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Articles Home » 1984 Articles » Stewart, Sandy - 1984 Cat Dancer
Stewart, Sandy - 1984 Cat Dancer

ARTIST: Stewart, Sandy
ALBUM: Cat Dancer
LABEL: Modern/Atco
SERIAL: 79 01331
YEAR: 1984
CD REISSUE: 2009, Wounded Bird, WOU 133


LINEUP: Sandy Stewart - lead vocals, keyboards, guitars * David Munday - guitars, keyboards * Beau Hill - keyboards, drum synths, synth bass, synth chimes * Roger Tausz - bass * Dave Bluefield - DMX programming * Jimmy Iovine - Yamaha Motif * Parker Bradfield-Smith - drums, drum synth, percussion * Anton Fig, Mike Spencer - drums * Bobbye Hall - percussion * Sandy Stewart, Beau Hill, Amanda Blue, Stevie Nicks, Lori Perry - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Cat Dancers * 02 Get My Way * 03 Think Of Me * 04 Living End * 05 Saddest Victory * 06 Not Like The Others * 07 I Pretend * 08 Mind Over Matter * 09 Leave It All Behind

This very hard to find album by Texan singer/songwriter Sandy Stewart has many interesting connections to others in the melodic rock genre. Let's go through a few of these.. Stewart had a supporting role to Stevie Nicks on her 1983 album 'The Wild Heart'. The sound of the album could be attributed to Stewart's input, though not entirely. Stewart also had a relationship with producer Beau Hill, and much could be said of his involvement on 'Cat Dancer', considering former Shanghai team-mates Anton Fig and Amanda Blue (a.k.a Mrs Anton Fig) were contributors on this album too. Stevie Nicks makes an appearance here, as does her manager Jimmy Iovine, and future sister-in-law Lori Perry, who was married to co-producer Gordon Perry at the time. Also, 'Cat Dancer' was released on Nick's own label Modern Records. Stewart and musical partner David Munday are the main performers here, though most of the songs were written solely by Stewart, with a couple of co-writing credits attributed to then boyfriend Beau Hill. One wonders what would've happened if Stewart achieved the same sort of success as Holly Knight.. both are keyboardists and talented songwriters, but only one has achieved mega-success, and it wasn't Stewart.

The Songs
Musically, 'Cat Dancer' compares similarly to Shanghai, Spider, Drama, Idle Tears and Device, though not as hi-tech as any of those acts. Stewart's voice has a sultry quality to it, and provides a contrast to the mainly keyboard/synth constructed musical backbone on offer here. The opening track 'Cat Dancers' kicks in at half tempo, and features a bunch of swirling synths and stinging guitar lines. 'Get My Way' is a smooth arrangement, not unlike stuff you can hear on Debarge's 'Rhythm Of The Night' album. 'Think Of Me' is less of the keyboards and more a rock-oriented effort, unlike 'Living End' which flips the instrument focus the other way. Fans of Face To Face might enjoy this tune. The synth laced pop of 'Saddest Victory' also made it to video, and was spotted on MTV at the time, though at this point in time, has yet to surface on YouTube. 'Not Like The Others' is more punchy synth pop/rock, with AOR approved keyboard parps and guitar runs totally synonymous with the genre. 'I Pretend' is a vocal duet with mentor Stevie Nicks, which is reminiscent of Nick's solo material. However for me, the pick of the bunch for me is the last track 'Leave It All Behind', a racy AOR-ish track which was co-written by Amanda Blue, Lyn Robinson and David Munday.

In Summary
There was talk that Stewart and Nicks had a 'falling out' relating to 'Cat Dancer'. Whether this is true or not remains a mystery. Though the album was a Stewart solo album - and taking into account the artistic and creative aspects afforded to artist in question (i.e. Stewart), certainly one would be cautious about biting the hand that feeds you, considering it was Nick's label after all. 'Cat Dancer' would remain Stewart's only solo album, though she did reunite with songwriting partner David Munday to form Blue Yonder (Atlantic Records) for their self-released album from 1987. Beyond that, Stewart has written material for and worked with Fleetwood Mac, Belinda Carlisle and Tina Turner.. among others. As at 2007, Sandy still lives in her hometown of Houston, TX, and is currently the keyboardist of a local outfit the Mark Beets Band. She is also involved in a Charity project called 'Purple Songs Can Fly' - an admirable cause for sure! I'm sure for many of us, renewed interest in this woman's talents might bring her out of the closet again.

