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Articles Home » 1987 Articles » Blue Yonder - 1987 Blue Yonder
Blue Yonder - 1987 Blue Yonder

ARTIST: Blue Yonder
ALBUM: Blue Yonder
LABEL: Atlantic
SERIAL: 7567-81686-1
YEAR: 1987


LINEUP: Sandy Stewart - vocals, keyboards, percussion * David Munday - guitars, keyboards, bass, percussion * Kip Winger - bass * Phillipe Saisse, Graham Pleeth - keyboards * Anthony Thistlethwaite - saxophone * Roddy Lorimer - trumpet * Tim Sanders - tenor sax * Simon Clarke - alto sax * David Ruffy, David Rosenberg, Chuck Sabo - drums * Steve Hogarth, Max Edie, Tessa Niles, Linda Taylor, Ruby James - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Windsong * 02 House Of Love * 03 When Grace Is Falling * 04 In The Rain * 05 Still I Love * 06 The Long Haul * 07 Something For The Pain * 08 Indigo * 09 Secret Miracle

Having moved on from her 1984 solo album 'Cat Dancer', singer/songwriter Sandy Stewart and musical compadre David Munday form a new project called Blue Yonder. The duo call upon a selection of studio musicians to assist on their one-off album released in 1987. Unlike her 'Cat Dancer' platter, the overly synth pop rock on that album is replaced instead by a deeply atmospheric sound reminiscent of bands such as Cock Robin, Idle Tears, Til Tuesday and Marilyn Martin. I much prefer this album than 'Cat Dancer' to be honest, as the production values from this timeframe are far more advanced than what it was three years prior. Kip Winger's involvement on this album is interesting. As a friend of producer Beau Hill, Kip was introduced to Sandy (Beau's girlfriend and co-producer at the time) before he became successful appearing with Alice Cooper and his own band Winger. According to Internet research, it seems that Kip and Sandy wrote a bunch of songs back in the day, but none of these appear on the Blue Yonder record, even though Kip plays on it. Another interesting aside was the involvement of head Atlantic Records producer Arif Mardin on a couple of the tracks. Mardin was instrumental in driving through the success of the Average White Band during their successful 70's era. It may also explain why this album includes the Kick Horns trio of Roddy Lorimer, Tim Sanders and Simon Clarke - a similar setup to AWB..

The Songs
'Windsong' is the first track out of the can, and what an impressive start it is! Gorgeous guitar melodies accompany Sandy's smoky vocal. Moving into mid-tempo mode is 'House Of Love' which meanders in and around Dalbello's varied material - but doesn't go all weird as Lisa's work is prone to do. 'When Grace Is Falling' is a tight guitar rocker, which is markedly different to 'Still I Love' - a tune that operates in a higher register mostly, and is topped off by horn work a la Chicago. A great song that reminds me of an AOR version of Til Tuesday. 'The Long Haul' is halfway between a rocker and a ballad, the mid-tempo arrangement sees Sandy teasing us with an array of vocal styles - perhaps closer to Marilyn Martin in my books. Sincere and heartfelt best describe the ballad 'In The Rain'. This one, along with 'Something For The Pain' - another ballad, are both in the same class as material penned by Sharon O'Neill. 'Indigo' swirls with more guitar delicacies and a pulsing bass line, before we finish up with 'Secret Miracle', where Stewart and company depart the studio room with heads held high, a victory for classy female fronted pop rock it must be said.

In Summary
Blue Yonder has yet to find its way to CD and is extremely hard to locate nowadays, even on vinyl. The album wasn't that successful as a commercial affair, but it sure did impress those that heard it, and those that are familiar with Sandy's work. Fans of super melodic pop/rock with a big sounding production should try and hunt this down. Read our article on Sandy's 'Cat Dancer' album elsewhere on GDAZE..

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#1 | super80boy on May 10 2014 19:46:12
Sandy comes across alluring with those atmospheric vocal arrangements. It's pretty good polished AOR pop rock, leaning more on the pop side of things.
#2 | swazi on May 18 2014 21:26:08
Blue Yonder - Does anyone have the mp3 tracks to share by any chance ?? I can't find them on the net, unless from dubious sources. Thanks!
#3 | gdazegod on May 19 2014 00:57:16
Swazi, refer your email. Done.
#4 | rostoned on November 22 2015 17:13:32
Surprisingly Sandy Stewart and David Munday (aka Blue Yonder) both appeared together as backing vocalist on 2 tracks on the eerie, off the wall and charming Gregg Alexander's solo debut, the now hard to find 'Michigan Rain' out on AandM in 1989.
#5 | rostoned on August 17 2016 10:39:41
Blue Yonder's beautiful single 'House of love' was surprisingly covered by both Maria Vidal in 1987 on her s/t AandM opus AND Animotion on their 1989 Mercury self titled release!

A non LP tune, Only for a moment, was the B side of both Blue Yonder singles (House of love and Windsong).
#6 | rostoned on July 01 2017 21:37:42
I still don't understand why Wounded Bird have never reissued this gem from the Atlantic catalogue, especially since they already did Stewart previous effort and given that BY is a cult title due to its unavailability on CD. Life is very strange sometimes!
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