Our April reviews include albums by Bill House, Art Garfunkel, Katy Moffatt, Christopher Cross and Fleetwood Mac.
“Give Me A Break” by Bill House (1974)
“Give Me A Break” by Bill House from 1974 was produced by legendary West Coast producer Terry Melcher (The Byrds) and his old “Bruce & Terry” buddy and Beach Boy Bruce Johnston. The album impresses with great songwriting and a warm atmosphere. The single “You’re No Better Than A Common Thief” is the album’s standout track, saved from oblivion by DJ Supermarket when he chose the song for his legendary Nite Flyte mix. This album is a true West Coast music gem!
“Breakaway” by Art Garfunkel (1975)
In 1975 Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel reunited for one top-ten single: “My Little Town”. This “nasty” song (Paul Simon to Art Garfunkel: “You sing too many sweet songs!”) ended up on Garfunkel’s album “Breakaway”. His second solo-record impressed furthermore with a tasteful selection of song material like Stevie Wonder’s “I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever)”, Bruce Johnston’s “Disney Girls”, the Flamingos‘ hit “I Only Have Eyes for You” and one of Garfunkel‘s best solo-releases, the title track “Breakaway”. Responsible for the sophisticated musical backdrop was a armada of stars and studio aristocrats like Stephen Bishop, Jay Clayton, Steve Cropper, David Crosby and Andrew Gold – conducted by producer Richard Perry. “Breakaway” became Garfunkel’s most sucessful solo album.
“Kissin’ In The California Sun” by Katy Moffatt (1977)
Katy Moffatt’s album “Kissin’ In The California Sun” is a delightful mix of country, folk, rock and pop from 1977, featuring Dickie Betts, Chuck Leavell (Sea Level), Waddy Wachtel, Neil Larsen, the Allman Brothers rhythm section and the Muscle Shoals Horn Section, among others. Her second album for Columbia unfortunately did not bring her commercial breakthrough. In the following years Moffatt worked as a background singer for artists such as Willie Nelson, Jimmy Buffett, Poco, John Prine, Tanya Tucker and Lynn Anderson.
“Another Page” by Christopher Cross (1983)
With his second album “Another Page”, Christopher Cross could not repeat the enormous success of his debut with four Top 40 hits and five Grammy Awards. But it is still a wonderfully breezy pop record with a number of classics like “No Time for Talk”, “Think of Laura” and the outstanding “All Right”. There was no shortage of support: the guys from Toto, Carl Wilson, Don Henley, J.D. Souther, Art Garfunkel and Karla Bonoff played on this album. But times had changed: by 1983 MTV already ruled the world. A West Coast classic!
“Tango In The Night” by Fleetwood Mac (1987)
Fleetwood Mac’s “Tango In The Night” from 1987 was unfortunately the last studio album with Lindsey Buckingham for more than 15 years and a big commercial comeback for the band. The production, for which Buckingham was primarily responsible, is high-class – but I personally prefer the smooth, warm sound of their 70’s albums. “Seven Wonders”, “Everywhere”, “Little Lies”, “Family Man”…the hit-quality of the songs is gorgeous. Highlight is the Buckingham track “Big Love” which unfolds its real beauty in the live version on Mac’s “The Dance” from 1997. “Tango In The Night” became the second best-selling album of the Mac. But the relationship between Buckingham and the band was already shattered.