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Articles Home » 1989 Articles » Thompson, Michael (Band) - 1989 How Long
Thompson, Michael (Band) - 1989 How Long

ARTIST: Thompson, Michael (Band)
ALBUM: How Long
LABEL: Geffen
SERIAL: 9 24225-2
YEAR: 1989
CD REISSUE: 2007, Frontiers, FRCD 337


LINEUP: Michael Thompson - guitars * Moon Calhoun - vocals * John Andrew Schreiner - keyboards * Leon Gaer - bass * John Keane - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Secret Information * 02 Give Love A Chance * 03 1000 Nights * 04 Wasteland * 05 Never Stop Falling * 06 Can't Miss * 07 Gloria * 08 Stranger * 09 Baby Come Back * 10 How Long

Well it doesn't get any better than this. An example of classy melodic rock by some of the greats of the L.A session scene, but built around the talent that is Michael Thompson, session guitarist extraordinaire. Michael had just come off doing the Jeff Paris album 'Wired Up' before deciding to head up his own self titled project with support from Geffen Records. Moon Calhoun, who had previously been seen with The Strand back in the early eighties joined up on vocals while the other notable member is John Keane, who is one half of the Keane brothers, also very much household names in West Coast/AOR circles. The overall sound conjured is very much like Toto mixed in some softer and accoustic elements like The Eagles or Nelson. Calhoun's vocals are a perfect foil for the gilt edged guitarwork of Thompson who really demonstrates his talent throughout proceedings.

The Songs
AOR is exemplified by the opening two tracks 'Secret Information' and the immortal 'Give Love A Chance', the latter is all of 7 minutes and 46 seconds, including the wonderfully understated 3 minute guitar solo at the end! Another great track is the dramatic 'Wasteland', where the guitar solo's and the choruses compete for best moment on the song. The balladry of 'Never Stop Falling' is nigh on perfect, and on this one, Calhoun's vocals just soar throughout the acoustic rush. Other highlights include the atmospheric 'Stranger', the Foreigner like guitar strut of 'Can't Miss' and the Rick Springfield like melodic rock of 'Gloria'.

In Summary
Not sure what Michael's intentions were with this effort, as it seemed to have got a fairly wide global release due to Geffen's obvious market clout, and it's unfortunate that this album was only a oncer. However all the guys are still in the biz and have appeared on numerous other albums since. The CD release of MTB has become remarkably difficult to find, and by all accounts seems to have had more copies released in Europe rather than the US. If you find it, I'm sure you won't be disappointed. Thompson has since released a couple of solo albums, in the guitar instrumental vein as Neal Schon and Craig Chaquico. Talented dude indeed! 'How Long' saw a CD re-release in 2007, so is now readily available after being such a hard-to-find item for years.

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#1 | sabace on March 27 2012 12:11:58
managed to get an original cd of this recently and I have to say I love it, the songs, the playing and unlike the wired up lp by jeff paris there is a warmth to the production which is the icing on the cake .
#2 | gdazegod on December 16 2012 02:38:08
There were 3 bonus tracks on the 2007 Frontiers reissue:

11 - Right To Wrong (Michael Thompson and Jeff Paris)
12 - I Can't Let Go (Michael Thompson and Jeff Paris)
13 - Wheelchair (Michael Thompson, Moon Calhoon and Jeff Paris)
#3 | code4 on October 23 2015 18:16:02
A bit like the Giant cd's i have this for the music and rarely the singing style which is not really my taste but i can understand why if this was a style you liked this could rank as a masterpiece or close. One cannot deny the monster guitar work in 'Secret Information' or the very Giant-like 'Can't Miss', or let's be honest most of this cd. My utter fav moment of the album is 'Wasteland' for the brief but amazing guitar solo. 'How Long' isn't so great and 'Baby come back' a bit boring formula sounding song to my ears while the only song here i find to be a complete skip-over is 'Never Stop Falling'.
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