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#1 | Eric on January 13 2008 04:28:35
A very good album. I have a friend who worked as a waitress in Pheonix, AZ that served Nicks around this same time a tall Vodka with nothing else and watched her drink it down. Sad, but stardom does strange things over time.....hmm!
#2 | jefflynnefan on January 14 2008 01:54:40
I've only been listening to this for a short time now but I can't seem to appreciate it. Nothing on it really grabs me, yet.  no
#3 | richardb on January 14 2008 13:19:06
I have to confess I love this album. Although admittedly on the lighter end of the AOR spectrum there's some great tracks on offer such as 'Living end', 'Saddest victory'. Though pick of the bunch has to be 'Leave it all behind'. I much prefer this to 'Blue Yonder' that album never really did anything for me I'm afraid..

Richard B
#4 | vinyldinosaurus on March 13 2008 18:11:53
Just found this today for a buck in the used record shop. Who is the blond guy on the back cover - David Monday?
#5 | reyno-roxx on March 13 2008 19:12:29
I believe that IS indeed David Monday.
#6 | rostoned on May 29 2009 00:17:07
From Wikipedia

Sandy Stewart (born on January 13 1958 in San Francisco) was a singer and synthesizer musician from Houston, Texas, USA. She is mostly known for her album Cat Dancer, a solo album helped with by Fleetwood Mac vocalist and solo act Stevie Nicks. Sandy released her hit song "Saddest Victory" in 1983. Its video played on MTV for a few weeks, but the song never charted. Sandy and Stevie Nicks also sang a duet for the song "I Pretend", which also was featured on Cat Dancer. As 12" singles (on vinyl records) were popular in the 1980s, a large 12" single was also released to promote Cat Dancer. The single featured a large close-up photo of Sandy on its album cover.
Sandy also sang background vocals for Stevie Nicks' second solo album The Wild Heart released in 1983. Sandy's voice was heard on the song "Nightbird", the third song released from the album, in 1984. Sandy was credited on The Wild Heart and posed with Stevie's singers Sharon Celani and Lori Perry for the album's photos.
In 1985, Sandy sang with Nile Rodgers for the duet song "This Is Your Day", which was released on the White Nights soundtrack, the 1985 dance movie starring Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gregory Hines.
Sandy also did a TV commercial for the Japanese soft drink Mets in 1985.
In 1987, the Blue Yonder LP was released - it was originally intended to be her second solo album but instead ended up as a 'band' project co-credited to her and David Munday. Also that year, she co-wrote "Seven Wonders" with her friend Stevie Nicks, which was released on Tango in the Night, Fleetwood Mac's 1987 release, and also as a single.
#7 | reyno-roxx on May 29 2009 09:05:34
This does indeed deserve a long overdue reissue on CD. I have some live material from the band she played in that was recorded prior to the Modern deal and it's interesting but not a patch on the songs that were finely crafted for this release
#8 | swazi on June 05 2012 22:53:28
In the meantime this one has been reissued on CD by Wounded Bird. Actually in 2009.
#9 | super80boy on August 29 2015 16:34:49
Stewart's vocals are low and sultry and compliment the surging synth laden AOR proceedings nicely. I bought the Wounded Bird CD when it was first issued in 2009, now it commands some $$. Being a fan of female fronted AOR, Cat Dancer slots into the sweet spot.
#10 | reyno-roxx on August 29 2015 20:26:41
Rock Candy were looking to release this on CD, but the emergence of the Wounded Bird release put that project on the back burner. Although Beau Hill, David Munday and Mike Spencer had all agreed to be interviewed, Sandy politely declined. She wished the project well and the impression I got was that she had moved on with her life
#11 | gdazegod on September 30 2015 05:19:25
Sandy Stewart - 1984 The Saddest Victory
#12 | richardb on October 30 2016 11:48:48
Does anyone know where I can pick up this CD for a sensible price? I've had a vinyl copy for years, though seem to have missed the boat on this one..helpless
#13 | reyno-roxx on October 30 2016 19:30:48
Jeez. Just checked the prices! And I thought the Looking Glass 2 on 1 from Wounded Bird was expensive!
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