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Articles Home » 1988 Articles » Witness - 1988 Witness
Witness - 1988 Witness

ARTIST: Witness
ALBUM: Witness
LABEL: Arista
SERIAL: AL-8491 (LP), ARCD-8491 (CD)
YEAR: 1988
CD REISSUE: 2009, Yesterrock, 88697577722


LINEUP: Debbie Davis - vocals * Damon Johnson - guitars * Joey Huffman - keyboards, guitars * Eddie Usher - bass * Eddie Boyd - drums

Guests: Neal Schone, Danny Chauncey, Brad Gillis, Tim Pierce - guitars * Steve Smith - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Show Me What You Got * 02 Do It Til We Drop * 03 Am I Wrong * 04 Desperate Lover * 05 Let Me Be The One * 06 You're Not My Lover * 07 Jump Into The Fire * 08 When It Comes From The Heart * 09 Borrowed Time * 10 Back To You

One of the most sought after AOR albums ever. if you see this in a bargain bin, buy it and hock it off on Ebay for zillions! Believe me, some silly bugger will buy it for that price! Raved about at the time of release, and still raved about by those fortunate enough to own a CD of this, and much lusted after by those who don't. Primarily a project to showcase the talents of gorgeous singer Debbie Davis, and by crikey this girl can rock! She has the power of Alexa, mixed in with a bit of Sharon O'Neill on the softer stuff. The backing band I'm sure is a bit of an after-thought, as many of the industry's heavyweights play all over this album instead: Brad Gillis, Tim Pierce, Neal Schon and Steve Smith from Journey, and Danny Chauncey. No surprise then with the album being recorded at Fantasy Studios, home of Kevin Elson. He and Bill Drescher throw their production talent into this venture and give it the class which lifts it head and shoulders over mostly everything released during 1988.

The Songs
There are some incredibly powerful moments on here, with the songs being topped off by the class acts of Gillis and Schon in particular. You hear their trademark guitar signatures throughout, Gillis on 'Show Me What You Got' and 'When It Comes From The Heart' while Schon blazes away on the mindblowing 'Borrowed Time' and 'Back To You', the latter sounding musically like it could fit quite nicely on the 'Frontiers' album. 'You're Not My Lover' is wonderful stuff, and is better than the version Swedish band Dalton put out a year earlier on their album 'The Race Is On'. 'Let Me Be The One' is a deadringer for an Alexa/Only Child song you'd swear it was written by the Elephant Boy himself Paul Sabu. 'Am I Wrong' also sounds like a Sabu penned track, and struts along dangerously like a pair of high heeled shoes on Rodeo Drive. 'Desperate Lover' features the guitar wunderkind skills of Tim Pierce and is a fairly urgent slice of hard rock.

In Summary
You gotta hand it to Ms Davis, she really shines on this album, and it's a shame we never heard anything more from her after this one off album. Anyone with any information on her musical career after this can drop me a line. Witness as an album is right up there as one of the premier AOR/melodic rock releases of all time. As an aside, refer to our interview with Joey Huffman from Sept 2000 in the link below.

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#1 | sabace on April 05 2006 14:34:04
couldn't agree more, great songs, great music, amazing vocals!
#2 | jeffrey343 on April 08 2008 17:46:14
When I got this CD a little over a year ago, 'Do It Till We Drop' was the only song I didn't immediately love. It has grown on me a lot since then, but it would still be my least favorite. It was cool seeing the video for it - I didn't realize they shot any videos. If it is my least favorite, then I must think this is an awesome CD. I didn't realize Debbie Davis was as hot as she is.
#3 | jeffrey343 on April 08 2008 21:44:55
The production for this CD is so high that I'm not sure how much remastering could improve it Cool Does 'reloaded' mean bonus tracks? And hopefully more extensive liner notes (like with lyrics)? This being re-released will make a lot of people happy, unless they are trying to sell it for a huge profit on ebay.
#4 | gdazegod on April 08 2008 22:04:23
Even though I already have this on CD, I would be interested in acquiring the Rock Candy version, If I knew there was going to be bonus tracks or extensive liner notes.
#5 | Jez on June 13 2008 16:47:40
An absolute must have - beg, borrow or steal. Brilliant cd in all departments. Debbie Davis's vocals are superb and the guitar guests ( Schon, Gillis, Pierce) are awesome in places (check out Brad Gillis's solo on 'Show Me What You Got'). ESSENTIAL.
#6 | rostoned on June 23 2008 22:38:35
Original version of Witness album opener 'Show Me What You Got' can be heard and seen at the link below as performed by Mayday in 1985, during their reunion!

