also released his solo album "There Goes the Neighborhood" in the Summer of 1981 . 
It featured the single "a Life of Illusion" and the album rock radio track "Rivers of the Hidden Funk" . I'd also recommend "Made Your Mind Up", one of Walsh's greatest ballads, and "Things", combining his humor with bittersweet feelings.
                             "A Life of Illusion"

                         "Rivers of the Hidden Funk" w/ Don Felder

                              "Made Your Mind Up"

I highly recommend the previously mentioned "Plantation Harbor" album. I discovered in the late 90's. (I found an album in great shape and later sold on EBay for around $75!)

It was like getting extra Joe Walsh record. 
There are some strong memorable songs and features some great guest appearances from Mickey Thomas, Don Felder, the Chicago horn section, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, and Timothy B. Schmit. Marilyn Martin, probably best best known for her #1 duet with Phil Collins "Separate Lives' contributes some excellent backing vocals reminiscent of Stevie Nicks. 

                                            "Man Gonna Love You" 
with Marilyn Martin & Don Felder
                      " Never Gonna Leave You Alone"   
                  with Mickey Thomas & Joe Walsh 

   "The Lady on the Rock" 
w/ Joe Walsh, Don Felder. co-written by Stephen Stills

If you want to stretch out the timeline a little, in 1982 Joe Walsh contributed one of the iconic guitar solo's to ex-bandmate Don Henley's "Dirty Laundry". All of the Eagles, except Glenn Frey contributed songs to the "Fast Times at Ridgemont high" soundtrack. Walsh's "Waffle stomp" was a silly romp that Summer. 
1982 also saw Walsh and Vitale (on one track) record with Ringo Starr for his "Old Wave" release. Walsh produced and played on most tracks.  Released in certain countries in 1983, the album didn't get released in the US until the 90's. 

                          "Waffle Stomp"
                       Ringo Starr "In My Car"

I was fortunate enough to see Joe Walsh live last week in Washington,D.C. Joe Vitale was back playing drums and keyboards with him. 

Joe Vitale 2015 interview

Friday, April 24, 2015

Some thoughts on concert live streaming..

It’s a Tuesday night. You’ve worked a hard day. There’s a show 45 miles from home that you’d be more apt to attend if it was on a weekend . Too bad there’s not an alternative way to see the show... Wait! There is!