YouTube Video:

Fascinating or what?
And asked if he ever got royalties from Witness covering this song - after the HOL debacle - Steve says '...No - I didn't get paid a dime! I wonder if she did?? Ha ha!'
#7 | gdazegod on October 23 2008 13:09:07
Damn, that Debbie Davis is HOT! cheerleader in love worthy
#8 | reyno-roxx on July 25 2009 10:36:28
The news just released that yesterock/NL Distribution are releasing a reissue of the CD is certainly intriguing and further proves that dealing with major record labels on licensing can be an interesting experience.
I can reveal that, earlier this year, Derek Oliver invited me to work on the preparation of a long awaited - officially licensed from Sony - reissue of the Witness album for release through Rock Candy later this year.
The CD will, of course, be to the same excellent standard as music fans have come to expect from the label. This includes remastering, 4000 word essay and archive material supplied by band members (with the distinct possibility of bonus material).
Yup, the RC release has full involvement from keyboard player Joey Huffman and vocalist Debbie Davis, both co-founders of the band, and both have been extremely helpful in putting this project together.
It has been especially cool to get back in touch with Debbie for a highly informative catch up chat to the original interview I conducted with her for 'Kerrang!' when the album was first released in 1988. What's more, talking to them both about the album has encouraged them to think very seriously about a possible reunion for a tour!
Stay tuned for further details on the Rock Candy website and through all other AOR news outlets on the release date for this Remastered And Reloaded Rock Candy edition!
#9 | gdazegod on July 25 2009 13:22:07
Yes, I saw the Yesterrock press release, may yet repost it here. A Witness reissue is a must, even if some of us have the original CD in the collection..
#10 | gdazegod on November 20 2015 19:52:05
Witness - 1988 Do It Till We Drop
YouTube Video:
#11 | rostoned on November 20 2015 21:01:03
Dave it is a pity that the Rock Candy deluxe edition of Witness has never seen the light of the day in the six and half years following your post above, when it was almost forthcoming. Problems with Universal happened since then? or simply Derek shelved infinitely the project till the Yesterrock edition is out of print (as it is now with the label I hear folded) ?? Problem is how old can be now an interview done all that time ago for the liners..hmm!
#12 | gdazegod on November 20 2015 21:07:37
Agree Filippo, Witness should now re-emerge on the Rock Candy Radar. Perhaps I can put a good word in there.. ?
#13 | reyno-roxx on November 23 2015 20:26:02
There may have been licensing problems at the time, but the essay would still be relevant. It would just need, at best, an extra paragraph at the end as an update.
#14 | super80boy on November 24 2017 17:04:37
I acquired the CD many years ago and recently found a SS vinyl copy. From the promo material included in my vinyl copy, Witness formed in 1985. They gigged around the Southeast USA (Atlanta, GA) for a couple years and finally got invited to a “showcase performance” for Arista. Obviously, the driving melodic rock sound coupled with the powerful vocals of Davis captured Arista’s attention. There’s a bevy of seasoned musicians that had a hand in this album, especially on the guitar front. The liner notes call out six “additional players”. It’s hard to pick favorites here, as there’s no subpar songs on tap. The keyboard infused ‘Jump Into The Fire’ is fantastic. Great guitar riff on ‘When It Comes From The Heart’ and the urgent album closer ‘Back To You’ are stout rockers. Semi-ballad ‘Am I Wrong’ is yet another killer. Finally, the talented Bill Drescher from the Record Plant and Sound City LA Studios does a very fine production job.
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